With this disclaimer, let me introduce you to the various socio-emotional classes visible in the crowd at the famous mood-indigo – the cult fest of IIT Bombay. The fest per se is a one of the best examples of working of a market economy on a plane far higher than what Shri Adam Smith would have imagined. More on that later though. To start with, Mood-I attracts crowd from all over Mumbai. For the uninitiated this includes essentially the chics in various famous day colleges of Mumbai which very annoyingly are also accompanied by the paraphernalia of human males aging 16-24.
Of the females, there are three major classes – the chics, the kids and the IITian women. Many would disagree with the last class being included in the larger category of human females but due to lack of any other category to put them in, this has to be tolerated for the time being. The “kids” are women below 16 and hence are classified as “potentials” but not “currents”. Due to social pressures, IITians find it difficult to target this segment and typically leave it alone. The chics are of course the primary target segment for a large majority. Let the reader however not be misled into the conventional interpretation of this term. Outside the Powai campus, chics are typically defined as the better looking and better shaped of the lot. When women enter the Powai campus, there is an automatic upgrade. This upgrade reduces the harsh requirements for being classified as a chic to merely being above 16 and not being from IIT. I sometimes felt many a “chic” came to MoodI to feel “chicky” in the first place since outside campus they would have been rarely referred to as chics.
Amongst guys, there are four classes. Hunks, dudes, nice guys and IITians. The hunks are few in number and are males aspired for by most chics, all IITian women and many kid women. Hunks walk with a distinct bend at the shoulder level to accommodate the extra muscle at chest and biceps. Hunks wear tight T-shirts, are typically 6 feet, talk rarely (thankfully), look perpetually doped (also seen as a sign of being “sensual” by some!) and regard non-hunky life as a distortion in the general scheme of things. Dudes are typically the males accompanying the chics as boyfriends, ‘good-friends’, buddies, safe-gay-friend et al. Dudes try to wear tight t-shirts, are 5feet10, look perpetually constipated (again, termed “attractively aggressive” by some) and regard non-hunky, non-dudey life as a distortion to the general scheme of things. Dudes do not like hunks. However, dudes fear hunks irrespective of whether they admit it or not. Dudes tend to have bikes and a lot of money not to mention a hell lot of time and patience when it comes to their chics. Chics and dudes share a symbiotic relationship. Both roam around with the air of someone waiting in the waiting room. As in, in a given pair, both the dude and the chic are constantly trying to prove to each other that the other person is a temporary phenomenon in their life and will be replaced by a better counterparty soon enough. Chics are constantly trying to hit on the hunks while dudes are in constant search of someone else’s chic. Of course some dudes secretly want to hit on the hunks as well but the social acceptability of the same being as low as it is in India now, they typically tend to hold off. The kid women rarely aspire for dudes. However, IITian women aspire for dudes as much as they aspire for hunks. However, dudes do not have much of an intellectual orientation in matters of personal relationships (or for that matter in any thing else). This leaves the bargaining power of IITian women in front of dudes marginally higher than that in front of the hunks.
Nice guys are parts of larger groups to which chics and dudes (and sometimes hunks) belong. They are either gay or aspirational dudes. The chics talk to the nice guys about dudes, other chics they hate and how the dudes get angry when the chics talk to them about hunks. Nice guys wear lose t-shirts and bermuda, are below 5-10, seem to have an easygoing attitude to life, typically maintain an irritatingly smiling face (also referred to as “very positively oriented and cute” by some) and treat all non-hunky, non-dudey and non-nice-guyish life as a distortion in the general scheme of things. Nice guys tend to boast of a couple of hobbies and typically have more talking points than those of hunks and dudes put together. However, nice guys are extremely dangerous for an average male since there is no way of telling their orientation. They however are pretty big influencers insofar as chics are concerned. The chics open their hearts out (figuratively though) to nice guys and the nice guys are in best position to build or destroy whatever fickle relationship that might exist between the chic and her dude. Nice guys are also the channel for routing the courtship calls of hunks when the latter zero down upon their aspired chic. Kid women relate to nice guys only in a strictly utilitarian manner. Some of the kid women do scout around for potential nice-guys they would have as friends when they grow into chics. But that is more of an activity to kill time while waiting for the hunks. IITian women are fairly interested in nice guys and tend to be friendly with a few nice guys here and there on the pretext of common hobbies. That is mostly to appear in- charge and not desperate.
That leaves us with IITians whose sex life this narrative is about anyway. By now, you may have figured out the reason for my treating this topic one predominantly suitable for abstract ruminations. IITians are the protagonists of MoodI, or at least so they believe sincerely. That this is mostly on account of the free tickets they hold for various pro-nites is a different matter. IITians wear free t-shirts with sponsor company logos, sport bathroom slippers, are 5-7, tend to have an unshaven look (alas not termed “intellectual” by too many) and generally consider anyone with a JEE rank worse than 200 to be a distortion to the general scheme of things. That this definition of distortion includes them in many cases is secondary to the belief. IITians start MoodI with a lot of hope. They have semi-permeable vision whereby they can see only chics on the campus and sift very effectively through all the garbage around the chics. They come shaven the first day and end up looking very similar to nice guys. This irks them a lot since some kid women start getting friendly to them as potential recruits for their captive nice guy friend position. Next day they try to look like a “typical IITian”. Now anyone who has been to an IIT even for a day would know very well that there is no such thing as a “typical IITian”. However, the chics do not need to know this. (Frankly, the chics could not care less, but the IITians have a fragile heart and they tend to prefer hope over rationale in matters such as these.) The typical IITian look requires one to fast for a full day, not shave for two days (one day may do depending the rate of beard growth), play footer the previous evening and NOT take bath after that. The wardrobe consists of a t-shirt declaring hostel or department loyalty. The choice is based upon which of the two designers has been more weird and innovative (right!). If one has been to inter-IIT and has managed a t-shirt there, it is finally brought into public notice during MoodI. Footwear other than bathroom slippers is strictly banned. Shorts are preferable. Additionally depending on time of day/night, a dirtyish (but not dirty) bag on the back with some book adds a lot of character to the personality. The book has to be carefully chosen lest some chic (or her nice guy) should enquire about the same. Typical favorites tend to be “Solar Magnetohydrodynamics”, “Principles of General Relativity”, “Advanced Quantum Mechanics” and so on. On being asked what the book means, a standard response suffices irrespective of which book.
