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'Madhouse...' is a candid, provocative narrative

Everyone who has ever lived in a hostel has a story to tell. Oh! Well, more than just one story. There are experiences beyond words and now after reading, 'Madhouse – True Stories of the Inmates of Hostel 4 IIT-B' made me wonder how come my parents didn't have the better sense to send me to a boarding school. Or for that matter why didn't I take it forward when I wanted to join a college? Well, that was my student life – a boring commerce college and then there is the life of the Inmates of Hostel 4 (fondly known as H4) of IIT, Powai, Mumbai.

Everyone who has ever lived in a hostel has a story to tell. Oh! Well, more than just one story. There are experiences beyond words and now after reading, 'Madhouse – True Stories of the Inmates of Hostel 4 IIT-B' made me wonder how come my parents didn't have the better sense to send me to a boarding school. Or for that matter why didn't I take it forward when I wanted to join a college? Well, that was my student life – a boring commerce college and then there is the life of the Inmates of Hostel 4 (fondly known as H4) of IIT, Powai, Mumbai.

 

I read Madhouse when I was feeling down and out and I am glad that I did as it instantly levitated my mood. Edited by Urmilla Deshpande and Bakul Desai, Madhouse is real and funny to the core. The experiences are varied and sometimes unbelievable. From Fishing to attending lectures on a horse, they are weird and don't come better than these.

 

There were times while reading the book I laughed so loudly and heartily that I almost cried. The book is a candid and provocative (sometimes) account of five years at IIT, Powai. The book talks of incidents set in the days when there was no internet, no TV's, mobiles, IPods, and computers and yet the fun element was at its peak. There are pictures to go with the book that enhance the writing to a great extent. For instance, the picture of the lone black landline used to make calls or the fun times on campus.

 

 

 

'Madhouse...' is a candid, provocative narrative

 

And there were celebrities who graduated from the institute as well with their own set of stories.

While some struggled with public transport, others had the luxury of their cars. But Arun Kaul, steel consultant and an alumnus of IIT, would go to class on a horse (which was not even his) everyday. The horse would be ‘parked’ in the cycle shed every night.

 

Former chief minister of Goa and an IIT-B alumnus, Manohar Parrikar, travelled without a ticket on Mumbai's local trains for an entire semester because a ticket examiner had unfairly fined him and he wanted to recover the price of this injustice.

 

Memories are easier to chronicle – they are always fresh and make for great anecdotes later in life – the sum of all experiences so to say. One will definitely drift to 3 idiots while reading this, however this is more and beyond that. There is a lot of profanity in the book and rightly so considering where the book is set (guffawing about it) and I am glad that nothing was tampered with. The book is – an honest account of the engineers in the making and their wonder years.

 

Madhouse: True Stories of the Inmates of Hostel4; Edited by Urmilla Deshpande and Bakul Desai; Published by: Westland Publishers; Price: Rs. 295.

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