Thursday, May 16, 2013

THE LIFE THAT WAS- PART 1


This is a lengthy article, I must warn you but it had to be. You can't fit 4 years of life into a single page but for the purpose of reading it, I shall divide it into two articles.

It all started on 9th September 2009(09-09-09) as Srinivas keeps reminding us of the first day we stepped into college. The journey of my college life had begun. It's interesting how people go into their first year of college thinking they'd miss their college when they'd pass out, that they'd meet their friends years later and mull over how much fun those days were. I never had those thoughts. There were a few reasons for that but as I ventured through the same path day in-day out, as I ate the same inedible canteen food, as I gulped the same rubbery "apparently filtered" water, I started to like this place.
*Le College

 The people weren't alien anymore, they had turned into embodied souls though it didn't help if they talked in Telugu around me. I was unfamiliar with the language which brings me to the first and foremost point about the college life: The language Dilemma!

Being a Kashmiri born in Delhi and brought up in Delhi/Mumbai/Hyderabad in bits didn't help my cause. I was foreign to Telugu for a good part of the time I was in Hyderabad. For this I blame my friends at school and FIITJEE for never ever talking in Telugu around me. All I knew was 'ra' and a few swear words here and there(Ironically, for this I blame my school and FIITJEE friends as well :P). I had come to a place where people did not believe in English as a mode of communication. They looked to signify the phrase "In Telugu we trust". Can't blame them, I talked in Hindi in an English medium school in Delhi all the time, the only time I did speak English there was to the Principal regarding something. My classmates were still ok, they conversed with me in English but some lecturers talked in Telugu extensively assuming that everyone understood. I hardly ever told any lecturer not wanting to be singled out (I kept a low profile with professors, it has helped my case immensely). The foreigners(yes ,we had foreigners in our college, though I always wondered why they came here leaving logic behind) meanwhile, had a worse time so I sought solace in that fact. Soon enough I picked up bits of Telugu and  now after 4 years I can proudly say that I have reached where I have right now- still close to knowing little of the language. But I do understand some stuff and the puzzled expressions are a thing of the past.

Coming to another aspect of my college life: academics. The electronic circuits intrigued me, fascinated me, stupefied me for a good part of my intermediate education. Come Engineering and that interest started to dwindle. A wonderful lecturer who taught us BEE(Basic Electrical and Electronics), famously called "The Dracula"( I shall not take names here) ruined everything for me. The basic circuits became scary. Transistors turned into monsters and zener diode gave me nightmares of an avalanche breaking down on me. She wasn't that bad a teacher, she was the worst(I'm sure Vivek would disagree). I ran to T.K.V. Nagendra Varma's home the night before the exam and cried for help(more on this unique specimen later). Varma helped me out and I got an 80. How I managed to get that is still a mystery to me. Meanwhile Varma got 95+ and broke an ECE record(Our Electronics guru he is). Well, there you had it, like teacher-like student. The interest was as good as dead and the topics weren't able to revive it. I had dwelled into a different world. Now that the course is almost at its fag end, I still have trouble recalling a few topics. AWP and Analog Communications hit logic highs on my interest curve but apart from that it was a sad logic low all throughout. I can confidently say that if there are some things I will be remembered for, by my classmates, Academics may feature low on that list. Despite Having said that, I have an aggregate of 81.5% :P (Not bragging, I'm still 15th or so in the class, studious people are studious :/)

If there was one thing that I will miss, dearly miss, it would have to be football in the basketball court.
The sacred spot

 Sounds peculiar but believe me, it was one of those moments when I felt at peace with the word, with the football at my feet and the shot clear, shoot and GOAL!! There are some downsides of forgetting that you're playing in a 10-metre court, you have to search for the ball endlessly in the bushes that surround the court and you feel like a fool only to be celebrating madly a short while ago. It started with a bunch of people who never played football to a gang that devoured every moment spent kicking the ball in random directions. The ECE vs. Mechanical football matches were like India-Pakistan(I'm over hyping this but they were still electric). 
A match made in JNTU


