Srijan R. Shetty bio photo

Srijan R. Shetty

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This wasn’t because we had diligent students who attended all classes, on the contrary Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur didn’t have a mandatory attendance policy.

And yet, the rumour mill didn’t churn with the news of a ‘mass bunk’, until CSE Y11 did.

It was the last class before spring break of 2013 and Professor Biswas was teaching us ‘Abstract Algebra’ (side note, it’s still abstract for me). Ten minutes before the class, a student decides to pull off a legendary coup - he just needs to convince 10 students.

The first seven students are easy to convince, it’s the last three - the most studious of the lot which take the most time. But he prevails and convinces an entire class to ‘mass bunk’.

What happens in the following days is something unique - silence. No angry emails by the professor, no students asked to visit the professor’s cabin. There isn’t even a minor mention in the corridors of the Motwani building.

Post spring-break as we enter Professor Biswas’s class, there is an air of mystery.

Professor Biswas enters the class in his usual style - a grey mane with Rayban aviators, all he needed was a leather jacket to be in an American movie about a renegade teacher. In a very anti-climactic fashion, he pounces straight to the board and starts teaching Chapter 14.

This is when a general dread kicks in across the classroom - we were on Chapter 9. When a brave students points out this discrepancy to the professor, he casually mentions:

“I finished chapters 9 to 14 in the previous class”.

“Also, I conducted a quiz. Students can collect their answer sheets from my cabin later in the day”

It’s time for the students to remain silent. Shell shocked, Professor Biswas had the last laugh.

We learnt a valuable lesson, you don’t mess with professors, especially the professors at IIT Kanpur.