Fundamatics is a publication of the IIT Bombay Alumni Association, envisioned as one that is by IIT Bombay (IITB) alumni, faculty and students, and for the same vast community. It is a platform that aims to build interaction and engagement within this community, as well as a window that enables different segments of this community to “look out” and air their views and opinions on issues that concern IITB, our society, industry and the nation.
From our first print edition launched on 26th Dec 2011, to a webzine in issue.com which won the prestigious In-house Communications Excellence (ICE) Award 2013 to our very own e-zine which too won an award (ICE Best E-Magazine Award 2016), Fundamatics has constantly morphed, and this, dear reader, is our latest avatar; we are now a monthly e-zine with a specific theme to the articles run every month. We will publish a few articles on the theme during the first week of the month, and then an article every week thereafter. With this format, we hope to encourage you to visit the site more often, and comment on and share the articles; our intent is to create a clamour of online conversations within a happening and engaged community of like-minded readers.
And, the best part of Fundamatics is that it is completely free and can be accessed by thousands of our alumni who are spread all over the world. But this does not mean that we do not incur any operational costs in bringing the ezine to you. While it is true that we do not pay any of our contributors, editors or proofreaders, we do engage web designers, illustrators and photographers in a professional capacity. And, then there are expenses associated with hosting a digital magazine. Your financial support can mean that we can continue to remain in circulation and “free” to you, our readers. You can contribute in either INR or USD. It will mean a lot to us.
This publication is primarily for private circulation. It has been produced by the collaborative efforts of many authors. The comments, opinions and views expressed are of the authors alone and cannot be attributed to IITBAA or the editorial team. The distribution and usage of every written and illustrated feature in this publication is governed by the Creative Commons– Attribution-Non Commercial 2.5 India license. Exceptions are those with © sign.
We’re a small but dedicated group of editors that like to call ourselves the Beehive. We are passionate about Fundamatics and fervently hope that no one at our day jobs has noticed this; since we wish our commitment to Fundamatics to pass under the radar at our workplaces, we are not telling you anything about what we do to keep body and soul together (or, as Bollywood would have it, “paapi pet paalnekeliye”).
The Queen Bee of the Hive
Regular mortals need an intake of tea or coffee (or other stronger beverages) to get them through a long day, but for Damayanti Fundamatics is the fix that brings the spring back into the step, adding the zing back to her zany personality. She writes content in various bee avatars, and helps with theme, storyboard solicited pieces, editing, etc.; sometimes has a stroke of genius – like dreaming up a monthly e-zine format, waves her magic wand, sends the worker bees scurrying about, and lo and behold, here you have it – the new improved Fundamatics.
A proud part of the notorious H4 and co-author of its equally notorious book ‘Madhouse’. Loves writing, and cannot resist any opportunity to do so; one of the reasons we encourage him to write often for Fundamatics is that otherwise he will redirect the urge to write into numerous looooong mails to all of us. His writing forte is in humour and satire and some of the best humour pieces in Fundamatics are written by him masquerading in multiple bee personae. His infinite energy and enthusiasm have always been one of the driving forces behind Fundamatics. He is also the unparalleled keeper of all lore including this one on how the bees came to be.
Prof Aliasgar Qutub Contractor
During his student days at IITB, Ali was Editor of the student magazine ‘Technik’, and as Prof Contractor he launched Fundamatics; thus proving that in every way, what one does at IIT does set the foundation for the rest of one’s life. In his Ali Baba avatar, he is one of our popular columnists ; famous for his sharp wit, incisive and concise writing style he seems to be doing fine without having found his “chaalischor”.
Zenobia was admitted into the hive on the basis of her readiness to admit in public that she thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Madhouse’. She wishes that she had a novel in her, but all that ever emerges from her pen are blog-posts. Never one to pass up the chance to bother other people under the guise of ‘work’, she clambered aboard as soon as she could and has since been making a nuisance of herself asking all and sundry to contribute articles. If she hasn’t reached out to you yet, count your lucky stars, but rest assured that she will get to you soon.
The crux of the biscuit is in the apostrophe, isn’t it? Sharba’s the unseen unsung worker bee who actually keeps Fundamatics running – coordinating submissions, proof-reading, illustrations, publishing and everything else on a daily basis. She’s always woefully short of volunteers but brimful with enthusiasm and ideas, doggedly chasing tough deadlines; somehow she manages to bring it all together just in time.
