You clear the JEE, miss out on a few marks, a few hundred ranks and your life is now set to turn upside down. For some reason, you choose IITGN or are forced to take IITGN, whatever the case be you are happy and bubbly and reach Ahmedabad station in high spirits. Brimming with confidence, you tell the rickshaw wala – “Bhaiyya, IITGN chaloge?” He doesn’t know it. You struggle and struggle and finally reach the campus, learning the first lesson of your college life. From then on, you always ask – “Bhaiyya, Chandkheda Engineering College chaloge?”
After a couple of months, you are pretty happy with your life, having been part of THE revolutionary Foundation Program. You are ready to reach home to show your parents that you have indeed made a prudent choice. Wait. Hold on, it’s not that simple! En route, in the train, you meet an unknown person who is inquisitive about your college. You proudly say, IIT Gandhinagar and there comes your next lesson. “Acha! Nirma / SVNIT / wo Pilani wale college me admission nahi mila kya?” You are shocked, you try to explain but all in vain. From then on, on being asked about your college you wear a soft smile and humbly say IITGN and then politely reply to their query – “Waha liya nahi Uncle.”
You reach home, your parents are boasting about their child’s success on having gotten into an IIT at a family function. A relative silently creeps up to you – The star of the night and innocently asks, “Beta, average placement kitna hai?” You say, “6.5 – 7 LPA jitna hai.” And by now, you are wiser, you are expecting it and there it comes. “Bas! IIT ho k bhi itna hi?! IITB IITD me toh 15 – 20 LPA hota hai.” Having been taught humility and politeness you say, “Nahi Uncle, sab IITs me AVERAGE itna hi hota hai.” In response, you get a weird unsatisfactory smile and the conversation then moves on to the extravaganza of the campuses of IITs, to the beautiful companions one has in college life and to your bright and star studded future!
The only reason why I am pointing this out is to tell you this. Even if everyone keeps showing us what we missed out on, they will never know what they missed out on! There is one exclusive feeling, we the students of IITGN share which none of them can have. It’s the feeling of struggling in unison, the feeling of living in obscurity most of the time but slowly creating a mark on this world, the feeling of contributing to the foundations of an institute in which we have utmost trust and faith. Every year, people from the city come to the transit campus of IITGN to perform, enjoy and celebrate. For them, Blithchron means – “Time of festivity”, but for me, this year it means “Time of Redemption.” This is not just for the team which has organized the event but for everyone who is part of IITGN. For me, Blithchron ’14 is the visual indicator of the success of our efforts in that particular direction, which gives me hope that such indicators for our other forms of efforts will show up with time.
The team has been resilient every time learning from mistakes and putting up a new show for the audience. On these days, when those visitors cheer and clap, we stand by, look at them and say to ourselves – “This is what I have got. This is what I signed up for. I may not have my campus with those wide lawns and lakes or famous eating joints. I may not have the internships and placements you boast of or the company of divine beauty which you have, but this feeling of bliss is mine and no matter what you say or do you cannot take this away from me.” This is an inexplicable feeling, experienced and acknowledged by those students of IITGN who have listened to everything and anything said to them, yet worked hard with heads held high. Yes, we have failed many a times. Yes, we fell even today and will fall again, but we will put up a fight every time. Slowly, but surely, we are reaching to the day when we will ask the rickshaw wala – “Bhaiyya, IIT Gandhinagar chaloge?” and the guy asks you – “Palej mein na Bhaiyya?”
Originally published on Palantir, IITGN on January 28, 2014