Nihilanth 2016: A Personal Account

“Some might ask why I have gone into so much detail when describing something as drab as a quiz competition. The IITM QC story mirrors every classic sports story arc – from underdogs four years ago to dominant winners for the next two years to grizzly competitors seeing off new challengers. But that is not the point of this post. The real point is to record all the different experiences that I have been fortunate to undergo as a part of this contingent…”

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Casual Sexism on Campus: Perspectives From a Male Student

“A simple reflection on the Institute norm would make us realize that casual sexism is quite deeply rooted here, and sometimes leads to egregious cases of sexual harassment. This norm is established quite early – think back to the freshie night comment screen and how it is filled with sexually explicit comments when women perform. Freshie guys are forced to follow freshie girls and get their room and phone numbers, which dangerously normalizes stalking and falsely equates persistent harassment with reward. We’re also introduced to Insti slang fairly early, and one of the most used terms is “rape”. “

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Book and Movie Recommendations: Professor Edition

“The book was gifted to me by my first MTech project advisees, along with a pack of liquor-filled chocolates. Unsure how I treated my students for a year that I received those gifts, but reading Steve Jobs turned out to be an intense experience, worth repeating … I hypothesize that the book tastes better than those chocolates.”

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Goodbye, 2016

“2016 was the end of an epoch, so I feel.

When the year ends with fireworks and celebrations, we all are much older than we thought. Particularly those of my generation who are now in their early twenties. We have lost a lot of things right now. There’s no George Michael. He left us last Christmas. Debby Reynolds and Carrie Fisher left together. I guess the mother couldn’t let her daughter go alone.

Alan Rickman. Yeah, we all loved him very much. For me personally, more than Snape, Alan Rickman was Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility, a movie that I must have watched at least thirty times. And now watching it feels so alien. This is one reason why you shouldn’t get emotionally attached to everything.”

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Insti Whatsit Person

“It is coming back to the room and deciding to lay down for an hour and waking up to find you were transported to a world which is a four full hours ahead. It is your ears refusing to let the lectures penetrate deep enough to reach your brain. It is the long purposeless wandering of your feet on the insti roads at night, past sleeping dogs, past lone cycles, feeling your soul floating in the night sky sometimes with a moon — even a supermoon — for company. It is sitting down to study only to see your hand move against your will like Pettigrew’s towards your phone to check: what are the several cats doing on Facebook now, how many likes does Emma Watson have on her page…Wait, I think I should be studying. Woah, so many Whatsapp messages. What is the PQR Hostel group up to now? When did XYZ change their dp? She looks nice. Why am I even online? Why am I even alive? Let me Google ‘most powerful motivational sites’… I am killing it now, here goes….Hey, what’s up da?. Me, I am studying…. Shut the phone…..let’s get some tea. Ramu? I should be back as soon as possible and study. How about the library? Is it too cold? Actually too far. I will sit he- why is the room so messy! No wonder I am not studying much. Let me rearrange things. “

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Through the Goggles of a Graduate: Asmita Ghosh

I’ve loved and hated and lost and found over these five years. I’ve grown distant from people I never thought I’d lose touch with, and buried the hatchet with people I thought I would never speak to again, now some of my best friends. I’ve battled depression and gotten better. I’ve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows within these hostel rooms I’ve occupied. I’ve learned so much, not just about Derrida and Foucault, but about friendship and love and people. Of course I don’t have it all figured out yet (I mean, with Derrida, you never really do), but I’ve grown such a great deal since I was 17 and first walked into this campus 5 years ago.
Asmita Ghosh on her “love story” with the place that has given her so much and meant different things at different points in life. This is the last in the “Through the Goggles of a Graduate” series.

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Through the Goggles of a Graduate: Mahesh Kurup

“Insti is a mine, if you dig at the right place you will get gold. Keep digging, you could get diamonds. IIT Madras has never been a place for people who get content with what they have always been doing. It is for high achievers. It is for people who want to get their hands full with new things. Each day it teaches something new, may be a new line or a new perspective. It is for people who want to take the better out of everything they do. All you need to do is to keep your mind and eyes open, and jump in. Take risks, there will be no easier time to do that. Follow your dream, your passion, nothing can stop you. Propel your way through. ” Mahesh Kurup talks of his life in insti in the ‘Through the Goggles of a Graduate series.

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Graduation Survey: Confessions of an Instiholic

“From getting lost in the institute to stealing refrigerators and mistaking drunk drivers for kidnappers, our graduating junta have done it all. But as a final word of wisdom to the juniors, our graduating seniors agreed that insti life should not be a rat race to attain the highest CGPA, get all the major PoRs or climb the insti ladder to be a ‘stud’. Even though there are no disadvantages in having a decent CGPA, several felt that it should not be the only driving force behind your existence in insti and it is those memories you make on the way with your peers that stay with you longer than your CGPA.”

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