The best minds of the country...all in one place, well, thats IISc. Or, at least, thats what its supposed to be. Now one would assume that the best minds would be free of prejudices and would always like to explore new stuff, experience new things, get to know new people........well, u get the hang of it. What I mean is that they would not be confined to their cocoons and would always be willing to explore. But, over here, only few people fall into this category.
Every new student comes here with lots of hopes......of making good friends. But, if you happen to be a non-bengali in the chemistry department, you are doomed. Because, you have to first learn bangla before you can even hope to make friends in your department where 90 percent are bengalis. Coz, if you don't, then chances of your being included in any of their conversations are very low. They will continue to talk in bangla, and then you'd wonder why you ever sat there.
This is not meant to be a dig at the bengalis. I have noticed this in several other communities as well.
One of my friends was the only telugu of her batch in the aerospace engineering department where 90% were tamilians. She faced the same problem of having to sit with them throughout the day but not participating in the conversation, as they would not speak in anything other than tamil.
I could say the same about many other communities here, like the marathis, the telugus, the malayalis, and many more.
Now, it doesn't take much to have a consideration for that other person sitting with you who does not understand your language. It's just a matter of attitude. If you have the right attitude, you can always meet with other people and talk to them. Otherwise, there is no difference in your staying in a national institute- where there is a positive chance of getting to know other cultures- when you'd anyway prefer to be only with your own state people.
Fortunately for me, I have got good friends here who are mostly bengalis (coz, i happen to be one of the few non-bengalis of my dept), but belong to that category of people who come here without any prejudices.
Anyways, I guess my rant should stop here!!! Because people here are basically nice, just that they don't want to come out of their comfort zone. If they make just a little effort they can explore an entire world of different cultures, which is in fact quite fun to do.