Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Au Revoir

This was one examination that shouldn't have ended. The final presentation brought down the curtains on the 5 most fruitful years of my life that i have spent at IIT. In a few days from now, i would be in some other part of the country putting up with the professional grind. And only i know how badly i will miss these days. 5 years of living in the same place, moving around with people whose company i have always craved for and attending lectures in the same building are memories that are now permanently etched somewhere.
Life at IIT may not really be what Chetan Bhagat has made it out to be. But it definitely is different. Inside the campus, there is a whole new world which is very different from the normal Bombay life. Any casual observer might be amazed at the difference in lifestyles. I am not getting into the merits and demerits of leading a different life. But living in IIT has taught me a few things which i fear i might have not learned outside.
I didn't clear the JEE in my first attempt and ended up joining a regional engineering college. But the very first day, i realised that my calling lies elsewhere. Straight out of school where i had a been the quintessential teacher's pet; i was thrown headlong into a world where things were very different. For someone who had grown up on gory tales about college ragging, the first day in the college couldn't have been worse. Some 'dirty' ragging combined with my heightened sense of insecurity meant that i fled from the college at the end of the first day itself. Never to look back. Got through JEE the next year and landed up at IIT Bombay. And life couldn't have been better. No ragging (call me what you may), no unique ways of greeting the seniors, a very healthy student-faculty interaction - i couldn't have possibly asked for more. The highly skewed sex ratio might have been the only minus.
The first two years were spent getting a firm foothold. Befriended plenty of people but had no strong peer group as such. Blame it on the fact that i have lived in so many places,the fact was that i never had a very strong friends circle; the kind you can feel you belong to.
Things started to look better from third year onwards. I developed a strong bonding with a few like minded guys in the department. And the ever elusive friends circle came into existence. I can't believe how much i have learned from them over a very short span of time. They taught me how to enjoy while still being at IIT- going out on treks and similar outings, or just a walk along marine drive when it poured or the advantages of putting up night outs or whiling away time at coffee shack a day before exams. These are pretty simple things which i started enjoying only in their company. Importantly, they regularly put up with my erratic behaviour or totally unnecessary sarcastic jibes either with a hearty laugh or giving it back in equal measure. Fact remains that i enjoyed and learnt so much from each one of them. The best part was having a group of individuals willing to lend an ear to each and every problem i faced. People i could always look upto. And i have never ever craved for a company more than i do now.
Then there were people in the hostel and wing who made life at IIT rather simple, specially by helping me out with acads. These were the people who ensured that i don't end up with backlogs at the end of the day. Frankly speaking, i owe my placement to them.
Not to forget, people from Bombay but not from within IIT. I simply don't have words to thank you people. Some who have been here in Bombay and have helped me with almost everything. Then there are people who have been living in places like Delhi , who made it a point to meet up whenever they landed in Bombay. Despite the fact that i was sometimes guilty of showing a lack of enthusiasm, they insisted on meeting up. And i am so glad they did.From helping me in figuring out the shortest route to Kala Ghoda from Powai to getting me medicines from places as far as Thane, these people have neved backed off from helping me. We have whiled away so many evenings discussing Kafka and Marquez and the sci-fis, debating if Nicholson is God and why and how life at IIT is different. It was an amazing experience interacting with people who showed me that life outside of IIT is equally beautiful and varied.
In a nutshell, IIT life might not be 'cool'. But then it was not for the coolness quotient that we slogged off our asses and burnt the midnight oil. It was the charm and aura of getting branded that made us go through all that rigour. IIT is the most amazing place to be. It deserves every bit of the respect and aura it commands. I am so proud to be associated with the institute and more importantly, with the people. Given a chance, i wouldn't want it any other way.

PS: I am right now going through a whole gamut of emotions. I would have wanted to present this in a much better way. But, even that would have not justified what i felt. I just want to dedicate this to all you guys who actually have ended up shaping my life in IIT. Goodbye, dear friends, you will be sorely missed. Reusing the oft used phrase, You can take me out of IIT but you cannot take the IIT out of me :)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee.. i am the first one commeting :)
You know arunabh why you do have a friends circle that you can look upto? Why there are actually people dying to be friends with you? Because, you are immensely likeable. Very honestly, of all the guys i have had the pleasure of interacting with.. you just stand out :) We insist on the meeting up every time that we come to Bombay is only because we looooveee to be in your company. You are a really really sweet IITian. Stay like this forever :)
Best :)

~ruchika

Metallica bhakt! said...

:) Everyone is getting senti on their blogs!! All the best for whatever u do!

SaIk said...

see... ideas clashed here as well... the timing couldn't have been better... i wish u were not leaving on 20th and that too at such a critical moment, to do the least I would have got the opportunity to see you off :( .. I would not say anything more...

Stay in touch be ... i would miss you the most :)

arunabh said...

@ruchika
As i said before, i don't really know how to thank you people for always being there to lend a helping hand :)
Thanks a ton.. you are splendid! And that explains the long list of people courting you :P
Keep visiting :)

@yashshri
Hehe.. its pretty understandable given that we are all passing out. My friends have been awesome and i don't think i can thank them enough via a blogpost. Still, i try
Best to you as well :)
Keep visiting:)

arunabh said...

