Sunday, December 27, 2009


Its been a year and a half after IIT and looking back, one thing which cannot be ignored while thinking about life at IIT is Friends. How do you define them, how do you count them, how much do you rely on them, how you value them are all questions which everybody has different answers to.
In this post, I shall come up with the friends or friendship observed in IIT. There is a remarkable difference first of all in the way friendships are built in school and that in college. In school its genuine liking or unconscious mind which decides, while in college its mostly common interests that take over; frequency being the common attribute in both times. Especially in an institution like IIT where there is segregation on so many basis like various departments, clubs, sports and the busy schedule you a part of, you mostly end up choosing people "who are with" rather than "with whom you want to be with". There is a tendency to be with who are worth to be with.
There's a famous saying in this regard which says "The world will only knock at your door if you have something for it." Its quite true in IIT. If you are a person with good CGPA, completed assignments, sports captain or secys you'll find your hostel room's door knocked often(although visits would be shorter).The time and the pressure to excel are factors which have central role in grouping people.
A friendship in IIT have its roots in how good you are at anything, how people in the group perceive you, what can you do for your friend or in other words its a reasoned or analyzed friendship that happens. Let me clarify its not a rule, its an observation, there are exceptions, this may be true outside IIT too but yes its easily observable in IIT.
Its easy to find people making friends with people who are considered important like with higher CGPA, better internship, better sports or cult skills and not necessarily people who are sociable or amicable, polite and good natured people. Again its not a rule. To add to this the friendship keeps on changing hands and people keep moving on (you can guess the reason).
In such an environment and with such foundations the friendships that I have seen are mostly weak within IITs. IITians as a whole, I have observed are good as associations and not as friends. They are talented and good informative sources but more often than not, they don't value highly the friendships they make. Its an individual's perception about friendship at IIT but not about an individual. So exceptions are there. But but but... the fact is very rarely I have seen good friendships blossoming at IITs by which I mean they are not the persons you'd like to fall back upon in times of need.
Its difficult to say whether it's right or wrong. But maybe its natural and surely that is the way it is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How did I really crack JEE

Well I write this blog entry, for myself and everybody interested. I write for myself as attaining AIR-177 has been one of the finest infact the greatest achievement of life. On paper there's nothing that separates me from the rest apart from it. I keep going back and think: What got me there? How did I do it? Life's changed since then and what changes are making me a failure now? What is the next best thing?
Let me ponder over how I was.
The results the X boards got me pumping. My mind was sharp and my mathematical skills superior to my peers. I was an introvert. The X boards under performance hurt me. I remember saying to myself "it won't matter if you prove urself in JEE". So I was all geared up for it. Initially I went to a renowned coaching sir who was famous for getting few from my city to IITs. I was there for 2 months or so but was unable to pick up. He was too fast for me. That raised a few doubts in my mind whether I was really good or had I rated myself too much. Then a change of coaching to FIITJEE which I joined as I got 65% scholarship in the qualifying test thanks to my luck(Gave the 2nd test conducted by them;if had given the first I would have never got the scholarship as all the relatively good people gave it). One of the very few times luck has favoured me. It was FIITJEE then. The material was good, the classrooms were far better and the faculties went slow with their subjects. Things looked in better shape. The organized approach suited me and I was getting the confidence. Maths was fantastic and Physics good. Chemistry posed a few problems but it was always the least important. After a few months the concepts of Physics weren't developing so well so joined a renowned tutor for that subject. Now it looked even better. The performance was coming. The hardwork I was putting in was increasing day by day. Although I was 3-4 days a week kind of student but still I was putting effort I had never put in all my life. IIT looked such a big thing that slowly I felt I would be nobody if I wasn't in it. The environment was conducive. Everybody seemed to have the same goal. It was coveted as if it was the only big thing. So the motivation was always there and even though there were a few setbacks in a few tests never really I thought I didn't have in me to crack the exam.
The whole of 11th I was never performing so well in schools as I would have liked. I wasn't too vocal or outgoing either. The only thing I saw was IIT. When one year passed, I was one of the better performers in the batch and IIT looked a certainty. But the aims and aspirations got bigger too. Now the aim was to get under 500 which looked likely if I put in my best and have a good day on the JEE day. That was to happen but I never knew it before. I was nothing. I was just another unimportant guy until I got there. I was never charming, never was I popular and never with too many friends. Not that I wanted these things but that's how I was. I will keep my dreams to myself. I also accept I was quite self-centred during my school times. But with this confession, I also would like to say even though I was I don't regret it because I was so kiddish, so unaware and I always improved when others didn't. Eventhough people may have thought or it may seem to them I was never the one who thought too high of himself. My whole logic was I am good, I don't know if I am better or worse than anybody but it only matters to me that I give my best and the rest of the competition would take care of itself. I think this attitude has been maintained over the years and I really like this attitude of mine. I am constantly trying to step up not because I want to get ahead of somebody else but only my aim is to beat to my past and improve each day. I think that was one of the secrets of my JEE achievement.
I don't know why but there was constant motivations from my faculties which seemed to propel me even more. I had never seen people giving me personalized attention. I never appreciated personalized attention of teachers towards students but I do agree it plays a great role in motivation and I could see the difference. I felt somebody cared for my results and even though its my dream it affects people. That motivated me to strive harder. It was coming straight from the heart. All the hardwork. The nights were long the curriculum endless but all I had to beat them was the desire to get there. It was a journey in which school, coaching or home my mind was obsessed by only IIT. I don't know whether I had to get in was the reason that all this happened. But I don't remember anything else swaying my mind except IIT. Probably that is what you call chasing dreams. Was I positive during the period? Yes I was. Was I an optimist during those years? Maybe not. I have always been kind of neutral towards optimism and pessimism.
Did I really know what IIT was like? No not at all. Only thing I knew was I wanted to get there. Did I know how anybody got there. Again No. Why was I doing IIT? Again don't know was the answer. So basically it was an obsession. Probably the whole hype created that obsession and that's what got me there. It seemed too important, too coveted and too admiring and you didn't need a reason to be doing IIT. Maybe that's some of it. I think I may a lot more to share but that's kind of a brief journey towards JEE. In a different entry I'll compare how things and I have changed and how the resuts have changed after IIT.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

