Friday, May 14, 2010

Down Memory Lane with The 3 Idiots

"3 Idiots" was totally entertaining...BUT... why did they have to use all those old gags from Readers Digest and the internet. I'm sure the scriptwriters are more talented than that...

Anyways this movie got us talking about our own college days and all the things we did that in retrospect seem so silly and immature ...but I guess that's what's growing up is all about.

Incidentally talking about pranks I thoroughly enjoyed the ones in "Surely You Are Joking Mr. Feynman" - yep it's the book by the Nobel prize winning physicist...

We had this Math Professor in Univ. He was referred to as “Rigor Mortis” (RM) on account of the absolutely stiff manner in which he placed his arms beside his torso, the robot-like gait and the mechanical movements he made when picking up the chalk to write on the board.

Now I don’t remember what exactly he taught us but I do remember each of the math problems invariably started with the statement “Let P be the any point…” with strong emphasis on the ungrammatical “the” – like he was mad it was an arbitrary point and ought to have been pinned to a specific place.

He was not in the least bit partial to our set – did I mention that we were not exactly in the category of, to use an RMism - “studious students” . Besides we converted all his complex differential equations to simple algebraic expressions and had them solved, while the rest of the class was figuring out exactly where to place “P”.

One fine day we walked into the classroom and found some gorgeous diagrams of some rare fungi or bacteria or some such biological being. The drawings were painstakingly done in different colored chalks and illustrated with a military precision. Apparently the botany students had just finished a class there. In a trice V picked up a chalk and wrote on the board in a mature hand “PLEASE DO NOT ERASE – DIAGRAMS NEEDED FOR NEXT CLASS”. Then we snuck out of the window and sauntered in deliberately late. Dear RM was devastated by not having any space to write his beloved equations and had to let us off from class that period.

RM quickly learnt the Botany Prof. was a descendant of Da Vinci and could draw diagrams in his sleep and would never request the blackboard not be cleaned. RM said nothing to us but came up with a really nasty surprise test that would have even Einstein sweating. The irrepressible V was furiously scribbling away while the rest of us looked blank and the class nerd was reduced to tears. We would have loved to see RM’s face when he read V’s answers:

Q: What is Pi times {some complex equation}
Answer: V had written about 4 to 5 pages of the value of PI (a made up value of course) before attempting to write an equally nonsensical “solution” for the equation
Q: Some complex integral calculus question to figure out the volume of water that could be stored in a water tank.
Answer: Zero litres given the water shortage in the city

Sometime later we learnt dear RM was to be married – you can imagine the comments and innuendos passed about RM stiffly putting the garland around his bride to suggested scenarios on the nuptial bed. We did give him a wedding gift – only we wrapped it over and over in bundles of newspaper first.

Years later when our class re-visited college the only names RM remembered from the whole batch was that of our gang!


  1. lol @ the diagram episode. here's to all our quirky tutors!

    and please, can you make this comment posting a tad needs me to sign into 'my' blog everytime I comment here!!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I made changes to the settings - hope it works now.