The journey to IIT Delhi and life after
Almost 8 years ago, when my elder brother joined FIITJEE, I was introduced to the funda of the elite Indian Institutes of Technology. Fast forward 2 years, into the summer of 2005. IIT Delhi. Dogra Hall. Seminar Hall. These places now ring a bell each time they are mentioned, but then they were just some… some auditorium-type halls. The counseling session for JEE-2005 ended and a month later the final results were out.
My brother was going to join the 4 year B.Tech. programme in Chemical Engineering @ IIT Madras. I was then in 9th standard. My idealization about an IIT was IIT Madras, the stories about life there – their huge cultural fest, Saarang (www.saarang.org) and the technical fest, Shaastra (www.shaastra.org). The huge campus which was carved out from the Governor’s estate in Chennai was so lush green and deer and blackbucks roam there freely. I fell in love with that campus. Meanwhile, never in those 4 years, I ever got the opportunity to visit IIT Delhi and in my eyes there was only one ideal IIT, that situated in a city called Chennai.
The time then came for me to join coaching classes for JEE-2009. I joined the Vidyamandir Classes Extended Classroom programme. Those two years in the classes, some of the teachers (or bhaiyas should I say) spoke about life in mainly IIT Delhi (95% of the VMC students who get selected end up in IIT Delhi), but these stories never inspired any awe about IITD. However, secretly I harboured a desire to join IITD only and only because my home was in Delhi. No other reason ever convinced me in favour of doing so. Then came JEE 2009. I did okay in the exam and my AIR was 1049.
Fate hung in the balance. In JEE 2008, Delhi Chemical B.Tech. had closed at 1006 and around the same figure in the previous years. Only one question used to appear in my mind those days – IITD or IITM (since the next option was Madras Chemical B.Tech., as my relatives and brother live there). I prayed to God so that I would get IITD. And on one fine day, when the results came out, my joy knew no bounds. A year later, perhaps, I realised God had made a special provision for me. For Chemical B.Tech. at Delhi in 2010 again closed at 1038. I will never know what life would have been like had I joined IITM.
But, human psychology is so strange. Life @ IITD began and suddenly I began to notice how much better IITM was. Every negative point possible would strike my mind. The lush green campus of IITM, their huge cult and tech fests and more importantly how their rooms were not as cramped as ours. My brother had had a single room from his 2nd year onwards and I realised how bad the situation was here. I began to hate the fact that ‘yahan pe har fest ek hostel karvaata hai’. How silly. The fest belongs to the institute and how can you say Aravali Rendezvous karva raha hai. The whole concept appeared so ridiculous. Then came the politically inclined 2nd semester and that reinforced my beliefs even further that I had come to the wrong place. How different and better life would have been had it been the other way round. But still my home was in Delhi which comforted me and it was the thing which always told me my fate had put me at the right place.
But come the 3rd semester, I realised why I was being unhappy. Probably it was my mind which was so rigid and would accept nothing but what I had imagined. I began to look at the positives and realised there were many. Probably how much I enjoy here I would never have been able to do there. And now, I have come to love IIT Delhi. The Dogra hall, the Dogra roof, the Seminar hall, the MS, Aravali House, the SAC roof at night have become woven into my life. The trips to SDA, the time spent in Block I lawns, the experiences with NSS, time with my friends, my department have all reformed me. Rendezvous 2010 was an experience I will never forget. Infact it made me forget what all I had contrived against life at IITD. I realise how wrong I have been. Comparison is bad. We should be happy with what we have and when we have something which is the best in our country, how dare we crib and cry. That is something which I have learnt at the cost of being somewhat unhappy in the first semester and to a lesser extent in the second semester.
And now my family has shifted to Mumbai, but I have no regrets at all. IIT Delhi is the place to be. The best IIT. Ever. Period.
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Ananth G R
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