Sunday, 6 July 2014

Welcome to IIT

Main Building, IIT Roorkee
So you've cracked JEE and are about to get into one of the ‘prestigious’ IITs? 

Are you excited? 

Ah. Stupid me! Definitely you are. Why shouldn’t one be? After all you are one of the few thousand people who have sailed past the remaining 12 lac people.  Though you may mark this achievement as a milestone in your life’s diary you should know that this is not the end of the road. Interestingly, it is not the beginning either. You are just about to cross the START mark. 

Bottom line you know nothing. And by nothing I mean NOTHING!

Before I continue I must make you aware of the fact that this write-up is not meant to demoralize you, it is in fact meant to motivate you to such an extent that you start imagining your name with one of the greats and not just as an EMPLOYEE NUMBER 5421 at Facebook or Google. Don’t get me wrong though, this is one of the best things you can achieve in life but can you do better? Yes, you can.

Soon you’ll get on, high, with the life of IIT. You will not feel that cool about being an IITian inside an IIT as you’ll feel outside. “Oh Man! You’re from IIT?” People will react like they have just seen an alien. They will assert your super ‘intelligence’ even before talking to you but know that the same ‘intelligence’ will decay faster than Ununoctium once you get inside an IIT. 

You will get along with cool stuff like night-outs, night long gaming, partying, trips, bunks etc. and I advise you to enjoy all of these because you may never get time or you will never enjoy them as much in your life ahead. I don’t want you to be one of those people who’ll sit on a bench in their old age and think Yaar, kaash woh trip pe chala jaata!’ (How I wish I could have gone on that trip!)

I don’t want you to be one of those people who after a year or two at IIT smile at everyone who says Teri job toh mast lagegi” (You’ll get an awesome job) but deep inside they know that they haven’t learnt anything after they got into IIT. I don’t want you to sit on a high-paying job and regret Yaar, kuch gain nahi kiya IIT mein (I have gained no knowledge while being at IIT). 

 You will meet all kinds of people in IIT –

a) The one who will study for the sake of learning.
b) The one who will study for the sake of CGPA.
c) The one who will not study.
d) The one who will have more knowledge of your field of study than you.
e) The self-enthusiast.
f) The sports-keeda.
g) The gamer.
h) The musician, the dancer and the list goes on.

You will meet different kinds of teachers too –

a) The teach-nothing type.
b) The super-cool type.
c) The knowledge-lover type.
d) The weird depressed-of-life type.

One thing that you’ll experience for sure is that there will be more number of people running after placements and marks than there will be people running after knowledge. I want you to be of the second category. 

Remember at the beginning I told you that you know nothing? So, how do you start?

Start small; you don’t make an OS on day one. When you’ll taste from the ocean of knowledge you’ll realize even more that you know nothing.

It is more like the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.

I advise you to keep two things in your mind, always –

1. Every new thing, however small, you learn makes you better than thousands of people on this planet.
2. However much you have learnt, know that there are still people smarter and more knowledgeable than you.

 I advise you not to run after money or placements. When an almost illiterate person dealing in scrap will earn more than you, that day I will ask you, ‘What is the use of your knowledge and smartness?’ and I bet you won’t be able to answer.

Gain knowledge & Innovate.

Perhaps you will not be able to earn a crore per annum that way but in your old age when your name, your research, your innovation will be held with the greats of past, that smile, that smile on your face can never be purchased by any amount of money. The day you’ll see your nation rise, you will smile.


Love thy classmates and collaborate with them to design and invent stuff. Competition? I am sure you’ve left it with your JEE result. Or are you still in a competition for salary? What are you actually living for then? Think.

Can we have a silicon valley in India? Can we bring our IITs near MIT in innovation, knowledge and brilliance? 
Yes, we can. You can.

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