Vivek Jairazbhoy, was an intensely intense guy. Any bridge game, and he was good at it, hours of post game analysis went on for hours after the game was done, players were tired and ready to sleep. Because of it, I tried to avoid him at all cost. In contrast Nandan choose me for a partner in games like “what’s the good word” or similar sounding because I was the only one left, and I made all major blunders during the game, no expression on his face, and once the game was over, it was over. No blame on me even once. A game was just a game. I loved his attitude towards losers like me.
One day Sen (Anindo?) had come to our or neighboring hostel. He was ranked number 1 from Madhya Pradesh board. Unfortunately for him, just like me, he had neglected to prepare for IIT like spending 2 years full time at coaching schools that is the norm nowadays, or finish PhD if he wanted to do better; instead he came straight, and was paying the price for his neglect. Just like me.
I saw Sen and offered myself as his partner and he accepted.
I made all sort of blunders. Looked like I belonged to the opposition and wanted him lose at all cost. I had just read a book and showed how to do “squeeze,” but had forgotten that it was meant for the opposition and not your own partner. Surprisingly he kept his cool and when the final tally was done, Sen and I, as a pair had won.
End of story? You are missing Jairazbhoy! His face looked very upset. Maybe the idea of being beaten by a bhangi who got into electrical God knows how, has a revenge motive. Or I am just giving too much importance to being dark, Hindi speaking bhangi studying in perhaps the most coveted department of India at that time.
I went reluctantly through the game for a long period. Poor Sen, has to listen for hours that his victory was 100% luck and he had no part in his victory. While I was thinking that Sen was a genius for winning in spite of me as a partner. I still remember Anindo’s tired looks.
Just now I googled Vivek’s name – because his last name was tricky for me – and found that he is successful researcher in car industry. Congrats to him. We from IIT remember you fondly.