April 6, 2023
Four glorious years in IIT - Kgp and the connection continues even to this day (two decades later)!
An excerpt from a first person account by Dipankar Ghosh (1999/PH/Met. & Mat. Eng)
I remember that soon after arriving in IITKGP in 1995, we had a freshers welcome at the Netaji Auditorium and the whole batch of about 400 plus students were there and our seniors gave us a very warm welcome. I distinctly remember a song performance as part of the welcome ceremony. It was “Dum Maro Dum” from the hit Bollywood movie “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”, and it was sung to perfection by one of our seniors. It is a rather difficult song to perform and for me it was a very energizing and impressive performance. Personally, I felt very welcome indeed!
I spent the first year in VS hall of residence and later moved to Patel hall for the remaining years. For the very first time in life, I got introduced to students from all walks of life and from all over India. Frankly this was my first exposure to the various unique cultures in India with students from almost all states and from both urban and rural settings. I realized early that some of my fellow batchmates also had other unexpected talents as well. They had a rather rich vocabulary of swear and curse words (esp. in Hindi, a language I did not speak well) and they did not hesitate to use it frequently on some pretext or the other. Living on my own, the experience of living in a hostel away from family for the first time, getting used to rather unpalatable food in the mess, growing together with like minded smart people, and getting to learn from them every day is how I would summarize my first year at VS hall. It was rather overwhelming at first, and a very humbling experience but also a lot of fun at the same time.
Now that I reflect on that period of time, while doing the B. Tech. project, I realize that there were a lot of learnings to be had that resonate with what I do even today. Being passionate about what you do, thinking critically and analytically about a hard problem, getting challenged with ups and downs of a research project, dealing with uncertainty, an intrepid approach to tackling new problems, never giving up, being humble, managing time and finding happiness in small successes are some of the things that I think are broadly applicable in the world of R&D even today.
As I look back on my 16 plus years career in industrial / applied research I realize how fortunate I was to be able to attend IITKGP which kindled my interest in the world of research, opened the doors for me in my career (both academic and professional) and allowed me to pursue my passion in my professional life. I personally credit this to my training at IITKGP, encouragement and guidance from my project advisors and other faculty members, my batch mates who are some of the smartest people that I know, and the unique environment that IITKGP provided. For this, I remain forever grateful.