@sai
The clash of ideas has been one of the unique things about this really long journey :D
I know i couldn't have left at a timing worse than this. But, may be, its providence :)
And i don't need to tell you how much i am going to miss you. I owe you people an infinite lot. We will stay in touch
Keep visiting :)

Prachi sayeth said...

Dood, u dunno havta thank us, atleast me. Been your frnd fr so long cuz of ma own selfish reasons... u are amazing and innocent lik a kid. Get some meanness before u join the corporate world. U like rlly need it :)
btw, between being surrounded by nice -lookin-attention-seekin ppl, plz don't forget tis some1 calld prachi :(

u absolutely rock!!
shud i say anything more here?
loads of love. All the best :)
Prachi

the lazy knight said...

Leaving college is always a bit melachonic. I still remember the farewell day in my college four years back and as the evening descended and we all started on our way back home, i fell the sun setting over perhaps the most relaxed and tension free period of life. Somehow the ease of being that one enjoys in school and college is difficult to find at other places...as is the peer group...but life then is all about changing habitats and finding new comfort zones... :)

Yashika Totlani said...

Wow... one honest n genuine post, every sentence dripped with emotions. A lot is changing for me as well... and change is tough. But its essential. And unavoidable.

Consider yourself lucky (which im assuming you already do), very lucky, to have been a part of IIT-B and having spent 5 pretty years with the best minds in the country. Not everybody manages to get that :(

And rest assured... pune n ZS will be good. Also, iit shall forever be with you. Keep coming back for reunions and moodi. Amen :)

p.s. n you havta havta stay in touch!
p.p.s. still remember the favor outstanding for pune :P

Psychochan said...

total dil se this is ... all the sarcasm, acidic humour drained out... this post seems to be a sign of the confident young man you've become... your cocktail of emotions is pretty easy to see... i mean this is such a heartfelt post... gosh, i am getting so inarticulate myself, but well, shud suffice to say, 'I understand'

arunabh said...

@prachi
Ok advice taken and filed for future reference :)
And can you even imagine that i will ever forget friends like you?
you rock!
Keep visiting:)

@lazy knight
Hey! Thanks a lot for the knightly advice :)
I know that college days shall be forever etched in my memory. But heeding your advice, i shall try and find out a comfort zone for myself.
Keep visiting :)

arunabh said...

@yashika
Thanks :) And it was straight from the heart post. I am feeling really bad leaving IIT and hence the emotional post.
Yes, as i said, i am proud of having been associated with IIT for such a long period of time. I really mean it:)
Keep visiting:)
PS: We will!
PPS: I will be in Pune in around 2 weeks. Time for action :P

@psychochan (Deepti)
This one had to be 'dil se'. So the absence of humour :)
Life at college was perhaps the best part of my life. Something that even beats school life.. this was not something that i ever thought will happen. But very glad that it did.
Keep visiting :)

Sam said...

ah well.. u r gng thru a phase everyone goes thru... the graduation phase!!
I mean, its the best days of your life for a long time to come... its in college, that u wud cherish the last vestiges of selfless frndshp..wer ppl hang arnd not because they wants oemthing off u.. simply because they are ur frnd.. they'd listen to ur crap at 3:00 am, with their reports halfway thru and the submission deadline being at 9:00am...
will u find such a bunch after grads????
lemme tell u.. NO!!
I tried to preserve that fella in me a lot.. ppl say i've changed very little and yet i feel am not same chap anymore!!
the jungle eats ur soul everyday.. every single day!!!
Best of Luck for ur future!!! :)
and hld on to what u r now.... its important!!

Vartika said...

hey! congratulations on the successful 5 year stint!
another of those senti posts on yet another page...looks like nostalgia is going to be the new epidemic!
all d best for life ahead!!!

Sach said...

college days!!!
nothing like 'em...n i can *somewhat* understand what the past 5 years would have meant to you...

wish you luck ahead in upcoming days

Richa said...

Hi Arunabh,

I am Richa from SiliconIndia. I am also an avid blogger for a while now and participating actively in Indian blogosphere. I read your blog posting and found them very interesting and informative. We would love to see a copy of your blogs posted here, whenever you are posting it on blogger.com. Here are some of the benefits of posting your blogs here:

We have a strong community of 500,000 Indian professionals
Best blogs of 2008 to be published in a book "SiliconIndia bLoG PrinT"
Best blog to be printed in SliconIndia & SmartTechie magazines each month
Chance to be featured on homepage everyday


We appreciate your community initiative here and in helping build a more powerful India! Also, if you have any ideas or want to volunteer to help for SiliconIndia, we would be more than excited to get your help. Pls mail me back at richa@siliconindia.com with your suggestions and feedback.

Richa
Blog Editor – SiliconIndia

Sayani said...

hey
thats a lovely and emotional piece....it reminds me my owndays...:)


what i wanna say "GOOD LUCK"
stay happy :)

Bhavna said...

wow! thanks for taking me to a different place...

kritzmat said...

Amazingly honest post. But you know the part i liked the best was about coming across like minded people and people you could count upon, people you could open up with. Thats something i can so relate to.
The place you coming from and the things you left behind, forget about Pune, any place else would have been an equally burdensome experience i think, at least in the beginning! :)