IIT: Learnings do help

As proud I feel to be an IITian the more humble I feel to work harder to do something in life. There have been lessons I have learnt all the way along and don't know why but feel responsible to bring about a change. The aim is to do better for the people for our people. There is a dire need in our society of people who are willing to come forward and work for the people and I have no hesitation to be one of them. The attitude is more important than aptitude I realize and feel the truth in it more than ever. The attitude is to be positive with all the cynics and their ideas floating around. The attitude is reach there where I see my goal is and few unnecessary views/opinions and negatives vibes and energy have to be brought to their knees at any cost. If you find a disconnect between these and guessing why this blog lies in IIT life I have explanations. The explanation is IIT experience has taught me to get the work done, the importance of work is the top priority there. I can't just resist to think after living with those multi-talented individuals that they should escape the responsibility they have towards the society. I feel proud to be one of them maybe not talented as some of the others were, without any intentions to boast about myself I feel IIT has helped me realize that I have it in me to go out there, work hard and bring about a change. I want to do that even if people don't see me doing it I want to give it my best. I feel the people need us. A growing realization has to be there to accept the changes that are sweeping this world. India just can't afford to sit back and ignore. Technology, management and stong democratic government are the talk of today and we as citizens have a role. The optimization of resources to maximize our potentials, innovative and newer ways to conserve and deliver more, get above our inhibitions and to welcome continuous learning is a need of the hour. The youth has to play the role but it's people of all ages that need to realize and adapt to these changes. When I see people outside IIT a bit slower than people inside to be slower to adapt to these changes it makes me think there in lies the difference and there in lies the opportunity to bring about the change. That's where I would like to give credit to IIT. The atmosphere, the air has the pace to change and adapt than the world outside. Now when I see the outside world I can understand it much better. Maybe IITians are brilliant in themselves but there is no reason why the rest around can't pick themselves up and do simple things right. As an IITian I have learnt quite a lot from the people who are non-IITians. The only difference is the time ie I find the non-IITians to become wiser when they grow old. Maybe this is a controversial statement to make but you can discard as my personal take. Anyways the whole view the whole perception the whole realization and understanding makes me feel the IIT experience worth living it. Because I am not sure how good a technical institute it is but for me it definitely taught me more than a thing or two about life and it makes me feel good when I see much more sensible, practical, cool and mature approach towards different situations in life. The one year after IIT has made me realize that. And a person like me who has been a critic all the way when was an IITian that is the one of the big positives I see and would like to credit IIT life for it

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Living with tag IIT

An IITian for life. People look up to you with respect, expect more, assume more and leave you to ponder on it. If you hit the target: IIT trained you well; If you don't it's a shame. Whether I am comfortable with this tag: I don't know? Or perhaps I know I'm not. I was always ordinary, hiding behind somebody and hoping to avoid those questions those expectations. I was always happy to be Mr. Nobody; applauding, criticizing and in general being part of talks on anything but me. I was never the topic of discussion and never hogged the limelight. But this tag IITian wants this to change. It takes credit for all my things. Problem solving, sharpness and efficiency have a tag IITian labelled on them. The child inside me dosen't seem to like it. It wants appreciation for itself. Why does the IITian take it from me each time I do something well. And that's not all, each time I fail I am reminded that you just can't and why because you are an IITian and its just not acceptable not to perform. Man!!! I needed things to be simple in my life. I wouldn't have cracked JEE if was an IITian prior to that. I could not be an IITian then to be an IITian today. It's like because I did certain things well I have to do certain things well. Not sure I am ready to do everything all over again. The state of mind has changed. It's not what I felt before. There's something different going in my mind now. I have to unlearn to perform again. Not sure that's possible. The enthusiasm the inspiration the feeling is just not there. First I just want to feel myself within me and not an IITian while I approach something. Failure was in my life before IIT also but after IIT it seems to have a lasting impact on me everytime it happens like it has assumed more importance more meaning now. Every failure seems to pinch me more; every success is less celebrated. Impatientience and restlessness just mount with each failure. Not sure I have a solution. The tag, the learning, the experience, the time have to be erased from my memory somehow for me to get on with it; I feel constrained, bounded and restricted. Somehow have to break these shackles, breathe fresh air and run as fast as I can again with my renewed energy.. passion.. sincerity to relaunch and don a new hat to change the perspective... to change the approach... to perform again...