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Monday, September 29, 2008

Kota Konnection

One of the better widgets attached to this page is the "FeedJit" feed monitor application. Basically, you get to know where exactly is your blog being read. A couple of posts earlier, I had posted about my trip to IIT Bombay for the IIT-IIM Quiz Fest...... and since then, all hell broke loose. Now, the basic readership still consists of my friends and acquaintances here at Kharagpur, and occasionally my other friends , at colleges scattered around India, would pop up . And then you would get the odd drifter from overseas, from delightfully named places like "Nol, Vastra Gotaland" to more routine ones like "Janesville, Wisconsin" or "Middlestown, Pennsylvania". Thanks to my friend Onyeka Nwelue, "Lagos" is a regular name, too. (Check out his terrific blog here)

But since the Bombay post, the most prominent location on the Kafkaesque
map has been Kota,
a small town in Rajasthan......
for those unschooled about Kota, here are the bare bones via Wikipedia

"The coaching classes of Kota, have year after year produced exceptionally high success rates in the all-India entrance exams to the IITs and medical colleges. However, the educational institutions have faced criticism for charging high fees and thus allowing only the more affluent students a chance to prepare for IIT. Many IIT faculty and some alumni also feel that the IIT-JEE should not be prepared for so intensely and in such a gruelling atmosphere. Even so, a large number of students, from all over the country prefer to undergo training at these institutions because of the generally high success rates they boast of. This is also due to the overall, albeit often misguided zeal among students and parents to pursue professional courses, especially engineering and that too at IIT's"

Sandipan Deb, the well-known journalist( and a graduate from my college, IIT Kharagpur!) was not as calculating when he blasted the bloody-minded culture of IIT-at-any-cost that Kota and others drilled into their students. In his superb book "The IITians", he lamented

"Imagine a young man of seventeen who hasn't been in a movie theatre for three years, who hasn't picked up a magazine in three years, who has never tried to woo a girl....... what sort of a teenager would he be?"

Apparently, the hits I have been getting from Kota have a simple explanation(this courtesy my room-mate)
This means that the students at Kota, who go through maybe 16 hour-days, day in, day out, actually find time to surf the web once in a while. But even then, they are on the lookout for something with "IIT" , possibly "IIT Mumbai" in their keywords....... (and to think that their quest landed them here, of all places!)

I wonder what the kids up there in Kota would have thought of the pictures, a group of clearly wild youngsters bumming around, appearing not to have a shred of care about the "hallowed" place they are in...... I'm afraid we have busted the picture they might have had of the typical IITian.......

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fast times at Kharagpur

I fall into an all-too easy trap for bloggers: The list post. Haven't found a lot of time to post lately, and my exams have started today, so I guess I'll just bore you guys with my playlist for the week:


1. Careless Whisper- George Michael
2. 1973- James Blunt
3. Iris- Goo Goo Dolls
4. Master of Puppets- Metallica
5. Come Away With Me- Norah Jones
6. With Or Without You- U2
7. Yellow- Coldplay
8. Comfortably Numb- Pink Floyd
9. My Father's Eyes- Eric Clapton
10. Mr. Tambourine Man- Bob Dylan

That's it from me for this week.....adios!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

IIT Bombay Pics

Here are some pictures from my visit to IIT Bombay as part of my college's team for Nihilanth, the IIT-IIM Quiz Fest(I'm the guy in the black full-sleeved shirt!!!!)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Trip to Maximum City

Had a whale of a time at IIT Bombay which was hosting "Nihilanth" the IIT-IIM Quiz Fest
Two days at quizzer's paradise......can't remember the last time I had such a fun trip!
(The icing on the cake was winning 3K at the Literature Quiz, cracking some real brain-teasers on the way.) More about this in detail later, with plenty of pics!