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

THE LIFE THAT WAS- PART 2


Let's throw some light on some of the people around me. In no particular order. 

Varma baba on the right
He was a person we did not figure out and we still have our doubts. He did not like partying, he did not like moving in crowded places, he did not attend birthday parties and the like. He liked going to one place in the world and that was home. He changed, thankfully, in the 4 years(some people might debate that). He's troubled me immensely making me walk him to his home, losing my notebooks :P and some other stuff. However, I should thank him for a lot of my marks. People recognize this guy in Kukatpally while he's walking the roads. Everyone just somehow knows Varma- in college, in Kukatpally, in the department. He's one famous chap. This guy lives for Electronics and is a self-prophesied baba. One of the nicest people around. Hope he does great with his MS and works for Intel one day.

Akshay
The only picture I have with Akshay
First things first, my competition when it comes to laziness. Oh my god, we compounded the laziness at the room. It's in some sort of drunk slumber by now . Well anyway, great guy, crazy about cars and Formula 1. Sticks to his point-of-view no matter what and yes, Jaguar is Tata Jaguar now or was it Indian? :P.. From the late night discussions to the sessions of mad laughter discussing beanshaw were more than just epic. Satyawati and her daughter love you, her daughter in particular. She'll definitely miss you once you move out! :P We both must have contribute a lot to Nizam's business through our Biryani nights. The curry point man will miss us too. Well, all that was fun indeed. I abandoned the room around my CAT exam and I hope you're doing a good job maintaining the pride and aura that place possesses. Oh, lord, the aura, killed me for 3 years. We had some differences in the beginning but eventually I think we were like brothers as Badi Mummy used to say. We've had some kick ass time and I'll really miss the times we had in that god-forsaken kiln of a room.


Seth ji,
How he dragged me to veg restaurants for 4 years
 a.k.a Vivek Rank-A, as the name suggests, a lot of 'Vivek' and a lot of 'Rank' associated with this guy. Topper so far and will be most certainly after the result for the final sem are declared, this guy was born with a brain that memorized like a computer. He even knew where the full stops and the commas were, this freak. Talked to him a hell lot during the 4 years about everything in life, had crazy debates with him that became a feature of our 2nd year. Also, I'm thankful to god that this fellow grew some weight, if only a couple of grams since he first came to college. A Jain Marwadi, he's a proper businessman and helped us immensely during the goa trip. Again, a big thank you to him for all the knowledge you imparted to me, that helped me with the aggregate.

Vinay Kumar,
Morning beauties
My CAT buddy, didn't know him that well untill the first year but soon bonded with him over football and Table Tennis. This guy was a part of a number of debates. I found out that he was going for CAT and that helped our cause. Learnt a lot together, laughed a lot together, wrote AIMCATS and laughed off single digits scores sometimes. The pain of getting low scores was alleviated by your company. Had a few fights as well, trivial ones, on the football field mostly :P. This guy is eternall hungy, both for food as well as knowledge. Wants to eat everything that's out there and wants to learn everything that's out there. Inquisitive being. Things intrigue him. I've seen his progress in the last 4 years and it has been nothing short of phenomenal. An eternal traveler, he travels from Vanasthalipuram to any and every part of Hyderabad. Give him his favt bus and a couple of hours and he'll get there.Learnt a lot from him, mainly probability. Thanks a lot for that :P



Manchikanti Naga Praneeth,
A rare picture with Praneeth
 or MN Praneeth(I know a lot of Praneeths), well this guy is Vivek's brother when it comes to Academics. Another topper, more like the silent killer. He doesn't give away much, but had the distinction of writing more than 6 answers in almost every exam paper(7 in PTSP, when we all had barely written 2 and were praying to pass). If I'll remember him for something, it'll be that content look on his face after walking out of the exam hall with the dialogue "6 perfect likha" after every exam. He toned it down and wrote 5 answers eventually towards the last few sems after realizing that he may have pissed off some correctors after not getting the desired marks, even after writing a perfect paper. A very quiet and decent guy, probably the most patient amongst us all. Thankful to him as well for a lot of marks before mid exams.

SrinivasSugamanchi,

Phone in hand, in every picture

 The first guy I met in my Engineering and the funny part is that he thought I was a foreigner(he still does). He's a very nice guy, always telling us to keep our expectations low. It would be a hard task describing him because I never really wondered what kind of a person he was, he was just there, never making a fuss. He has stories about his intermediate life that sadden us :P.. Strongly built, He loves to beat the shit out of Vivek and I love to see the show. Passionate about Cricket, he loves to keep talking of Tendulkar(I guess, his favt player). He's been responsible for a few injuries while playing football and he's slipped and fallen down innumerable times. He just loves falling down(so much so that he slipped while rain-dancing during our farewell and more or less sealed his reputation). Another nice guy, he's going to be a Net-Cracker soon, I wish him good luck with his career.

