Monday, September 18, 2006


Living my Dreams

As I lie down in my room and watch the ancient relic of a fan complete its nth revolution, think for a painfully long time and ultimately decide in favour of repeating its movements one more time before surrendering itself to the Almighty, my mind takes a sudden unexpected jaunt down memory lane. The ancient relic becomes a white CG, the walls surrounding it are no longer dilapidated, and the bed becomes a lot more comfortable. Only the feeling of home remains. And then, I begin to wonder, how exactly did the notion of home come to have two meanings? How exactly did the old fan and the crumbling ceiling become all-too familiar?

The answers to these age-old questions of wisdom lie in the two year period from April 2003 to 2nd May 2005. The sabbatical I undertook to make my new home where it now is. The classes with FIITJEE, the Phase Tests, the All-India Test Series and ultimately the D-Day – JEE 2005. As I look back, I feel the two years passed more easily than they were supposed to. The trips to the FIITJEE center in the plethora of Maruti Vans, each in a new colour and sporting a new driver. Each driver bringing with him a new chapter in the tales to be recounted to the van-mates when the new package arrived. Those jaunts to Geeta Colony with 8 people crowded uncomfortably and illegally in that 4-wheeler, seem so distant now. The days of being chased at the Noida-Delhi border by policeman noticing the extra person, the days of waiting at the gates for the van to come on time, and then starting the short walk to the next stop to get some company in order to crib about the driver, obfuscate with every passing day.

Those were the days indeed. Returning from school meant gobbling down the lunch which would be served in manner so as to make sure it was all finished in the minimum possible time. The bag-switch, occasional change of clothes and Lefty would be off to the gate to keep up the Rendezvous with the Man on the Wheel. The two two-hour classes and then sticking around with a faithful few to ask doubts while others in the van devised new schemes to tear us to pieces for delaying the departure again.

The Teachers like their entire ilk, were always prime targets for mimicry wizards. There were those who delivered what they called ‘motivational lectures’ and those who just about managed to convey what they were trying to say, often resorting to the use of crude sign-language. There were also those who would try to keep the class entertained with their ‘jokes’, which elicited sufficient laughter simply because the ‘joke’ was too funny in its feebleness. Those who had not been competent or had had the misfortune to fall into the students’ Bad Books suffered when the Teacher Response Sheets found their way into our vindictive hands.

The Test-series meant playing football with the bottle of finished Pepsi during the two hour break. The end of the game was generally brought about by a sprained foot or a twisted ankle. Sometimes, things got so out-of-control that it was the goal-keeper’s crushed fingers that signaled that revision time had better start. And we were supposed to be students preparing dedicatedly for the Mother of all difficult examinations – JEE! The two years were passing rapidly and the feeling of urgency, oddly enough, never arrived. A week before the Mains, we actually joked on how we were almost face to face with the paper and still felt as though it was all smooth sailing.

Mind you, a lot was sacrificed in order to keep up one’s hopes. There were parties that had to be missed, family get-togethers that had to be avoided and worst of all, the overtures of one of the best specimens of the fairer sex had to be turned down (was I stupid, or what?). But it didn’t seem to matter then. It was as if some contract had been sub-consciously signed and these were the terms and conditions couldn’t be violated.

I don’t know how exactly it was managed, but something made me believe that I would be successful in my quest. It wasn’t anything special, not any psychological seminar or special lecture. It was just something that… happened. Something that was just engrained in us and we accepted it without question. Suddenly, IIT was no longer a prize which I would have to strive to win; it was a prize which my opponents would have to strive to snatch away from me.

The two years, rigourous as they must have been, were enjoyable to the hilt. Fast friends were made and unbelievably intelligent people were found to be human beings like you or I. Those 24 months passed all too quickly. The Exam was taken, the results announced, the celebrations enjoyed and Roorkee became the new home, not just the proverbial home away from home.

Now as I see my fellows curse their luck for having ‘landed up’ here, I can’t help not being able to stop the sense of disbelief that crops up. Maybe it’s because I know that it is impossible for me to harbour such thoughts. I spent two of the best years of my life working towards a single goal, and on reaching it; I can’t feel dissatisfied, far from feeling let-down. There was too much that happened in those two years for me to feel that they were in vain. This is the place where I wanted to be and I wouldn’t change it for anything else. I’m living my dream and no matter how rosy the outside world might seem, I refuse to wake up.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]