So, here’s a myth-buster story for you. When you think about the shower of pay packages worth 1 crore or more being offered to IITians, you get a picture of geeky, nerdy boys and girls who have no lives outside their computers. But this is not really true. In fact, I am going to tell you a story of an IITian who is a daredevil by nature. He got the coveted 1-crore offer from Facebook even though he was not a Computer Science department (he was in maths). Instead, he was from Maths department. This makes him an exception is his own right – a Maths student trumping CS students to get the top salary package from the most popular social media site.

But this particular IITian had always been an exception on the college campus. About 50% of his time, he would focus more on Online Programming Contests (OPCs) and 30% of his time, he would be playing music. Acads never dominated his life, as it would for most of us in the IIT.

The tests on which our lives depended on were just another test for him:

  • In his penultimate year at the IIT, he was not bothered about the upcoming GATE exam. Less than a week before the exam, his hall ticket had still not arrived but he was completely relaxed. He started studying for the test a couple of days before the exam and still managed to score AIR #1 in Maths! He even had the guts to be upset that his GATE score was only 779.
  • We came to know that he had written the CAT exam too only when CAT results got declared and he managed 99+ percentile.

After receiving the Facebook offer too, he never took it too seriously. He encountered several misadventures in procuring a passport and visa from the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) but his feathers remained unruffled. Last time, I interacted with him he was in the US and had gone for skydiving. When I asked him if he was not afraid about what would happen if parachute did not open at the right time, he calmly replied, “Such an accident would make the company organising the trip go bankrupt and hence, they would make sure that it does not happen.”

So, you see over-a-crore packages are not reserved for nerds but those who know how to live.

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