In the first of what I would now term a series of posts, I forayed into the basal reasons of why freshers lose enthusiasm when they come to IIT Madras. My thesis was that the primary reason for the poor performance was not LAN as was assumed by the senate but it was largely to do with the position of fans in the Classroom Complex(CRC).
It did lead to quite a response in a couple of social networking sites, healthy discussions in Google Plus with a professor and a more trite, bordering on savage discussion on the Colloqium Page in Facebook which unsurprisingly took a turn towards questioning the parentage of some of the moderators. I observed a couple of days back that it was the most viewed post in my blog and realized that the administration has actually taken steps to install an air-conditioner in CRC. So, I will be bold enough to claim that _MY_ blog made the administration to take notice of the plight of the students and do the needful. So with this momentum behind me and the associated self-pluming which comes with maintaining a successful blog, I will now selflessly, with all my expertise, delve into what I think is the second major reason freshers are the way they are and hopefully something will be done about it.
To go further into this analysis, I first ought to apprise you of two kinds of torture. One, the humane way. Pull out a tooth, piss on a stove kind of torture. It is over before you know it. The second, the route taken by those bereft of either civilization or civility. Like a HS department English exam where you write furiously in no more than 5000 words what Wordsworth thought the difference between white and yellow daffodils were. Or Analog Circuits Exam where you stare at the question paper for three hours hoping that by divine intervention you can make sense of the question. The slow, painful, repetitive, time-has-come-to-a-stop kind of torture.
Belonging to the subset of the second kind of torture is the one laid down sometime in 1960s, when hostels were being built. Every morning, thousands of kids are loath to open their eyes afraid that they have to face this cruel, brutal and unrelenting beast, a beast more savage than grumkins and goblins, just the image of which would turn men into weeping crybabies. This structure built by a man long-lost in living memory and cursed by all and sundry ever since, is akin to the great sphinx of yore. It challenges you to a battle which ought to be won before it lets you pass to your destination. It is not an easy task to defeat this beast. Every day, many fall prey to it and surrender, only to face it again the next day. It is not the difficulty in traversing it that gives it the power but the constancy, the knowledge that it is there everyday unfailingly, a grim reminder of the eternal struggle to be faced before you can enter the hallowed portals of your department. I introduce to you, gentle reader, with a hint of trepidation, the monster – the upward slope from Gurunath to Cauvery hostel.
This two-hundred-metre-long monster continues to be the bane of all freshers who foolishly, being in the green of their youth try to tackle the monster armed with nothing but a newly procured creaking cycles sold by BSA at a discount(only to IITians, mind it). After a couple of months, the comfortable bed under the mild breeze of a fan becomes more seducing than the classes on the other end of the battle, and all the enthusiasm present withers down like leaves on the onset of winter. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the biggest tragedy plaguing the institute now.
Hopefully, the administration will take suitable measures to level the ground and destroy this monster. I will keep my fingers crossed. Till then, the institute bus will be my saviour.