At times we had 16 people in a small court and 8 attacking the ball at once. One of those poker face moments when you do not know whether to stand back and laugh or get into the frenzy and kick to heaven's delight. We had special moments when people slipped, the memorable ones were:

i. Vamiq's epic fall- Into the slippery stagnant waters of the adjoining court.
ii. Srinivas's consistency in falling down every day- Water or no water, falling was his birthright and he didn't fall back in claiming it.
iii. Trevor's acrobatic fall- This was an out of the world fall, describing it wouldn't do justice to the slip.
iv. Varma- The name's enough. He always did something to make us all fall down on the ground and laugh holding our stomachs. Taking header as low as a few cms, heading the ball to the opposition striker when he was the goal keeper, oh, this guy was awesome in providing comic reliefs.
v. Mech vs. ECE- The one prominent thing we guys bonded over was football. The matches were amazing with everyone laughing off the incidents later.

There are too many of them that I don't recall right now but they were epic to say the least. There was also Chota Varma day(March 2nd) which shall be cherished for days to come. Only people who were involved would recall why it was called so. We also had Chota Pavan and Chota Srinivas day, subsequently on the 2nd of two different months. We decided it was a doomed day and were always vigilant if the calendar read the 2nd day of the month. The frequency of football came down drastically after the 3rd year. People hardly attended college due to placements and competitive exams. But we shall return to the land we belong to one fine day and play again.

The next part would be the room I stayed in near the college. 
Mera sexy hairstyle aur Akshay ka sexy pyjama :D


It was a hovel as Akshay calls it, a "khandar" if saying so adds to its beauty . I stayed with my roommate Akshay and his grandmother for a good part of the first two years. His grandmother was one of the most caring and genuine people I had met in my life. She isn't with us anymore in this world but Akshay and I still recall her habits and things she did that made us smile. She was like the grandmother I never had. From her advice about life to her recollections about times of her past, we did enjoy most of them. May her soul rest in peace.

Akshay and I have had some of the most memorable times in that room. This place never remained clean. You clean it one moment and it used to be dirty the very next moment. With little ventilation, it was like a boiler tube in the summer. The fan died a couple of times and we revived it. The Cooler failed miserably. There was no scope for an AC somehow. The room, no matter how many times you cleaned it, organized it, set it, dusted it, came back to its original state in absolutely no time. There were innumerable games we played: paper basketball that decided our results or ruined it for that matter, Business, the board game where "Seth-ji" Vivek looted us at will, paper football that was a short lived affair, cricket on the terrace that didn't last long either and a number of card games initially. To add to these would be the completion of NFS: Hot pursuit 2010, Most wanted, Carbon, almost all parts of COD, Moto GP, innumerable seasons of Formula 1, FIFA 10,11,12(Akshay has become a pro by now), pocket tanks, and a lot of other games that left our laptops handicapped with multiple-parts failures but still running by god's grace. This limited our gaming reaches and we spared the top end games for good. Movies and sitcoms were circulated like little pathogens. My laptop still contains a good number of movies I have never watched.

The room led to the invention of a number of dishes(go to the Peanut butter article if you wish to- Peanut Butter Delight), a number of mixed rice recipes, burnt dishes, stuff that stayed in the fridge and turned into something that even a bacteria would refuse to eat. The Wednesday Biryani nights, the curry point, Chinese Noodles wala(I forgot his name again), Gayatri Juice point, AKC with Aakash, Kimshuk, Ajay, Shivam. Ajay's rajma disaster, the roti fiasco, the pop corn fiasco were some of the food disasters that took place in that room. This was a place of many inventions, food or otherwise. There were also a number of other incidents we would not like to report here, for the risk of family audience.

The Pop Corn Fiasco

Apart from college work, I got into a number of things- I played football for the department, only once though as there was more focus on politics and less focus on talent, I wrote a lot for the-hive.in, I was selected as the Cognizant Campus Ambassador,I became a part of Street Cause and HYA that in itself became a part of my identity at college. I recall the only 2 MUNs that I took part in(Manish, I have to give you a special mention for filling my form for both :P),the various fests in different colleges that I ran to, the innumerable friends I made from various colleges, the final trip to Goa that was just amazing to say the least, so many great memories and I'd thought, initially that I wouldn't miss much. That brings me to the end of part 1. If you have survived this long, I salute you. Do read along!

In the next part, I'd like to name the people who were a part of my journey.

Click here for it- Part 2

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