>– Nikhil ‘Sutta’ Joseph
[Below is an article that appeared in the first-ever issue of MAgazette, sometime between the Paleolithic Age and 2007. The level of authenticity and effectiveness of these tips have been the subject of much dispute amongst the Eds who, however, collectively agree that the piece should be re-named “Make friends with the HSS department“. But in keeping with our current trend of freshie-centric articles and given that the people of the said department will tell you that ‘gawd’ness is a matter of perspective, readers are encouraged to soak it in in that spirit.]
1. Embrace Atheism.
A must-do for any aspiring campus (pseudo) intellectual. Quote Nietzsche generously, even if completely irrelevant to the ongoing conversation.
2. Cultivate (pseudo-) Communist/Socialist tendencies.
Yes, I know. All you ever wanted from life was to be able to work for that huge multinational hedge fund and earn pots of money. But meanwhile, whilst still in college, you want everyone to think you’re the next ‘Che’.
Wear a bandana (preferably red). Grow some facial hair. Be seen carrying the Hindu (reading not compulsory). Keep harping about how Saarang is such a ‘sell-out’, and why the only reason you seem to enjoy yourself so much when it actually does come around is because of your laudable sense of campus spirit.
3. Inculcate the use of the term ‘sly’.
Sly. Although the etymology and actual definition of this remarkably flexible term remain shrouded in obscurity, fret not over such trivialities. No self-respecting, well-known campus-ite [?!] can afford to go without generous dosages of this particular term in his/her day-to-day conversation. E.g.
IITian A: Hey dude, how’d your quiz go today?
IITian B: Sly bad.
A: Eh, which means it wasn’t that great but you did all right. Right?
B: Sly no da. Not at all. I did pretty well, sly.
A: But then why’d you say ‘sly bad’?
A: O.Kaay. Whatever. Catchya later.
B: Sly, sure thing. Slyyyyyyy…
As you might have guessed, IITian A is obviously an ignorant nobody, and an unabashedly shameless Smart Alec.
B, though? Definitely stud.
4. Fashion yourself as a big LitSoc fiend.
Let’s face it. You suck at sports. Your CG is nothing worth speaking of, and you know very well you’re not going to pull off any wonders at Shaastra. How then do you accumulate a reasonable amount of ‘Gawd-levelness’? The answer: LitSoc.
Frequent any and all LitSoc events. Pretend you’re this big culture vulture. Refer to well-known Indian theatre luminaries like Girish Karnad and Roysten Abel as your ‘homies’.
5. Have affiliations with different philosophical schools every semester.
Now there’s nothing like some good ol’ philosophical jingoism to prove your solid intellectual credentials. Just remember, change schools often, and the obscurer the better.
Schools you could try: Taoism, Post Structuralism, Paganism, and the philosophy of Kierkegaard. (Remember: obscurity is key, lest anyone actually competent show up.)
6. Craft nifty, yet only just unique enough (and not plain weird) idiosyncrasies.
People love other people who are (only) slightly eccentric. Fashion yourself such an image. Examples;
• Pretend you’re this big Linux and Open Source fiend. Spew forth things like:
‘Death to Bill Gates!’
• After 6 pm act like a lovable village drunk.
• Refer to Minar* as ‘Valhalla’. [*Eds’ note to the uninitiated: Minar was the Basera of a couple of years ago.]
7. Lead people to believe you actually give a damn about your hostel winning the Schroeter.
Belt out, say, “Who will win the Schroeter? Tambi, Tambi**”, at inappropriate times. Such as; during a boring EML, whilst having breakfast at Himalaya, when an innocent motorist asks directions to Ganga. [**Eds’ note: Ha!]
8. Oblige anyone who’ll listen with your ‘fundaes’.
It doesn’t matter whether it concerns remarkably mundane things like which grass is better to lie down on – Himalaya lawns, Library lawns or the grassy patch near SAC.
9. Be seen often at Taramani gate.
Ok, let’s just assume that due to some unforeseeable cosmic convulsions you don’t end up being the insti ‘gawd’ you set out to be, despite religiously following the nine guidelines stated above. Here’s what to do. I once heard a story about this Jam guy who apparently set an insti record by not bathing for 55 days. Cut back on your own personal hygiene and beat this Jam guy! Even if not a ‘gawd’, you can definitely be assured a place for posterity as a campus folktale