A new Chicken Soup title is proof that there is more to IIT than just Chetan Bhagat’s version
That Deepak Farmania struck a goldmine when he decided to source an anthology of stories related to IIT is proof enough that he was more than just a five-point someone back in his alma mater, IIT-Bombay. But this chemical engineer’s spouse, writer Juuhi Raai had a better idea. Having anthologised a former title in the Chicken Soup series, she felt an IITians-tell-it-all would be a bestseller, even if it didn’t match Chetan Bhagat’s astronomical sales.
Their brainchild, Chicken Soup for the IITian’s Soul, is the latest in the series that was originally started by American motivational speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, and will see a bookstore launch this evening. Like every other book in the Soup series, the stories here are meant to be heart-warming panaceas. “Today, IIT has become like a status symbol. People think that IIT kar liya toh uss ke baad dekh lenge (Once you finish IIT, then you can figure what to do with life),” says Farmania. “But, there is more to IIT than just this. The personal accounts of contributors to the book talk about life before, during and after IIT.” Besides, after all the IIM memories turned into novels, it was IIT’s turn.
“I was a nerd myself and my father, husband and several friends are IITians. There is just too much IIT in my life,” says Raai. While Farmania sifted through contributions, Raai polished them up.
Deepti Talwar, executive editor of Westland Ltd, made the final call, and 101 stories are now placed under subheadings such as Parents and IIT, Lessons Beyond Engineering and Entrepreneurs and Startups. Yes, there is Love at IIT as well.
“Studying in IIT means spending four years on campus where there were 370 boys and just 30 girls,” chuckles Farmania.
“There is everything about IIT life in the book, except the geeky side. We wanted to break the stereotype,” he continues. But, surely Chetan Bhagat, one of Raai’s favourite authors, beat them to it? “His novels were semi-autobiographical. These are real life accounts,” says Farmania, who has also shared his IIT tales in the book.
For the rest of us failed IIT aspirants, here is what we missed out on.
When: Dec 20, 6 PM
Where: Title Waves, St Paul’s Media Complex, off Turner Road, Bandra West