Saturday, November 05, 2005


I shall recount a curious incident, which took place in my first fortnight in I.I.T.
First the necessary background. I am an alumni of D.P.S. RKpuram, a place with various claims to fame, some dubious ones at that. In my class, there was a girl. I would rather not name her, keeping in view her social standing in the institute. So lets call her A. i must mention that any resemblance of name to any person living or dead might be coincidental. Anyway lets not digress. She was a quiet sort of girl, always immersed in books and it was not often that we interacted. But still, I was her classmate.

As expected she cleared JEE at one go and landed in Chennai with an impressive branch. In the meantime I slogged for another year and barely managed it the second time. So I landed here, after a nerve-wracking year, 3000 km from my home, hopelessly looking for some help in the vast place that is IITM. Friends from Delhi had asked me to send their regard to their mates in IITM namely A and a certain Varun. Seeing the mammoth size of the place I gave up the idea of delivering regards. After all no freshie with his grey matter in the right place would go inquiring about the hostels looking for lost pals.

So there I was trying to adjust to the hectic schedule, almost forgetting that I had to meet a few people here. One of these days, it was a Wednesday morning if I remember correctly, I was walking down one of the CRC corridors when I saw A coming from the opposite direction. I did not recognize her at once. She had done away with her glasses and done something shocking to her hair. Nevertheless the change finally registered in my mind and before she passed by me, I exclaimed, ”hey A!” She looked up quizzically. My initial plans for the conversation was to go along traditional lines. Something like” hi A! How’s life?” Etc etc etc.

And similarly her reply perhaps would have been “hi, how r u? Which branch?” etc etc etc.But her incredulous stare somewhat unnerved me. I could not understand what should be the next suitable sentence. Finally I gave up and hoped she would take the initiative in furthering the conversation. She did not. After what seemed two minutes not much headway had been made. We just kept staring at each other. These are those moments in life when you fast run out of options and have no inkling what the next course of action should be. A’s quizzical look had slowly begun to give way to an irritated frown. Well, can’t blame her. No self-respecting girl can afford to look at a stranger in a crowded corridor for two minutes without any substantial reason. By this time the search engine in my head had come out with a perfect explanation for the apparently inexplicable situation. Viola! She hadn’t recognized me. At last I uttered the golden words,
“I am Sayan.”
No reply.
“Sayan Ganguly.”
No reply.
“Sayan Ganguly, DPS RKpuram, section E, third row first bench”, with a desperate coaxing voice.
A’s expression changed for the third time. An expression of relief mixed with slight guilt. I am not sure about the guilt part, I might have imagined it.
She said,”ah! Yes. Sayan. Yes. Sayan Ganguly. Yes. Good. So you are in IIT. “

I wanted to reply that no I wasn’t. I was actually on Saturn and she was just viewing my apparition, starwars ishtyle. But I decided to control my sarcastic instincts for the moment.
Her monosyllabic replies were not making the conversation more exciting and I had begun to feel that perhaps talking to her was not among the better ideas I had that day. Suddenly she broke into a laugh and said, “Hey, I hope you don’t mind that I did not remember you. You were in my class, weren’t you?”

That did it.

I muttered with clenched teeth,
“No, not at all. Why should I mind? Anybody could make such a mistake. No problemo”.
Hence making the biggest understatements of my life, I decided that the time at come to draw the curtains on the wonderful rendezvous. I looked at my watched and gave a loud exclaimation , ”yikes, I am late for my class, gotta go. sorry. Will catch up later.”

And hence the meeting ended on a friendly note.


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Ankit mehra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ankit mehra said...

nice blog :P

Anonymous said...

I am an alumni of D.P.S. RKpuram

I am an alumnus of D.P.S. RKpuram.

Just had to tell.

Sayan said...


i know!
my grandpa pointed out the same mistake.

Ghostwriter said...

Interestingly, A once happened to tell us a year ago that she was the one offended when you happened to cross her somewhere and didn't acknowledge her. Considering the unassuming introvert you always appear to be, it seemed quite a possibility albeit we did have a feeling that A's personality would call even the lamest of the men to stand up with broad shoulders and respond.

On a different note, for some reason, all your writings just stay for quite some time in my mind (this one too did and not because of the typos). There's something in the style which is not to be found elsewhere, the only tags I can associate with it are humility and rib-tickling but genuine humour. Perhaps humility, the trademark of your personality, is what distinguishes you from one and all. Please keep it intact.

Sayan said...

@ghostwriter: Would it be a pointless exercise if I inquired about your actual identity?

Hemant said...

Sad story like Devdas..I hope next 5 years at IITM were not associated with drinking till death.. ohh wait, you are still alive!