A woman's view of IIT, from Chetan Bhagat's batchmate - Mail Today

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A woman's view of IIT Mail Today 14 May 2010

May 14, 2010
A woman's view of IIT, from Chetan Bhagat's batchmate
By Saumya Pant

SHE IS Chetan Bhagat's batchmate, and credits him with inspiring her " to break away from the rat race and do something creative." Parul Mittal, who did her electrical engineering from IIT Delhi in 1995, is now out with her first novel - about life at IIT from the " nonmale" perspective. And it's Bhagat's publisher Rupa that has published Mittal's novel, Heartbreaks and Dreams! The Girls @ IIT. " There are very few girls at IIT. When I was studying there, the girls were called ' non- males'," says the author, who has worked at Hughes, IBM Research and Nextag, and is now a freelance web designer.
The novel traces the journey of Tanu, a school topper who suddenly finds herself becoming an ' outsider' in an institute dominated by boys.
Through her journey in the geeky corridors of IIT, Tanu grows up, makes a bunch of great friends and even finds true love.
Tired of her nine- to- five job, Mittal started penning the novel to give vent to her creative side. The debutant author says she was was " very meticulous" about her writing. " I set aside six hours a day for the book," she says. The novel took her approximately nine months to write and another three to edit.
The obvious question: how much of Mittal's life makes it to the book? She is, after all, married to a senior from IIT. Mittal emphasises that her's is not a love story that blossomed on campus, but at her first job at Hughes.
" My novel is not an autobiographical work," she says, adding, " I put some bits of myself into Tanu's character and obviously some parts were what I desired to be." Tanu, as a result, is " your average girl who transforms because of her extraordinary will to reach for the best." The ' non- male' has arrived in the literary world.

Parul Mittal (maiden name Parul Agarwal) is the author of a national bestseller novel “Heartbreaks & Dreams! – The Girls @ IIT”. Her second book “Arranged Love” captured the hearts of Indian youth. Let's Have Coffee is her third novel and promises to be a humorous and fun light read.

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