Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not made in heaven

So Kate and William are engaged to be married. What really amused me was the statement by their alma mater - the St Andrew's University in Aberdeen, Scotland - where they first met.

Welcoming the news a university spokesperson made a proud reference to being Britain's 'top match-making university'. Apparently, one in ten of students meet their future partner at St Andrew's and yes, they actually keep track of such statistics.

I wonder which Indian college would qualify as the country's 'top matchmaker'.

IITs? The ratio of boys: girls is so very low that I seriously doubt it.

IIMs fare better, though even there girls barely constitute 10% of a batch. But a couple of positive factors - by the time students come to IIM they are older, and perhaps looking to get married. Koi mil gaya to chalo why not.

Baaki toh every college has its fair share of couples who get together. Not many stay together, of course, but I won't get into the reasons in this post.

The general vibe in Indian colleges, however, is like the 'keep away from grass' sign you see on lawns.

"Admire from a distance, do not get too close".

This is especially true of colleges in south India, and more so professional colleges. Girls have curfew timings as early as 6 pm. And their hostels are usually situated right next to professors bungalows, with a view to 'keeping an eye' on who goes in and out.

It's both a question of what college admin believes is part of its duty, and what parents want.

Of late, the free and easy IIMs too have seen changes. At IIMA, we now have guards posted outside girls hostel - shocking for those of us who studied there in more laissez faire times. And there is a new rule that boys cannot enter girls hostels after midnight - sacrilege! How does one celebrate birthdays at the stroke of 12?

Ah, but at IIMK this curfew is actually as early as 10 pm.

I'm sure highly intelligent guys and girls on campus have found their own ways to circumvent the 'rules'. Whatever the curfew time, there are proxies which can be given, windows to jump out of. And if nothing else, romance over Facebook and 'free night time calls'.

So you may try - and even succeed - in locking Rapunzel in her tower. But you cannot fight the power of hormones. Or the grand and crazy adventure called love.

I don't however see any Indian university staking claim to 'top matchmaker' title - anytime soon. Perhaps one more reason to study abroad :)


  1. Nice post. may be in a few decades we can have a university that declares itself as the top match making university. :D. I have seen many couples in my college at least. :P

  2. rashmi, my batch at ISB (class of 2007) had roughly 20 couples (or 40 students) or 10% of the batch who got married! :)

  3. there you are flint >:-[ your university could have claimed that title only if they hadn't introduced that online entrance test :P

  4. Arindam Chaudhri's right eye might just start flickering after reading this. Who knows? With Shahrukh as its brand ambassador, IIPM might throw in its hat in the ring :P

  5. IIM Ahmedabad can make a start on that. A pair of its students - Chetan Bhagat and wife can be brand ambassadors! ;)

  6. A factual correction
    rules at IIMA allow boys to enter the girls' dorms after 12 after submitting their ID card.

    Not that this makes the situation any better...

  7. VIT has over a thousand students and hundreds of couples and may well qualify to be a leader on this, if a proper survey can be done...But even we had restrictions on timings for both men & women's hostels...Your blog seems to have got a new lease of life after a while ;) WTG

  8. Can't say about Univs - but trust me - big named software service providers like Infy, Wipro, TCS can compete in this space. They even have actual 'matrimonial' sections on their intra-nets! more than 60% of my friends have met at work and love-married (and coincidently from 2 different Indian states)!

  9. Hey Nice post, you seem to be giving out ideas how to mend rules...Present day college students can look up to this senior for advice!

  10. AIIMS- 16% of the batch or 4 couples/batch. Far ahead of any other claim.

  11. Hey...the culture is XLRI is one of the coolest one..there is not upper limit or a guard, rather we have an area called JLT which has the history to matchmaking ;)

  12. hahaha..I liked the last line :)
    I think ISB has a ratio amongst the elite colleges. Rest, worse colgs like Amity have a good sex ratio n hence a higher match making ratio too :)

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