Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mensa Kolkata - please apply

This is where I use the blogsphere to push non-blog matters.

As some of you may know, Mensa, the high-IQ society, has a chapter in
Kolkata. Mensa Kolkata has been around for many years, but has become
active only very recently, in 2000. Since 2000, we have increased our
membership to over 300, which puts us behind Pune and Mumbai in terms
of total membership.

Mensa increased its membership through a number of membership drives.
Initially, we had help from our contacts in various newspapers - TOI
and The Statesman did stories that led to a huge increase in
applications. Later, efforts by individual members brought in large
groups from JU, BE College and IIM-Calcutta.

Our current problem is twofold - firstly, membership has levelled off.
Secondly, Mensa Kolkata has a unique problem because the majority of
our members are Isolted (live in other cities). Also, since almost all
applicants are students, this problem is likely to continue. Since a
number of these students are from IIM, they are rarely able to attend
meetings, and so, remain inactive.

So, right now, Mensa needs more members. Also, we are trying to
convince people above the age of 30 to join as this demographic is
less likely to move away from the city. Unfortunately, older people
are hesitant to give the test, as not getting through can hurt their
reputation - a problem that younger people do not have.

Right now Mensa's activities consist of the monthly meeting at the
Rashbehari Avenue home of our Chapter Head and veteran Mensan, Mr.
Amit Das. These involve adda sessions on pre-decided topics. Sometimes
members with specialised interests give a little talk. Visiting
Mensans from other countries also drop by occasionally, to answer
questions about their home countries.

Its only when the number of active members crosses a critical value
that Mensa Kolkata will be able to kick its activities into gear. A
number of SIG's (Special Interest Groups) are lying dormant because of
insufficient interest. A larger membership will also allow us to hold
activity-specific meetings. Mumbai Mensa, for example, has a trekking
SIG which organises monthly trips. Pune Mensa has a tribal outreach
programme. But such things need manpower, which we lack right now.

How do you get into Mensa? You send an email to Mr. Das at He gives you a test for which you pay Rs 300. If
you make it, you get your membership packet, and can start attending

Finally, what are the advantages of joining Mensa? Well, there's the
meetings with other people who, like you, are more intelligent than
98% of the world. Then, there are benefits like SIGHT, which allow you
to avail of the hospitality of Mensans in other countries, when you
visit. Finally, it looks good on your CV, if you're into that sort of

So, I'm sending out a request. Bloggers of Calcutta - please apply. If
you're above 30, then most definitely do apply. If not, apply anyway,
but do apply. We need you.


At Sunday, August 06, 2006 7:26:00 AM, Blogger Prometheus_Unbound said...

Is MENSA Kolkata at all there. Besides meaningless resolutions and passionate expressions of intent I am yet to see anybody bust his ass to do something.

At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »

At Monday, January 05, 2009 5:15:00 AM, Anonymous Sudeshna said...

I would like to join Mensa. However, the Indian Mensa website lists a link to the Kolkata Mensa that is invalid and all the pages on Kolkata Mensa I found have not been updated for years. Can you please let me know how to take the test?

At Sunday, May 03, 2009 8:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the two years since one made phone calls and sent emails to dear Mr.Das the number of times he has responded to queries is zero. Thankfully I have shifted to Mumbai, where people are informed, informative and active.

Wish I could have had said the same for my city...

The group should at the very least be able to afford a simple but working website...else it shows the smartest 2% of Kolkata are from the also perhaps the laziest 2% of Kolkata...such a shame!


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