25 March 2018

You know why four IIT-ians can never take a picture without uncontrolled grins on their faces?

Because every time they get together, the “PJs” (“Poor Jokes” – what would be called Groaners in USA) start flowing.

“Do you remember what is a complex PJ?”

Ha ha ha. (This is a math joke, by the way).

Completely meaningless mirth, I admit. But that was what engineering life for me was with guys like these in the picture. Great fun without necessarily any purpose to it.

Thanks to Krishna, who along with his beautiful wife Lalita graciously hosted me at their house for dinner a couple of days back, I was able to get together with three of my hostel (dorm) mates from 1985-1989.

T Srinivas – we called him “T” – is the big time economist today. After engineering, we did MBA together. I used to visit his house in Kolkata those days and remember the culture of intense bridge playing in his house. His parents as well as he had represented India in bridge at various times.

Krishna – we called him Kittu – is the successful investor among us. One of my lasting memories is going to his house in Chennai to meet his parents. I distinctly remember his mother and his brother. Unfortunately, I also found out that I am not going to be able to see his mom any more.

Finally, Abir – we just called him Abir 🙂 – also did Computer Science with me and I remember his impeccable hand writing from those days. And that he was always fanatic about being neat and clean all the time (which for us college kids was a rarity).

Our discussions were decidedly esoteric – when not exchanging “pjs”, that is. Got to hear some great perspectives from the three of them on concepts like “biases”, “irrational behavior” and why we do not follow our own forecasts and predictions. That was a fascinating hour for me over dinner hearing three really really smart guys talk about topics that fascinate me (although I cannot claim to have the level of their IQs to fully understand what they were saying).

We certainly landed up overstaying our welcome and kept the host and hostess up past midnight. That said, it was way too much fun. And I will shamelessly do it again, given a chance. It was that good!!!

Posted March 25, 2018 by Rajib Roy in category "Intersection Points


  1. By Sudeep Ahluwalia on

    Had’nt seen Abir since 1987, but remembering reciting shers from Mehdi Hassan Sahab’s Ghazals to him some 32 years back. Great guy !

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      He is from Kolkata and does speak fluent Bangla. His wife is not from IIM but I have a hunch why you think so. You saw him many times when you used to visit me in Alak

    2. By Rajib Roy on

      Pratyush, I would not go so far as to suggest that your “brain” in working. Certainly, I would avoid the use of the word “still”. That said, I will whole heartedly admit that your memory has remained super sharp!!

      🙂 Kidding..

    3. By Rajib Roy on

      Btw, Pratyush- just to clarify matters, you probably remember the guy I took you to in new alipore. He is the guy you are thinking of. You met him once when you came to my dorm in IIM. The girl was my classmate. He is also in my Facebook.

  2. By Srijan Sengupta on

    The ISI version is: a complex PJ is P + iJ with P times J not equal to zero, since it must have a real part as well as an imaginary (fictional) part.

  3. By Avinash Misra on

    talking about iit jokes , the best one i heard (and it cuts 🙂 )how do u tell a guy is from IIT?

    just wait, he will tell you.


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