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There’s a Rancho on every Campus

So you saw 3 Idiots. So what? You thought Rancho was too good to be true? Well, almost. None of the people you see here are 45 years old and going to college. But they all are special in their own way which compelled us to say, ‘Oye Rancho’.

Here’s presenting the real Ranchos on campuses across the country.

The Mohawk Engineer
Name: Piran Engineer
Branch: Mechanical Engineering
College: Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur
Piran is a happy – go – lucky person, and can be spotted from kilometres away (since he’s taller than your average VNITian and also much bigger). He also has a very loud voice; one which people swear can be heard from one department to the other.

One of the smartest guys around, he knows his engineering like the back of his gigantic hand. Witty and smart, he’s never really seen around a book, but still somehow manages to ace his exams. Always busy with a project, or a model, Piran is born to be an engineer. Having the very name of his degree does help identify him, doesn’t it?

Piran is a great friend to have, one who is loved as well as hated, but never forgotten. He’s a royal pain for the profs because of his carefree attitude and is often shouted at or sent out of the class. He studies a night before the exam, yet scores well in all the subjects. He was the first guy from his department to get placed, that too in the first company he sat for.

Rebelling is in his blood it seems, since he’s always the one to come up with a smart argument to make you go ‘Umm…..wait’. In his first year at college, a certain ‘Guruji’ had arrived to educate the students about morals, sex and how premarital sex was wrong and immoral. That was enough to incite Piran enough to interrupt the lecture and ask in front of everyone, “I don’t see anything wrong with it. Why are you against pre-marital sex? I don’t get it. Can you explain why?” The ‘Guruji’ and professors were left aghast and the lecture ended sooner than intended.

Piran also has his share of fun, and has a unique way of doing it too. He once called up a prof at 1:30 am in the night. The conversation went something like this. (The names of the professor and the subjects have been changed for security reasons.)

Piran: Hello, sir.

Mr Shetty: Hello

Piran: Sir, I’m Deepak speaking. Sir, what are my marks in Fluid Dynamics?

Mr. Shetty: Is this a time to call?

Piran: Sir, you only asked me to call you after an hour.

Mr. Shetty: I think I asked you to call at 6 tomorrow.

Piran: No Sir, when I called up at 12:30 you told me to call you up after an hour. So, anyway, what are my marks?

Mr. Shetty: I told you to call up at 6.

Piran: Sir, aap Gupta Sir hi ho naa?

Mr. Shetty (in half-sleep): Yes!

Piran (controlling his laughter): Sir, is this 9857267154? (He changed the last couple of digits)

Mr. Shetty: No, there’s a mistake at the end.

Piran: Oops, sorry to disturb you so late. (hangs up)

Piran also randomly turned up in class with a Mohawk cut in class, due to which he was featured in Sakaal. Institute Gathering is when VNIT goes crazy; with inter department rivalries reaching Indo – Pak levels. That was the time when some people went crazy and got themselves a ‘Ghajini’ haircut. And Piran got himself a ‘Ghajini complement’ cut ,with hair wherever Aamir had no hair and none where Aamir had it.

Piran is always the one to help anyone in need of it. His computer is readily available to anyone who needs it, be it any festival, even though it’s never returned to him in the original condition/state of working. Birthdays are known to be the day when you turn into a man, (after getting kicked consecutively in the behind like a football by your ‘friends’) and Piran ‘helps’ their too. He being built like a bull certainly helps the cause, since after his turn the (death?) birthday boy’s doubts over thethe absence of a ‘backside’ actually becomes fact.

Ok, (Mr) Computer
Name: Manhar Ajit Garegrat
Course: BMM
College: L.S. Raheja College
Here’s introducing Mr Manhar Ajit Garegrat. After having gone to KC College, Science, Manhar’s life was happily headed towards engineering until it came to a screeching halt when Manhar realised that engineering wasn’t quite where his heart was. That is when the ‘media ka keeda’ came into the picture.

Curly hair (which was always messed up), shabbily dressed and a cute looking face, one could spot him from miles away. ‘The mad scientist’ is what we used to call him. If any one had a problem regarding machines, he was the person to catch hold of be it printers, computers, laptops, projectors, speakers or anything with metal that works on electricity/batteries. Sitting quietly in lectures was never top priority for Manhar, and putting teachers in a hotspot was what he is adept at. He had always has better things to do than ‘study for exams’ but his kaali kutti coffee is perhaps what enabled him to top consistently.

‘I want to have my cake and eat it too’ is what he believed in and this spirit of his always is evident in his ventures into a variety of areas, be it designing the in – house magazine, editing videos for college presentations, making documentaries, being the vice president for the Rotract Club or making chocolates! The chocolates that this guy made were really delicious and most of the class would break into a fight to get its hands on them. Making cakes on his friends’ birthdays was his way of making them feel special and some really close ones had the luck of receiving a crazy video made on them. It has been a year now since we graduated and this guy today owns his own bike, the R15, mind you he saved over one lakh rupees to buy it. One of the most famous incidents involves Manhar’s presentations. This guy firmly believed in making completely original projects, as a result his presentations were so ‘alien’ to the college computers that they would just refuse to work. What would then happen was that he and another friend would go speeding on a bike to fetch his CPU which would then be attached to the college projector and voila! Only then would our teachers would then have the honour to judge it.

