Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Story of Ramesh @ IIIT-H

These are some fragments of the life story of Ramesh. If you choose to proceed, please don’t abandon him mid-way. If you feel offended by some part(s) please tell me, I’ll reprimand Ramesh at the earliest and ask him to change his statement or flash that part out of his memory.

All suggestions for modifying any part(s) of the story are welcome. If they are interesting I’ll incorporate them and tell Ramesh his story is more interesting that way.

Note: This is meant for people concerned with IIIT Hyderabad, but I don’t mind you reading, so go on.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are of Ramesh, and Ramesh solely. I'm just a mediator, narrating the happenings.

The day arrives. Ramesh sets foot inside the main gate of the prestigious institution. He was a bit nervous. Nonetheless, he felt elated.

The day has come. All my efforts have finally paid off. After two pathetic years, I’m a college student.

He had been working really hard for the past two years, preparing for engineering entrance examinations. The results came out. Even though he did not get a good rank in JEE, he fared better in AIEEE. He was happy. And why wouldn’t he be? He was going to one of India’s top notch engineering colleges, IIIT-Hyderabad.

He remembered the words of his one of his teachers “Just these two years my boy! Once you get into a good college, life becomes very easy”.

The time to enjoy my life has come at last!

What a fool! He didn’t know it yet, but he was in for a surprise…

He finished the registration, and proceeded to attend the orientation ceremony.

There was someone talking about the importance of research, studying regularly and the qualities of an ideal student. Ah! He couldn’t care less. He was there sitting on the red carpet looking at the unfamiliar faces which would soon be his friends. But suddenly something caught his attention: Someone said there was a mandatory 85% attendance in all the courses, including Physical Training.

What? They cannot be serious! This is too much. Isn’t there a percentage like 60-65 for this sort of thing everywhere else? And Physical Training? Huh?

But he didn’t bother about it for long. He had so much on his plate at the moment.

They're just saying this to scare us. Yes, that is it.


Two months passed.

The sentience of Ramesh has observed a reduction by 7kgs, thanks to morning physical activities. They have successfully enabled him to be worn out in the morning classes. He has very well screwed his Mid-semester 1 examination, Mid-semester 2 is on the way.

He has had two trips to the local doctor. The doctor reported the cause to be too much exertion. “Get some rest boy!” doctor said. And rest he did.


Three months passed.

An excerpt from Ramesh’s all-in-one notebook (deciphered from a scribble at the back of the notebook to the best of my abilities):

DLP – 5. SHIT!
C-Pro - 5/6 (not sure). F**K!
Maths1 - Don’t remember! L SHIT_MAX!
C-Pro: Tonight. 5/10 questions left. I’m screwed!
DLP: Tomorrow. Start now!

He makes a mental note:

If(activity==class || activity==pt || activity==somehow_related_to_academics){

Printf(“Are you a fool?\n”);


Classes over alas!

Ramesh is sitting in the workspace. He is exhausted. He sends a mail to the course instructor for extending this deadline for him because he had some difficulty in understanding a concept and got that only very late.


He missed dinner (Couldn’t care less about it!). Remaining questions 4/10.

Refreshes Inbox.

Unread mails (4).

LOST ID CARD                                        
Talk on #$%^*%$#@#$%...              


His head was throbbing.

He’ll probably understand my plea…

Hopeful, he goes to OBH D-21. Lies down on the bed.

Lights out.

Next Day: 10:00am.

Unread mails (7).
Reg. Deadline Extension                    

This would be unfair to other students. This cannot be done.
>Res. Sir,
>I’m Ramesh, a 1st year student. I’m enrolled in the C-Pro course…


Shit! I shouldn’t have slept. I’m an incompetent fool! That assignment had a weightage of 7%. I’m officially f**ked!


A semester passed.

Ramesh did well in the exams (thanks to his IQ) but lost grades in three subjects. He fell short of attendance by one class in two and two in one.

I’ll explain my situation to the Dean today. I’m sure he’ll understand.

4pm. After waiting for two hours, he is finally let inside the office.

The dean is staring at his laptop screen and is looking very busy. He quickly glances at Ramesh with a state-your-purpose-within-three-seconds look.

Ramesh stumbles but regains his balance quickly. Words don’t quite come clearly out of his mouth:

“Sir, I.. I came to you so that… actually… I lost my grades because I missed one extra class in…”

“I know what this is about. Students like you come to me all the time. Be careful from the next time. You can go now.”

“Sir, please sir, it won’t happen again… Just this time…”

“Look, I’m very busy. I know brats like you. Start attending classes instead of spending day and night watching movies. Go now and study!”

He exits the room. A tear came rolling out his right eye. Why right? I don’t know.

But I agree with you. He is a fool, couldn’t manage his time. What a LOSER! Crying like a girl! Ha!


Three semesters passed.

Time flew. His indifference grew with time. He got his grades trimmed now and then due to his “lazy” attitude. It felt like no one really cared. He knew the subjects, at least he thought he did, but it seemed that the attendance policy presided over everything else. The number four, which was the allowed number of absents in a course, seemed to fly by unnoticed.

Sometimes, due to working late in the night for an assignment/project. Sometimes due to something else. Once in a while he even missed morning classes because he watched a late night movie. He said that it was too much and that he needed to relax his brain. Duh!


Five semesters passed.

He is a six-pointer. He had found means to be content with that. He didn’t bother much, until lately.

He had applied for an internship position somewhere. He said he was really interested in the work being done there and felt as if he could significantly contribute towards it. He got a mail notifying him of being rejected for the position due to a low CG.

“But I have a solid background. CGPA is in no way a measure of my capabilities!” He cried.

After blaming himself for being inconsiderate of the rules, he sought to curse the system.

Sense of belongingness towards the institute they say?

He first thought that he’d go about explaining “the stupidity of strictly adhering to some inflexible rules when something much bigger was at stake”. He’ll change the system he resolved, but then, thought better of it. In another parallel universe probably, where he wouldn’t have missed that one/two extra day(s) of classes, things would be different.

Anyways, I’ll get somewhere or the other. I’m sure of it.


But I’m not so sure right now.

I believe in his capabilities and I think he’ll subsequently find himself in a place worthy of having him. Not today, not tomorrow but sometime in the future, yes.

Time will tell us more of what happens of him. If you’ve bonded a little with him, include him in your prayers. I will try to, in mine! J