With all this preparation The IITian (duly acknowledged in capital letters) finally goes on the hunt. This can be fairly stressful so he manages to garner enough patience by sleeping early the previous night and having a good breakfast. The hunt itself begins with a quick scanning process for locating chics presently accompanied by neither the dudes nor the nice guy. A typical scan results in anywhere between 3 to 20 candidates depending on the area of campus. If the scan results in higher than 25 chics, the location typically turns out to be ladies room and hence is abandoned for further perusal. There is a high level prioritization that needs to be done on the basis of a two-by-two of attractiveness and feasibility (of the chic of course). There is a very strong learning curve here. In early attempts, the IITian tends to overrate the feasibility and underrate the attractiveness. Both tend to stabilize around more manageable levels over time. Once the prioritization is done, the approach route needs to be designed taking into account the relative importance of feasibility and attractiveness (of the chic). Again in early attempts, the focus tends to be on high attractiveness with lower feasibility which eventually moves to average performance on both and finally settles down at a certain recalibration of attractiveness.
There is no such thing as a typical story of the evolution of an IITian’s sex life during MoodI. Here is an instance. Though I personally never had the opportunity of route planning and approach, I have very closely observed (and promoted) a fellow IITian while doing the same. This is how it went.
Our guy had donned the IITian look pretty effectively and had completed scanning and prioritization one fine evening during MoodI. While planning the final route however, he had cold feet. He was trying to emphasize on feasibility while me and a couple of friends of mine were urging him to be entrepreneurial. He finally settled somewhere in-between and homed on to an area surrounding the target chic.
“Hi, you look new here! Is there someway I can help you?”
“No thanks. I am just waiting for my friends.”
This was fine. Since we had told our friend to be entrepreneurial he was willing to test out the empirical workings of probability theory. We all knew very well that probabilities do not work until the sample size is large enough. Thus he was encouraged to approach the next element of the set. He was provided the ammunition of some useful tips by some of the more experienced fellows (experienced only with approaching a large number of chics, nothing further necessarily!)
“Hi, that is a nice dress.”
“Oh. Thanks”, with a smile and blush.
Thus our fellow went into the next orbit of consideration. His confidence boosted by the pinkish blush, he ventured further,
(His name was not
“Oh! Hi, I am
(Of course there is no need to keep her name confidential but why be partial?!)
“So, you are new to our campus?” the emphasis was unmistakable and could be identified from light years.
“Yeah. You look like an IITian.”
A minor blush! This time from our friend. Hence nothing very pink. But a blush nevertheless.
“Yeah. I am in the
“Oh. My father teaches in that department!”
That was too bad. Our fellow was not in good books of too many profs in his department. In fact the only prof that could tolerate him was one who was their HoD but taught nothing. Evidently, the conversation was not going to go very far. Our fellow did not want to be seen with that chic to any prof lest her father should take greater interest in his grades. This mission was clearly one that needed urgent abortion.
“So, what do you do in life?” our fellow was fast running out of time before the next prospective candidate disappeared with her dude.
“Oh, I am into pottery”
“You mean you make pots or just generally hang around at the potters’”
This was clearly getting desperate. While we were busy suppressing our laughter from a respectable distance, our friend was trying hard to divest himself of the dangerous conversation at hand.
“No, no. I am getting a degree in pottery!”
Pots are typically not very high on an IITian’s priority list while looking around for chics during MoodI. However, the conversation simply did not seem to offer itself an amicable end.
“So, you waiting for someone here?” was a fairly good attempt.
“No, not really. I am just generally looking around. My dad is very fond of telling me stories of the campus. I just wanted to see it while the fest is also on.”
That was the icing on the cake. Albeit in inverse. The chic clearly was looking for company. The chic was probably fairly intelligent and wanted intelligent company. While our friend was no JEE topper, he clearly qualified to be the undisputed choice amongst the plethora of dudes and nice guys around. Many other IITians were hanging around – although with some or other prospect in their respective route plan. Me and my friends were carefully busy-looking with some organization stuff. Thus a very natural choice dawned upon the chic for her safari around the jungle that IIT Bombay is. It was obvious why there were no dudes or nice guys around the chic in question. She did not have any. And our fellow was in no mood to offer himself as one either.
He was not known for being particularly diplomatic. All he could muster the courage to say was, “I am a bit hungry. Shall I meet you here after dinner?”
The plan was of course a simple yet cruel one. But desperate situations require desperate measures and our friend was not going to take any more chances with his career than he had already taken. Alas, this was not to fly very far.
“Oh, that is not necessary. I have not eaten either! Let me call my mother and tell her not to cook for me tonight. I want to see your famous staff canteen”.
This was total demolition. Our poor friend was forced to dine with the stress of a thousand bars on him lest something should upset the chic and consequently his career. He later showed her around the campus and safely packed her off to her residence promising to show her the department next day. Of course he gave her his arch enemy’s hostel and room number for contact. In the meantime however, his route plan had left for the day with their respective dudes and nice guys. He was left with his t-shirt with company logos, bathroom slippers and unshaven look!