Sunday, April 22, 2012

A few last words

I suppose I only have the basic human trait of ‘never being satisfied with what they have’ to blame for my lack of emotions (or perhaps an overdose of it) on a day I’ve been waiting for ever since that murky day in August when they made me share a hall with another 500 like-minded souls to get us ‘oriented’ to this supposedly great institution. Four very LONG years I waited for this very day. But now that it’s actually here, I’m not so sure if I want it that badly because deep down, I know that these days are not going to come back in my life. The freedom at CUSAT and the herd of incredible young minds I got to work and live with. I refrain myself from using the word ‘friend’ because if the past 4 years has taught me something it’s the age old truth that it’s just you and your chubby pillow in this big fat world. Do not get me wrong, they are all great people!
Honestly, I’ve never really loved this college. Took up this place because my ‘Kerala ranks’ were pathetic, though like Mr. Madhavan in ‘Three Idiots’(and almost every other Indian), I had my interests in a field that lay on the paradoxical horizon to that of computer science and engineering. So there it was. A college, hardly 6km from where I live. So much for the ‘study in a metro’ dreams.
And there I met a lot of Biharis. I was put into a class where the majority couldn’t comprehend what I was speaking. And the little Malayalis that were present in every corner kept speaking in strange dialects that my virgin mind refused to translate. So much for the “Rang De Basanti” and “Dil Chahta Hei” dreams!  To make matters worse, the people I actually liked in the college kept saying, ‘can’t wait to get out of this shit-hell man’.

Life was in short – Pathetic. It was nice to have a 180 acre campus. But when the nearest bus stop was located at the diagonally opposite extreme, things aren’t that romantic. At places that didn’t have cow dung, there were a thousand crows waiting for that affirmation from the wing commander to bombard.
The truth is I’ll never love this institution. It exemplifies the phrase ‘education ruins you’.  Four years ago I walked into this place as a confident programmer ready to be the next ‘Neo’ and save the world. Today I sit here like a zombie, totally worried about the very obnoxious course viva that looms over my head. For heaven sake, I don’t even know MS Word!
Wait a minute. Was this place that bad?  I might not be a nerd hacking servers hidden in some mysterious port of Malibu but I’m definitely a changed man. For example, now I know what Not to write. I’ve successfully bluffed the role of a good quizzer. Jees, I even called up the lead singer of Motherjane and asked him to judge our rock music competition for free.  And yes, that very long sip of the ‘Absolut’(and it’s aftermath).
Here’s the thing. School prepares you for college. And a college moulds you into a human being capable of taking on the world (ideally). Therefore a college is much more than mere ‘academic enhancement’. It’s where a boy finally learns to become a man. A place where people from different backgrounds live and learn together. This very fact is precisely what differentiates college from school. You either study in a ‘rich’ school or a ‘poor’ school and hence most often you end up with people who are very similar to you. At a college, things don’t work that way. And these friends that you develop during your life at college won’t seem like special human beings.  In fact on umpteen numbers of times they will backstab you, put your life in a miserable spot and even steal your efforts for their glory. But trust me, it’s definitely a give and take thing. You’d do the very same. And perhaps it’s one of those truths that one needs to learn in life without somebody actually saying it to you. No one is perfect. No one can be relied upon. It’s all man for himself. And hence, when somebody asks you to name your best buddies these names might not come out in a reflex. They aren’t the people with whom you’ve shared your complete heart like the pal you probably had at school.
But come to think of it one probably spends the best moments in the life with these people. I certainly did. I was surrounded by my college friends when I first set my eyes upon the mighty Himalayas. That hot summer Saturday, when the Ghost Riders ‘haunted’ the college.
Maybe I got it completely wrong. From day 1 I was adamant about establishing a feeling that I came from somewhere entirely superior to the college. 4 years down the line and I feel sick and ashamed of my former self. And it’s only fair that on this last occasion I hold my hands up and admit I was wrong. You people, all of you who’ve made my life worthwhile in this college are destined for greater heights. And I’m not a person who says good things easily, so you might want to save that line.

Like I said, I’m confused. I still have only the college to blame for my present situation. When the semester 6 results came, I was shell shocked. I had managed to fail in almost all the subjects quite contrary to my expectations. Gave up on CAT and TISS. Completely screwed up my life. Back then I honestly wished I had someone to help me. I had begged to my class co-ordinator and other senior lecturers. But nobody gave a damn. The revaluation results came out the other day. I had passed in almost all the subjects (ah well you don’t count DSP as a subject ;) ). So I had given up on CAT and TISS for no real reason.
I’m neither happy nor sad. And most of the times this state is more confusing than both. This series of ‘realizations’ that is continuously barging into my small conscience! Whether I might like to accept it or not this place has been my home for the past 4 years. Strangely synonymous with Matthew 7:7 " knock and the door will be opened to you." That room number 115 has always been open for me whenever I've wanted a place to hide/enjoy.
Maybe I should have probably given it a chance. But I don’t know.  Maybe I have had my fair share of ill experiences to feel the way I did. I’d never know. One thing’s for sure though. I’ll miss this place. Especially some people in it. And it’s different from school. At school you know that your friend’s will be in touch with you. With college it’s different. Tomorrow is probably the last time we are going to see each other. 

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