In India, we love romanticizing everything. Be it our rich culture or scientific achievements in days of yore, we never get enough of it. This inherent virtue has led to an entire market of rumors and gossip-yarns about the premier league of educational institutions in India. And IIT Bombay has surely gotten the raw side of the deal. It’s with that intention, I, as a humble student of that institution, pen down these few words to get you a peek into the arguably most deified college of India.
Let’s get down to certain technicalities first. The sylvan campus of IIT Bombay stretches over a huge 550 acres with lush greenery (at some places, at least) and a quaint feel that seeps into your very bones once you enter the campus. I still feel it after a year. The campus doesn’t just house the students of IITB but also has professors, lab assistants, librarians, support staff and workers as a part of the ecosystem. It comes as no surprise that even 550 acres is less than adequate for us.
The campus is roughly divided into three parts.
Academic Area—The Hub of Departments
The first is the academic area. It has got all the departments ranging from aerospace engineering (which has got two buildings) to humanities and social sciences! The academic area also consists of state-of-the-art labs and research facilities.
An important part of the this section is the ‘Infinite Corridor’. This happens to be the most-loved artifact of IIT Bombay. It is a corridor that runs right through the academic area and all the departments. The wonderful library and the gigantic Lecture Hall Complex are connected to it. The Infinite Corridor is like a primary artery that runs through the body of IITB.
Hostel Area—The Place Where All the Fun Lies 😉
Next up, the hostel area. At the last count, we have 16 full-fledged hostels (we are perennially building more, so this figure may change at a moment’s notice) out of which 2 are girls’ hostels and one is co-ed. This hostel area houses the SAC area (the sports and cultural hub of IITB). The SAC area contains everything to lead a comfortable life: Olympic-size swimming pools, indoor courts, an open air theater and music rooms.
Lakeside Area—The Real Beauty of IIT Bombay
Lastly, we have the beautiful lakeside area. This area isn’t frequented by students because most of the space here is occupied by the bungalows of high-ranking professors, officials, and deans. You could call it the power district of IIT Bombay akin to the Capitol Hill.
Students—The Heart of IIT Bombay
Infrastructure aside, the most important thing in IIT Bombay is its denizens, i.e. its residents. It’s the students that make it what it is, not some 550 acres of prime central Mumbai land. The atmosphere is indeed tingling with the brilliance of the people who come here. Given the fact that most of the best minds make IIT Bombay their home, it’s one hell of a ride.
You get to meet hundreds of kinds of people from every nook and corner of India. Some come from abroad as well (yes, one guy from Dubai lives five rooms away from me)! The cultural exchange is staggering. And the best, or worst, part is that you won’t have your parents here. So, you’ll have to deal with situations independently and adjust to people as well.
Apart from meeting new people, IIT Bombay, probably like no other institute in India, is a melting pot of diversity. This is one place where every Tom Dick and Harry will goad you into following your ‘passion.’ Well, it can get on your nerves at times, but it’s this absolute freedom that will mold you as an individual. It’s something that prepares you to shed the mediocrity and excel with flying colors.
The sports and the cultural scene of IIT Bombay is very vibrant. The sports facilities are top-notch and maintain the highest standards. Every hostel has rackets, shoes, and basic sports stuff, which you can issue. They also have TT tables, badminton courts, football grounds (small ones), etc. On top of that, almost every sport is catered to by the SAC.
Cultural Programs—Darn, They Take it Very Seriously!
The cultural activities here are on an other-worldly level altogether. Dance, drama, debating, literary arts, you name it, and there’s a club to cater to your artistic soul. These clubs keep arranging events round the year so that the life at IITB never becomes colorless. Almost every evening, there’s something going on in some corner of the institute. Mind you, it can become supremely distracting. Thus, in this way, IITB teaches its students the age-old quality of time management, something that is almost essential to lead a meaningful life.
To conclude, the most important thing in my opinion about IIT Bombay is the people here. On a personal note, I can say that the friendships I have cultivated here are among the best in my life, and I’m optimistic that they’ll stay that way. The quality of crowd is here is incomparably awesome. Here, you can find diverse kind of people, the best you’ll meet in your life. It’s a place you’ll literally kill to come to. The Institute welcomes all with open and warm arms.