Manohar Parrikar, former chief minister of Goa, 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, Rs 10.40.
Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, was instrumental in settling what was threatening to become an ugly dispute between residents of two hostels.
Arun Kaul, steel consultant, would go to class on a horse (which was not even his) every day. The horse would be ‘parked’ in the cycle shed every night.
These and other deeds and misdeeds committed by the former residents of Hostel 4 at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) have now been compiled in a book, Madhouse: True Stories of the Inmates of Hostel 4.
Packed with 187 anecdotes from 1975 through 1985, contributed by 180 alumni, the book will be launched on IIT-B’s Alumni Day, December 26, and features the escapades of people such as Madhu Das, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Bangalore and Subrah Iyer, now founder and CEO of WebEx, a $4.5 billion software company.
The idea of the book was born about two years ago, when alumni returned to their hostels to find that some of the mess workers still worked there.
“The proceeds will go towards the betterment of their lives. While we all have found success in our lives, they are still there dutifully serving batch after batch,” said Bakul Desai, a Hyderabad-based entrepreneur and editor of the book.
Added Jiten Apte, an entrepreneur known in his student days for his demonic laugh that could be heard across hostels: “It may sound clichéd, but most of what I am today is thanks to those days at Hostel 4. I even named my company (Y Point Technologies) after the Y gate at IIT-B.”