Pavan Kumar,
Pavan(white shirt) and I can't look good everytime :P

 Another guy whom I met a little late in my colg life, did not know much about him in the first year but talked a lot to him in the second year. Got to know of his interests which were many and one of his interests which involved too many :P [if you know what I mean ;)]. He's a rapper/poet/writer/singer and has made us proud with one of his rap. Sharing it would not be possible as it contains some really thought provoking lyrics. A very stylish guy, he keeps trying out clothes and keeps asking "Acha lagra kya?" and laughing all the same. Always learning vocab with Vinay, I still remember our bus rides and his longing for new words. Hope you'll become a dictionary in the years to come :D

Nithin Kumar and Nithin Kumar(Kale and Male, roll no. 17 and 18) - It was not possible for me to separate you people because only two G's can separate you both- God and Goa :P.
The first Nithin or C.R. as we fondly call him,
The only sane picture of us

man, this guy is a legend. If you had ever walked into our class and see a guy walking slowly with a phone stuck to his ear for a long time, that'd probably be him. He is my father when it comes to laziness. Always ready at the last instant, waking up for as late as I did, and laid-back, this guy is just the definition of "too cool about things".  He joined me for a part of my CAT expedition and I heard a number of stories about his life. A very nice guy, eternally hungry for kebabs and biryani.

The second Nithin,
The paash bwooys Volume 1

our very own 'bottu', famous for his artwork on the forehead in the first few years, strong person, always trying to have fun, bunking off, playing Table Tennis, enjoying most of the time. Inadvertently, I realized, you subliminally initiated a lot of our bunks to movies :P Famous with Devender sir and benefitting immensely from that, this guy managed a good score in Physics when we were left sulking in 60s. Nice guy but with a short temper, he's lost it a couple of times but he does come around eventually. Going for his MS abroad, hope you work in Intel too and land in the top 5% of the class like you did in your SOP( pun intended :P)

Shiva Kumar,

Goa and Shiva- A love story untold

 This guy is very organized in his head. He does things that he wants to do, irrespective of anything. Headstrong would be the word for him. Did not really talk to him as much as I did with others in these 4 years but he'll definitely leave a mark. Leading whenever required and coming from a background that he does, he's risen leaps and bounds from the boy he was in school(Yes I remember that story :P). Computer Networks expert, I'll see him around at Deloitte.

Hari "David" Krishna,
HARI- The floating David :P

 I call him David based on the Goa trip experience. As I did tell him, I had a few differences with him in the initial years but that vanished away in the years that followed. A fun guy to be around, he keeps joking all the time and I don't think I'll ever talk serious stuff with him(except for that 1 hour long talk in Goa). This guy keeps falling and having injuries and he's currently nursing a fractured finger. Big fan of Patha Hotel and Muntha masala(if that is what it is called) :P.

Dominic,
Dominic, just being himself

he deserves a special mention here as he's been writing exams with me for the past few years. If I said Nithin was cool, Dominic, sometimes would put Nithin to shame. Foreigners generally came 15 mins late to exams, Dominic beat them to it by coming as late as 30 mins sometimes. People completed their dinners and Dominic began his. Fun guy, never feels bad about anything. He is what he is, literally. Have had never-ending debates with this guy that never end because he doesn't budge from his point of view. I'll miss his amazing kicks while playing football(I hope you people get sarcasm :P).

Apart from these people are other people whom I've not talked to extensively but shared great memories with. The organizing of Business quiz with Azhar and Niloufar and also that lunch at Hotel Alpha, the millions of print outs of Bhandari sir's room with Pallavi, study and inspirational sessions with Akhila, labs with Hyma and Swapna, discussions with Raziya topper, that discussion with Ritu about some legends before freshers, Project with Nawaf, Varma and Karthik god, Sumanth and his meditation, time spent with the hostellers on particular days when I came to the hostel, Raj, Prem, Rahul, Meghnath, Bhargav, Maharshi, Shankar, Ramki, Sanath, PS, Dharma, Riyu and the gang. The other girls of our class too, Vishnu Priya, Nitya, Meghana, Bhavana, Anusha, Monika, Kranthi, Soumya, Tanveer, Tejaswini, Indraja, Soumya, Subhashini, Reshma, Shobha and all the people I may have just missed. All  my foreigner buddies Crystal, Amir, Ehsaan, Majid, Ismail, Ahmed, Mahmoud, Nawaf, Abdalla, Abdul, Hussam.

The Farewell

Also, all the friends from the various departments, juniors and parallels, 
the Street Cause team, the friends from my own department, there are so many of you, and I might miss some if I start naming you people. But I hope you all get the essence and understand that you have contributed to what I am today. It's time for me to leave college and move on to other things but I will miss this place. It has been a place that has taught me a lot of things. And I shall remember this place and the various people I met along this wonderful journey, deep within my heart. 


Some memorable moments

It was a life that was, and it was a life that was mine, 
and I shall cherish that life, carved within this rhyme! :')

Peace!