Prof Abhijit Padte recounts, “Perceptive and sensitive that he was, his approach was always very humane and he was never competing with his friends where academics was concerned. He always focused on understanding, rather than memorising.”

Truth or dare? She’d pick both
Name: Wyanet Vaz
Course: BMM
College: St. Xavier’s
Wyanet is a famous student of St. Xavier’s College, currently studying in first year BMM. This pretty, petite girl with a short haircut isn’t afraid to speak her mind at all. Be it her teachers, seniors, friends or even parents, none are spared when it comes to wrongdoing and Wyanet notices it. She did run the risk of coming off as disrespectful, but almost everyone has a soft corner for this charismatic girl now.

Having a penchant for doing something different, she never went by the book, leading most students and even some teachers to think her to be stupid. But the results revealed the true story with Wyanet emerging the topper. She’s one of those students who always asks doubts in class, and interrupts the professors, demanding rational reasons. One fine day, the whole class got so fed up with her doubts (relevant as they were) that they taped her mouth shut!

BMM is a course where practical applications are given much more importance, and Wyanet excels in them. In fact, when one of her professors was teaching sociology through PowerPoint, Wyanet thought it was too boring. So she went ahead and stole the copy of the CD from which the professor was teaching. When she was caught, the professor ordered her to teach the whole class. And she happily proceeded, giving witty and funny examples for each topic. The whole class burst out into laughter.

Her sense of right and wrong is very much in place and was evident when she embarrassed a person in the college foyer (a place adjacent to the canteen in Xavier’s) by exposing his deeds in public and making him repent for the same. This girl also has a very kind heart, and loves animals. She once brought an injured kitten to class, and took it to the vet and got it treated. But one of the most famous incidents was when she sneaked in a couple of rats in her bag. Everything was going fine until one of the fellow students, experienced something, um, touching him, and all hell broke loose in the language class. She was immediately marched off to the department head where she confessed that her parents hadn’t allowed her to take care of the rats, and she didn’t want them to be killed. Though she was appreciated for her kindness, the language teacher never really liked her, per se. Wyanet has many friends, and also enemies (for obvious reasons). Commonly known as the ‘selfless soul’ of the group, her venturesome spirit and forthright honesty is what makes her stand out amongst the crowd.

IT and the Crowd
Name: Sachit Muckaden
Course: IT Engineering
College: Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute
Sachit Muckaden, fondly called IT, fits the character of Ranchoddas Shyamakdas Chanchad, although IT hates the Gujju community. The irony is that his girlfriend happens to be Gujju. Strange are the ways of fate, no?

Sachit survives in VJTI chiefly on basketball, which almost cost him almost all of his attendance in the first year of engineering and some marks in the final exam. Sachit never really gives two hoots about examinations and is never seen with books. Yet, he somehow manages to ace them, something which has surprised everyone.

Nevertheless, he’s actively involved in college activities. He’s the joint General Secretary of Technovanza 2010 and consequently a member of the Students’ Council of VJTI. He definitely doesn’t fear voicing his opinion on the system and the loopholes therein. Some teachers have had a hard time with him, since he never really follows the rules. In a so called ‘intense’ lecture on mathematics, Sachit was asked to leave the class, and he nonchalantly walked off with his books without the slightest word or an utterance of an apology. He was also once threatened by a professor for concentrating too much on sports and not on academics, warning him that no leeway would be given to him. But when the results were announced, the professor was to be shocked.

You’ll find him enjoying a siesta in the library, a day before the exam. Something that marks him out of the herd is the blend of sensibility, humanity and fun in the guy. He’s quite a thinker and loses track of himself, sometimes, when in thought. You’ll either find him scratching his head, looking up and saying something in an attempt to make himself get what he’s saying or arguing with someone over something, with typical IT- gestures, mostly his hands moving up and down, finally resting on his head.

His ethics are in place and his witty, tongue-in-cheek remarks are such that they are rightly directed at the deserving person without actually hurting him. This basketball captain of VJTI surprisingly turns macho and aggressive on court. But off it, he is a true gentleman, which is what makes him one of the most popular faces on the VJTI campus.

What is this Rancho, Rancho, huh? Is it the monkey?
No, Rancho is not the name of the monkey from the famed series. Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad aka ‘Rancho’ is the character played by Aamir Khan in 3 Idiots. Rancho is the ultimate rebel, who wants to change everything that is wrong with the education system. He doesn’t really care what people think about him, and believes in only one thing.

“Chase excellence. Success will follow automatically.”

– Saurabh Datar (with inputs from Priyanka Talreja, Pooja Dhuri,Atulya Ojha and Jayajanani P)

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