Guest Article: The IIT-Gandhinagar Chronicles

A sophomore from IIT-Gandhinagar chronicles his 2 years in IITB’s mentee-IIT. Catch the in-depth coverage of IIT-Gn’s student-life in InsIghT’s print issue releasing just after the midsems!

As I stepped through the gates of IIT-Gandhinagar for the first time over a year ago, I recalled my professor`s words of wisdom. I quote “Beta Vinit, do saal mehnat karo, phir IIT mein chill maaro”… now any 16 year old would take to this idea like a fish to water, so I was pleased as punch to crack the dreaded JEE. I thought ‘Here before me lies my ticket to freedom. Now I can do whatever I want, sleep for as long as I want, hang out with friends and just relax!’ In retrospect, this couldn’t have been farther away from the truth ….At IIT-Gandhinagar, inertia is just not an option. Watching our Director work with a spring in his step and the zeal of a 15-year old has instilled in us a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging. In fact, IIT-Gandhinagar were to be filmed, its tagline would be: “aaraam haram hai!”

The gruesome yet exhilarating FOUNDATION PROGRAMME for freshmen just vindicates my point. In that, we were exposed to a collage of non-academic activities ranging from the usual sketching, music, dance, and drama to the unorthodox origami, calligraphy, face painting, theatre, mask-making and umpteen other team-building activities. These have cultivated such a strong camaraderie within the batch that some of us have already started having nightmares of Convocation Day.

The hostels are brimming with life, so much so that the incessant chattering and gossip can put a drone of irate honey-bees to shame. Here, the students just can’t resist to talk about everything under the sun – right from why Kapil Sibal should be honoured with a B.Sensible (pun intended) degree to why you should be ready to even lick the feet of Sachin Tendulkar; from the Parliament’s Jokepal Bill to why the IOS-5, Android and Symbian can never have a threesome. Then there are those never ending debates: Firefox v/s Chrome, Lumia v/s S3, Messi v/s Ronaldo et al. Inadvertently, the winner of these debates is not someone participating in it (it is difficult nay impossible to prove an IITian wrong…he is right half the time and violent for the next half) but the Night Canteen Walla who took me aside the other day and said he was planning on expanding his business as he had accumulated sufficient capital. He thanked us profusely for our philanthropic contributions and asked if we would like to invest in the enterprise. Jesus….The time when we are not chatting is frittered away in LAN Gaming. It would not be unusual, then, to hear phrases like Go Go Go! Fire in the Hole! I’m at Bombsite A or Cover my back, I see the bomber. Consequently, one can be forgiven for phoning the police and informing them of a Terrorist Cell operating at IITGn. Of course all this is interspersed with VERY GENEROUS dosages of swearing, cuss words, insults, fist pumping etc. Yeah, there is a lot of fist-cheek contact too.
We take immense pride in inventing a novel way of time-pass: it’s called the fake sponsorship calls or just FSC. Basically, it involves just calling some gullible peer, senior or faculty (yeah, it’s true…God save me), pretending that they are the marketing managers of some top-notch company, firm or corporate and requesting them to associate their respective establishments with the cultural or technical festivals of IITGn. Sometimes we ask them to collaborate with non-existent IIT’s for non-existent fests having some really funny names. Samples include IIT Barkatpura’s famous techfest Lolita, IIT Dholavira’s cool cultfest Madhumati, IIT Cherrapunji’s trendsetting management-fest called Chamelia and so on. You get the drift. Just a couple of days back we raised the bar by calling our dhobi and urged him to associate the esteemed “Sanjay Pressing Line and Associates” with IIT Azerbaijan’s world renowned fest “The Ilekrama” (disclaimer: I don’t know if such a word exists and I hope that I get credit for inventing it if at all it is used in the future. I’m skeptical though…). Currently, we are negotiating with other IIT’s for outsourcing this insanely hilarious pastime and have also applied for a patent. God-willing we’ll get it…

IITGN celebrates a festival every two months: In late September or early October, we have our technical summit AMALTHEA followed in November by JASHN, the intra-college cult-fest. This culminates in BLITHCHRON, the highly regarded cultural festival and the show-stopping HALLA BOL, which is the intra-college sports-fest Add to that “infy” clubs like Music club, Dance club, Coding club, Business club, Photography club et al and what you have is a jam-packed extra-curricular calendar.

One might wonder if academics are secondary at IIT-Gn. Well, quite to the contrary, it is placed on an equal pedestal. We literally gobble up books, trying our futile best to understand hitherto unknown concepts all in `dt’ time interval. Liverpool’s motto might be YOU NEVER WALK ALONE. But here at IIT Gandhinagar, our motto is “YOU NEVER STUDY ALONE”. Don’t be surprised to see students huddled up in the cozy little common rooms, pooling their knowledge in preparation for the T20’s, ODI’s and Tests of the IIT Universe: quizzes, midsems and endsems. This phenomenon becomes quite frequent on the eve of various matches. And even though the odds are heavily stacked against us, we usually end up passing with flying colors. It’s uncanny how we do it. Maybe genius is in our blood.