Saturday, April 29, 2006

Times they are a changin.....

I have always been uneasy with transition. I like the morning, the afternoon and the night. Dawns and dusks don't particularly excite me. I feel it in everything I do and in everything that happens to me. I don't like the train journeys to my home and back. They somehow make be uncomfortable, edgy; for I feel like I am neither here nor there. I love being in my hostel with my friends and I love being in my home with my family. But the transition, the wait for the destination as stations roll by the window, always makes me anxious. It's not that I abhor change. Nothing, they say, is permanent but change. It's just that the twilight zone unsettles me. So with about a month to go before I finish this journey which started five years ago and embark on a new one, I once again find myself in the same predicament which has troubled me on my train journeys, albeit on a much smaller scale; I am eagerly looking forward to end this journey and move ahead but at the same time I am loath to leave this place.

Five years is a long time to spend in a place, and when I say place I mean much more than a city. It's the corridors of your hostel, the kilometre long walk to the institute , the LT's that you slept in, the labs that you went to primarily for the air conditioning, the dhaba near your hostel where you have had numerous cups of tea and parathas, the music events that you won and more so the ones that you didn't, it's the market opposite the main gate of your institute, it's the Chanakyas and the Priyas that have become more than a part of your life. In fact, they are your life. I mean so much has happened in the five years that I have spent here and such has been its impact that it easily stands out as the most significant period of my life. Well you might say that this is the case for almost every college going student, it's a huge period in his life. I totally agree but nonetheless I feel like writing about it for it's these five years which has taught me things about myself I didn't know, it has in a long way defined the person that I am and but for this place, I am sure I would have been a lesser one at that. It has given me experiences to cherish for my entire life, friends who have varied from the boisterous to the suave, from the predictable to the one having the most unlikely mood swings, from the eternal phattu to the ultimate bindaas and from the erudite to the lover boy and the coder (pun intended!), friends with whom every moment spent has been a delight and a revealation.

Throughout these years several things have changed. The standard and frequency of treats for example, have undergone sea changes and have gone up from the KL and mezbaan to the Pizza Huts and the TGIF's. People who spent their yesteryears in all boys schools have become the love-gurus of today. Tandoori roti has given way to tawa roti, the SAC floor has been replaced by the Convo. The LAN has seen new avatars of file sharing every year and has moved on from the pioneering Tobu to by far the strongest and the longest surviving embodiment, DC++. Our modes of conveyance through the city also has changed from the bus to the auto to the bikes and finally, in our last year, to cars. And there have been some invariants also, standing ever the same even as things around them perpetually undergo major and minor alterations. So the thin people have remained thin and the healthy ones have maintained their health, each category continually harbouring thoughts of metamorphosis into the other form. And amidst all these, I changed too. I came in here as a boy who had just about conquered the world. In between there was the realisation that not everything in life goes your way though at the same time you are much more than what the world takes you for. There was the bitterness of defeat and failure along with the sweetness of achievement. I mastered the art of doing things at the last moment and just scraping through. I fell in love with the idea of buying books solely based on the blurb and the title and on the way came across gems like The Kite Runner. I learnt to play the guitar and sing along with my friends the entire night. I went trekking to a place where
at night the only sound is that of a river gushing by and the only light is that of the thousand and one stars above you. I moved from writing a personal diary to a public blog. I also studied about Computer Science and realised that it's not my calling in life and something I would want to do ten years down the line.

One of my friends said that looking back, the past years have given us more than we could ever hope and I think he is probably right. So as I await the beginning of a new chapter in my life, the only thing that I hope, is for it to be as different from the others as this one has been.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Koi na yaar....

I had planned this post days back. It's just that I had hoped it to be different.

What do you do when something you have been really looking forward to for almost a year doesn't happen; when something that actually interested you and made you work hard for the first time in five years goes completely awry; when you are made to realise that your estimation of yourself doesn't at all tally with the powers that be?

I started with blaming my luck. Thereafter it veered towards the fact that what I had done (or rather not done) here being a major factor in convincing those who matter what I could do in the future. It was one of the worst days in my life and it was not because I hadn't tasted failure before. On the contrary I have had quite a few, but on most occasions either it didn't matter to me too much or I was expecting it anyways. This time though the feeling was different. It was a feeling of emptiness. I was sad because lot of people had expectations from me, I was sad because I had been unable to stand up to myself, I was sad because I had thought that finally, this would be my day, I was sad because I had given it my best shot and that had not been good enough. For months I had seen people around me achieve what they want (which is mostly getting jobs, and good ones at that), sometimes even more than that, and while I was always happy and proud to revel in their delight, for once I had hoped myself to be at the other end, to be the one being congratulated and not the one simply congratulating. Not that I didnt have my chance at all. It's just that my first reaction or thought on getting a job (which was modest by the standards set this year) was the hope that I wouldn't have to join it. It was not a feeling of elation , it was one of relief. All my planning, right from staying here in the summers last year to choosing my project guide seemed to add up to zilch. My friends and family did their bit to console me by staying as normal as they could and by the end of the day I had lost count of the number of times I had heard "Koi naa yaar.. Chill reh.. agli bar nikaal lio..." Everything they said was right; one even laughed with me about the exact same situation he was in last year and I couldn't help but laugh along with him; but though I laughed at the jokes and tried to stay as normal as I could, the fact was that I was feeling terribly low. To be very candid I don't know why, but I had never expected this to happen even in my scariest nightmares. Maybe I had expected too much, maybe I didnt't deserve it in the first place and had simply been carried away by what my friends and family made me believe, which, for all practical purposes, could have been nothing but a confidence buliding measure and not a true reflection of my worth. I don't want to go into any sort of post mortem here because that's to me useless and not the purpose of writing this post.

It's almost a day after the first result came out and the shock has slowly started to subsidise. From tomorrow it's going to be work as usual. Maybe I had put too much into this entire exercise, maybe I am just one of those fellows who is never satisfied, wants everything and is unnecessarily brooding over something which won't matter much in the long run. I really don't know. It's just that this is the way I am feeling right now, quite shattered.
Sometimes I even feel that a miracle would happen and the authorities would realise that they have made a mistake! Gosh I am desperate and a bad looser.

By the way the IIM final calls were declared today though this post has nothing to do with it.