A few days, I got a message on Facebook from an old IIT friend – who as it turned out was one of my first raggers! As we were reliving old memories, the topic of discussion turned to ragging. I know that today ragging is seen as something of an evil, but in those days (1984, in my case), it was something that helped me open up in ways nothing else would have.

When I went to IIT, I was one of the typical “mama’s boys” having grown up in a sheltered environment. My first evening at the hostel ensured that life in IIT would be very different! It ended at 3 am, with me cooking Maggi Noodles for one of the seniors. That first day made it very clear that my reserved personality would do me no good, and possibly get me into more trouble. I had to open up in a way that I had not previously done. Being a topper made no difference – everyone was.

Ragging lasted about a month — every evening there was a new group of seniors to be entertained. That was how I made friends – not just with them, but also fellow freshies, as we shared our ragging stories. It made me much more outgoing than I could ever have become. For me, Ragging is something which helped the transformation from a boy to a man.

9 thoughts on “Ragging

  1. not all raggings are of intellectual IIT type..some are distorted, saddist versions.

  2. Ditto! My ragging days were exactly same. Changed my personality like anything.

  3. I wish all raggings were taken and intended to be that way. I am against ragging for a simple fact that it enforces the Power / Authority from a group of students on others. I believe it also prevents the free willed thinking and innovative mindsets.

    If its a tool used top break ice between the two groups and make newbies welcome I believe there are other ways to do it. Like organising a sports fest or some other team bonding activity or just a get together.

  4. Reminds me of a ragging story I read, a senior asks the junior if he would kiss his wife on the wedding night. Certainly, if my bride were your sister, the junior retorts.

    Not everyone can think of such an apt retort, and not everyone would be lucky getting away with such a timely one.

    Between the line that ragging made me a man and the fact that ragging is a crime lies a thin line. It boils down to who you are and is more applicable to the ragger than the ragged.

    As long as the ragger can stay behind self drawn lines, ragging is real fun, and as Rajesh says, makes a man out of a boy.

    Alas, we are human, and as scientists so fondly repeat, descended from apes. And ascending to divinity, the saints would add…

    The ragger should leave his ape where it belongs… behind

    From there on things will be fine. His victim will become both Man and Hu-Man.

  5. Ragging done in moderation (or anything for that matter) is good (and essential too). I had fun being ragged and ragging as well. Some of my very deep friendships happened because of ragging. And I believe as we move up the professional ladder, that kinship will always be useful.

  6. can’t agree more !
    to me being ragged was a fun excuse of doing funny n stupid things in college while being judged as a sport than a hooligan.
    how else you can dance on a table in canteen while people around you clap n sing “naach meri bulbul k paisa milega” 😀 and Dang! you’re famous, freshies envy you, seniors like you, you make whole lot of friends.

    Though i agree the incidents we read/hear where seniors went too far to call it human are sad.

    but ragging is the best and the only way to create a repo with your seniors !

  7. buddy no problem you had a fine experiece in iit fine, but not all colleages in the country have pazams or fruits there are some john davids too out there, dot support ragging for a second.