First Blood… the IIT-Madras

Yesterday, I began what I hope is the start of many prizes during my B-school life, at the IIT-Madras. My friend and I were adjudged the best team for a debate on whether India ought to unconditionally sign the climate control treaty at Copenhagen in December. The debate was organized by the IIT Energy research and development cell.

My first reaction upon entering the IIT campus at Madras was “Wooooooooaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!”. This is perhaps the closest I can get to an IIT. Upon observation, a common thread I noticed was that all the students were generally malnourished, scrawny chaps with unkempt hair and really badly colour coordinated clothes. But then, it isn’t what is shown to the world that matters for these guys. They chose not to wear their designer clothes and party while wasting time on mundane meaningless pursuits like guitar and counter strike. One can’t help feel over-awed by the sheer intelligence of every person in that place. I entered the campus and could not help feel an oddity in the force. Even the air on that campus was pointing at me and saying,’ lol….ordinary humanoid!’. Looks apart, those scrawny chaps are essentially the minds that turn the world. If the world was to end, and they wanted smart people, I believe they would get preference over me. To think, I once actually harbored ambitions of being part of the inner circle.

But then, at the end of all the me going ‘WOAH’ in my head at everything I saw, we won, beating the smarty-pants IITs. They had the data, we had the presentation. Which comes back to the point that marketing rules. If that marketing can be backed up by quantifiable data, even better. Which unfortunately means, I need to start looking at those numbers and atrocious ratios and figures a little more seriously if I expect to get anywhere.

On another note, this winning doesn’t feel great at all. I know I am supposed to be ecstatic and over the moon, but somewhere inside my soul is going ‘So What?’. While I happily smile and accept the congratulations and good wishes from my friends, professors and well-wishers, I can’t help but not care for this too much. Somewhere inside, all I see in this is another point to boost the resume. But at the core, what does this mean? Does it really help me? Am I spiritually a higher person? Am I more learned now? Does it get me tons of money? Does it get me chicks? A BMW? Nothing really. So what was this win worth? Don’t take me for being overly arrogant or extremely humble. Being humble isn’t something I practice. I prefer the SRK approach of, ‘I’m good, I know, it…I have no issues saying it.’. But then, why am I not at the roof tops screaming to the world? Why am I not grinning from ear to ear? I guess, somewhere a sort of spiritual Zen approach is taking over….yikes! I’m turning into an old man!