Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Read Amitabha Bagchi's Above Average. It really is rather good. It is not the kind of book that I would normally pick up without a recommendation, so am terribly glad that I was nudged towards it. It took me some time to actually get around to reading it, since I was busy writing zillions of tests and papers (which is partly the reason—many other reasons as well, to be explained at length if energy and enthusiasm prevails—that I haven't been blogging for a very long time now) but it was great when I finally did read. It's not a fast-paced book, but it is absorbing in its own way. I think the reason why I was so taken with the book is that it is about a person who is exactly not-me. I decided not to study engineering the summer after my board examinations and decided that I wanted to study literature instead. Had I not got through to JU, however, I'd have studied taken the year off to study for the IIT-JEE, and gone on to study CS (I assume so—I suppose I'll never actually know). I've often wondered, in the last four and a half years, what my life would have been like had I decided otherwise. This book... it brought that wondering back in a way that hasn't happened before; for a couple of days after reading the book, I longed to have gone to an IIT. In fact, I sat and idly fantasised about taking the JEE again after I'm done with my Masters. It sounds silly, but that is how effective this book has been for me. Read it and figure out for yourself whether it is that good or whether I have gone completely nuts.