Monday, January 02, 2006

An IITian unravels his world

An IITian unravels his world

The following is an interesting article about one of my class-mates who dreams to take a different route after his IIT days - and the first step towards this has already been taken.
BTME 2005.

*An IITian unravels his world*
Friday December 23 2005 10:10 IST
CHENNAI: While his fellow IITians ran the rat race for the best grades and projects, and laboured over perilously tall stacks of engineering books, Rabi Kisku, armed with a copy of Film Directing: Shot by Shot and a video camera, set about his dream of making films. ''I didn't have any other way to learn, and I thought: If I can learn engineering through books, why can't I do this thing?''

And three years later, ''this thing'' has led to his becoming director, script-writer and co-producer of Silicon Jungle, a docu-drama on what life is like for IITians, behind the imposing walls within which their precious brains incubate. And it's really a strange life they lead, assures 24-year-old Kisku (who admits, bashfully, that many of his friends call him Kukunoor, after he drunkenly declared himself to be the famous director's successor one night).

''A completely different world! The academic pressure is very high and there's lots of competition! People don't get time to come out of that 12ft wall; they're isolated, lost in those four academic years. They live on a different frequency! You ask them anything about the outside world and they won't know!'' What's more, their bio-rhythm and, well, personal hygiene, do tend to take quite a beating! ''Many people study, get up, hardly bathe, sleep in class, come back, play games in the night, then study again. Sometimes we'd even play cricket from 11 to 4 in the morning!'' he says, himself incredulous, in retrospect.

So how do they ever pass? ''Inherently, they're very good at their subjects when they come here,'' he explains.

If you think this is just another listless popcorn-muncher of a campus flick, with routine cycles of melodrama and heartbreak, Kisku begs to differ. ''Uh! No! There are no usual film elements. In time and intensity, it's not like a commercial film, it's more realistic; a four-year journey of the dreams, desires and failures of four friends.''

As the members of Studio Vaibhava, who composed the soundtrack (''a fusion of blues, rock, and country with a little Indian thrown in'') point out, ''It has got a lot of emotional scenes, there's a lot of scope for music in first-time experiences, like first moments in the college, first date, first love, first time he meets the seniors, and they're, like, ragging him!''

Silicon Jungle, unlike a popcorn movie, addresses itself to quite a particular audience: ''Those who passed out, and the 2 lakh students who write the entrance exam every year. They have no picture of IIT, no idea what students go through. They believe in a lot of myths.''

And it's taken one dream, and a whole lot of money (much of it drawn from the stipends of his friends; the rest from corporate sponsors like Honeywell, Airtel, AMD) to bring the reality behind these myths to our screens this coming March.