Everybody Loves IIT!
I was in heaven, no not literally of course: I’m too much of a sinner to bag a space up there. I was in my own heaven-in a bookstore that had the magic words “upto 50% off” pasted on the clear glass walls. Definitely my kind of heaven! My hungry eyes scanned the shelves of books, picking out the most lusted-after titles. At times like this I sincerely regret neglecting maths & my G.K. I mean how do you deduct 33% off $7.99?? Still doing the mental math my eyes rested on a bookcase that almost bagged the center-stage.
The IIT books. Nope, not the dumbbell types ingenious torture devices invented by mankind to terrorize the youth. These IIT books were a different class altogether. Let me explain-Mr. Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone (What Not to Do at IIT) adorned the topmost rung of the shelf.
Neatly arranged below the Guru of IIT’s amorous chronicles, were the other ‘shishyas’(disciples). I went through the titles & trust me the smirk never left my face. The names would make anyone gag. But adhering to my principle of self-preservation, I’d rather not mention any names, at least not directly! There was one about an IIT graduate’s love affair with an air-hostess. An IITian falling for a BITian. And a guy who never even managed to get in to IIT but thought to mention that fact on the title of his book would be so cool!
Ok, so you went to IIT, you slogged hard, preferred celibacy, abstained from normal human behavior & in short had the exclusive privilege of attending one of the premier technological institutes of India. That’s your problem dude! So now you are enjoying your life, finally you have a girlfriend & you think the rest of India would be so interested in Mr. IITian’s love-life?!
You may call me bitter, but am not. If I ever write a book I wouldn’t try to sell it putting an IIT or IIM tag to it. First because I’ve never been there (stop sniggering) & second ‘coz it’s so very cheap! My problem? Well, the crap that you get in these books doesn’t even qualify as literature. I do not belong to the 19th century nor have I joined the moral brigade, but I do believe that words like-‘crap’, ‘b.s’,’f***’ etc shouldn’t be printed at least not in a book meant for the youth. And trust me, it did sound stupid when even my Mom asked me the meaning of ‘piss off’ when reading one such book.
And if the guys are minting money selling their IIT experiences can girls lag far behind? A recent novel has been released about a girl’s life in IIT. At least the lady has had the sense to deal with gender bias in IIT & not the numerous high on hormones desperate young men there (not my personal opinion mind you, I’ve been made to believe such by well-meaning authors).
So my free advice to all love-birds of IIT is – you want to write a novel, by all means do so. But please spare us the IIT-tagline. You’re sending the wrong impression about the institute. You can either be a nerd who got into IIT or the love-struck romantic hero of a love story. Take your pick!