A few days ago, I came across this report in the Asian Age (no link available, though I know it appeared in the Delhi edition, on 20th or 21st of October) about some luncheon club started by St Stephen's alumni - a sort of old boys' network, intended for the specific purpose of 'networking'.
One of the founders apparently said (I forget the exact wording of the quote) that it was restricted to those who graduated in the 70s and 80s, because those who graduated before were too old to matter and those who came later weren't yet important enough.
I distinctly remember the use of the word 'important', and I distinctly remember that I reacted with a hoot of bemused laughter.
You graduate from an 'important' college, and you want to 'network' with only those people who are 'important'.
Of course, I always knew that this is how it is, but I was both taken aback and wildly amused by such an unashamed admission of ego and socio-economic snobbery.
Driven by this report about old boys' ganging up for the sake of 'importance' , I decided to run a check on my own alma mater. To check on just how low my importance quotient was.
Google told me, first thing, that Sophia Girls College, Ajmer, is ranked a B++ by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.
This isn't so bad, actually.
Because I was wondering whether my degree was going to be worth the paper it was printed on. Nobody I know (barring fellow-sophians) has even heard of the university, and every time I mentioned Sophia College, people just assumed I was from the more hip college of the same name, in Bombay.
The girls there pronounced the name as an indulgently westernised 'So-fi-aa'. We stuck to a humiliatingly ordinary 'So-phee-aa'.
But what I was really worried about was the ranking given to Savitri College.
I would have died of horror and humiliation if Savitri College ended up with a better ranking, because the Savitri girls were matched equal to us in all the cultural and sporting events (okay, so they were better, sometimes... but we founded our own theatre club, so there!) and they used to darkly suggest that except for our proficiency in English, the Sophians - Sopheeians - were worse off, in every other respect.
And we, we who spoke in English, trembled inwardly at the possibility. Could it be...?
What was even more galling was that both So-phee-aa and Savitri were affiliated to the same university, and that it was rumoured that Savitri actually got more grants and concessions from the government, because it was Hindi-medium for the most part. (I can't vouch for this)
As it happens, to my immense relief and satisfaction, Savitri is ranked lower. They are only a B+, while we are a B++.
Left to us Sopheeans, they wouldn't even get a B; we think they're quite average, and a C+ is about all they deserve... which probably means there are no Sophia girls on the NAAC board.