The Tale of the Water Tanki

There is a classic rumour, a horrendous tale of engineering stupidity that exists in the campus of IIT Kharagpur. You haven't heard the rumour yet ? Here goes: "There is this Professor Roy in Civil Department. See that tall water-tank near the PAN loop? He designed it. He is so stupid, he forgot to add the water's weight to the calculation. Which is why it stands there empty and unusable." I was proud of this tale. We passed it down from one batch to another. And I did watch this Professor ride his wobbly cycle to the department. Combined with other incidents heard about him, I thought he was a complete fool....

But we came to know in those years that even IIT-Kanpur had the same story. We were the oldest of all IITs. So we just assumed that they were inspired by our culture and chose this story to emulate it in their own campus.

Yesterday, while sharing a few drinks with my office friends here, we began to narrating crazy incidents from our engineering days. They were cheeky, incredulous and generally hilarious. I was surprised by each one of them till a guy from IIT-Madras spoke, "You know, there is this water-tanki in our campus..."

But that was impossible! This was my campus's story! And then we went through a brief but heated discussion on this - each defending that the defunct tank and the moron professor belonged to his campus. Obviously with no base and rationale to sway opinion, it was an inconclusive failure. The glasses got refilled with another peg and we too picked another deep topic to mull upon.

This Water-Tanki story and other such tales are quite open to adaptation. Prof. Sengupta becomes Ram; Ram becomes Chatterjee. But the core purpose stays the same - to prove that they too stink at the subject. And one example is enough to smear everyone with mediocrity.

The best part is although the tale (like other philosophies of campuses) are completely hearsay, the students narrate it with genuine belief and conviction, like they saw it happen themselves. "This Professor is so sanki (mentally unstable) know he picked up a group's lab report and tore it in half and then threw them out of the class..."

So what legend does your college cherish?


  1. :D i only knew the iit-k story. told by my sister's friends when i was visiting their campus. and i got so motivated that i mentioned it in one of my answers in 1st sem in Introduction to Architecture as an example of my personal architectural observation. :D hehe
    never knew its a popular story

  2. This is story we used to hear from our seniors and pass it on to juniors in IITK. Surprised to know... that these stories do the rounds in other IITs as well...

    IITK 05

  3. so, there is this tanki at NITJ....

  4. Ha! What a shame - they stole your college story :)

    In other colleges, like the one that I went to, we had sensible profs who didn't end up making defunct tankis ;) Lol

  5. here's what i wrote about the same water tank a few years ago...

  6. @ Summer - And the professors politely heard your story ??

    @ Dev - I am curious whether IIT-B and IIT-D have the same story for their campus....

    @ Vatsy - :)

    @ D - I don't know who stole the story. I don't even know whether there IS a story!

    @ Kriti - Hey. I liked the serious tone you've given on the same theme...

  7. I dunno about other colleges, but the story is topo-ed from kgp! :-)
    I would have lived with this had I not stumbled upon this post.

    Hmm ... Kgp and IIML, I can relate to both the places. Kgp ka tempo high hain, guru!

  8. Kgp certainly rocks! Other colleges have simply followed Kgp's example.

    (In between, I never knew the water tanki was empty! Used to think that it supplied MMM water!)


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