You there. Yes, you wannabe genius. On top of the world because you cracked that exam that everyone said you couldn’t? Oh well, they said you could, then? All the better. Don’t you dare rub off your attitude on others. You could crack every problem in an obscure Russian textbook that no one could? Well, that doesn’t prove squat. Maybe the others just didn’t bother trying. Oh, so you’ve been at the top of the class all the way here? Did you ever notice anyone giving a shit? Top 1% of the country, you say? Did anyone ask you to get a life? Because I am. In an exam taken by 1.5 lakh students who are eligible to write the exam on the basis of how efficiently they mug up the answers to questions which they know are going to appear in an obscurely stupid examination, you’ve come out top. Having slogged your ass off for two whole years to improve your Math, Physics and Chemistry to a tragically insane level so that you can attempt each one of those hundred and twenty questions, you have been trained to pass an examination, And you’ve only come out on top because you could work harder than the guy next door. So what? Stop cribbing about how those two questions in JEE made all the difference between Hyderabad and Kanpur. Or Delhi. Or whatever. Or how you were a topper in your institute but screwed up JEE to land here. Because it DOES NOT MATTER. We are fiercely proud of our institution and we shall remain so. So let not your JEE Rank get you all worked up.

You’re not like that, you say? You’ll work hard no matter what and get that branch change, you say? Well, get this into your head. You are not your marks. You are not the branch that you are in. You are not the Math, Physics or Chemistry that you know. You are not your fucking JEE rank. You are who you are. The problem- for there is one- is that the entire nation goes berserk on how this exam is taken by all those students who have been driven towards non existential engineering by their insufferable parents, relatives and family friends. And anyone who achieves the pinnacle of engineering- IIT, is the role model for the next generation. And caught up in this storm is you, on cloud nine because the society put you there. Well, know this, you’re still grounded. You do not have wings like Icarus, or Daedalus, for you did not invent them yet. Make wings for yourself if you want to fly. Don’t fly on borrowed wings, for you know not how long they’ve been used. Study because you want to, not because you want to top. Go out with friends because you like to, not because it is a social obligation. Be cool because you are, not because you don’t want to be called a nerd. Spread your wings and fly. But make sure you earn your wings. IIT should not be the only thing that you’ve done in life. JEE is not what constituted your life. Do what you love, or love what you do. For without that, you shall only be a rabbit stuck in headlights.

-Ganesh Mahidhar


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