The visual conceptualisation, aesthetics, font, artwork and layout of Fundamatics is his creative brainchild and he continues to design and layout every issue of the magazine till date. If you like the ‘look’ of this e-zine, it is all thanks to Anand. Apart from a design whiz, he is also a culinary expert, soon to be tasked with providing homemade snacks for every Fundamatics team meeting.
The creator of the trademark bee caricatures, a constant illustrator for the magazine, we certainly cannot do without Shreyas! An editorial cartoonist for a leading English daily who has covered elections in six Indian states and presidential polls in the US through the eyes of a cartoonist. With several solo exhibitions to his credit at home and abroad, a compilation of his works has been recently published by Harper Collins in a book entitled Politickle Pickle.
Prof. Arun Inamdar
Prof. Inamdar is a perceptive cartoonist and caricaturist with a soft corner for the IITB campus and its ecology. His caricatures have brought smiles to an array of celebrities who have visited the campus and his cartoons hold up a mirror to our follies without causing offence. He can be depended upon to come to the rescue of Fundamatics with his talent at very short notice.
If you liked the illustrations on our cover page, then it Teesta’s talent that you are admiring. Teesta’s love for the Arts grew from her Bengali family roots thus making her the ultimate Bong Hipster. When she is not at her laptop working or sketching , you can find her in bookstores reading, or singing at the top of her lungs.
The Gardeners (i.e. those with pruning shears)
From the inaugural issue when he wrote to the team as an irate reader unhappy about the quality of proofing and copy editing, and the editors responded by asking him to put his money (in this case the much more valuable commodity – his time) where his mouth was, Nilesh responded by straddling time zones, managing impossible deadlines and yet never failing to deliver for any issue. We’d never manage to get any issue out in time without him.
If Nilesh is the silent worker who loves staying in the background, Shirish takes that silence one step further. Shirish loves to dot the Is and cross the Ts, without striking out the Bs (or is it…bees?). Diligent and dedicated, he responds promptly for every request for help from the Fundamatics team – whether it is for proof-reading, or an article to be submitted.
Niranjan Bhat (aka Ranju)
Ranju is as detail-oriented and dogged as a detective searching for a clue that’d solve a baffling mystery. He pores over articles with a fine toothcomb, even noticing small inconsistencies between words spaced far apart in the article, e.g. ‘flavor’ being spelt without an ‘u’ but ‘colour’ being spelt with an ‘u’, nothing less than sacrilege to him!
Tejas Suma Shyam
Tejas is a self-professed grammar Nazi. As such, his inquisitive mind seldom accepts anything without proof– English included! An avid public speaking and music enthusiast, Tejas loves to spend his spare time composing music.
Martin De Mello
Martin DeMello is an unwary soul that got ambushed by the Beehive, not once, not twice, but thrice! First he agreed to write an article for us, then he volunteered to help out by proof-reading a few articles, but he turned them around so quickly that his monthly quota of articles was promptly doubled. You’d think the corporate world would have taught him the dangers of submitting work well in advance of the deadline, wouldn’t you?!
Where would we be without these Bees?
Namita is the bee that helped the mag grow. She handled the ads, revenue, subscriptions, resources, payments and everything commercial. She does newsletter, chapter engagement, database updates, BoD meets, minutes, HR issues and lots more at IITBAA but just whisper “I’ve got an ad for Fundamatics” and she’ll climb over chapter honchos, important alumni and everyone else and throw a dazzling smile at you.
Former PRO of IITB, Jaya was the driving force behind the highly acclaimed Raintree which won both national and international awards. Jaya, her experience and her excellent editorial eye was a constant guide in conceptualisation content and production of every print issue of Fundamatics.
The architect of the E-zine Abhishek Thakkar, or just ‘Thakkar’ as he is known to his friends, is the latest addition to this small but elite club of creative bees. He is an alumnus of H5 from C’03. Having a lot of it, he loved throwing his weight around and escaped many a bump which he would have got for his PJs. Now he channels all that creative energy in designing beautiful scalable web and mobile interfaces. On a related note, the domain name of the site was acquired and being paid for by Rajan Shastri, Batch of 75.
We have known this man forever and for too many things. Alumni leader, former webmaster, built up most exhaustive global database from scratch, fund-raiser, tireless workhorse, former President of IITBHF. But for Fundamatics, he is the NRI uncle who popularised it on the web, on FB, on LinkedIn, on Twitter and oversees all our polls and surveys that got featured in most national dailies, either on the front page or in full-page features.