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.