Monday, June 12, 2006

This is the end, my beautiful friend...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859).

It really was. Four years, eight semesters, forty four subjects, fourteen labs, one project, infinite experiences. Memories that will stay well beyond anything we will possibly experience. Tales that will last till the time we are lifted against our will on four hefty pairs of shoulders and carted off to be sent packing to meet our Makers. Friends who have shaped us and friends we have shaped(well beyond repair!). Experiences that will bring a smile to our lips and happiness to our hearts whenever we hereforth think of them.

"Many men become engineers; engineering becomes some men." -- Arjun Sharma

The reason I'm relapsing into bad wannabe-touchingly-nostalgic prose is, I finished my project viva-voce(that is a really bad name to call anything!!) today. It went off well, without any untoward incident. And with it, another phase of my life just ended. The most enjoyable one so far.

The blissful stupidity of first year, the square freshness of second year, the accomplished idiocy of third year and the alarming lethargy of final year..all these and more will remain forever etched into our minds. The brave stabs at welding(during one exciting event in the final exams in 1st year, one fellow welded his welding torch to a nearby window. He went too close in order to get better light!), oddly shaped objects obtained as a result of sheet-metal workshops, definitely non-pale-pink solutions at the end of titration, the altogether rather strange method of finding the moment of inertia by using a torsional pendulum, devising a simple calculator in 'C' (a challenge to most three year olds), binary, Johnson and Ring(among 'Tape' and other types of worms) counters, Object oriented programming of bad applications with C++, computer networks lab or 'Partial output lab' -- these practical approaches to life in college involved some of the stupidest mistakes committed by humanity; as also some of the most touching instances of kindness("Don't worry, don't worry that you didn't get the output. Go study for the theory exams.").

Feeling ashamed that your seniors are very, very uncool(while the girls among them are the best in the college. And your batch has some which look like they should be living beside a wall), 'gauging' the teachers so you can say whatever you want and get away with it during internals and viva, 'lounging' in the shade of an old tree, sitting in the canteen and drinking endless cups of coffee while idiots played football in the hot sun, wasting time in long queues at xerox shops, getting lab print-outs at the last minute, getting your mini-project in a bad floppy(which went out of fashion in October, 1868), bunking large percentages of the classes each semester, using the 'shared memory' concept during internals(copying, essentially), hitting colour-blind people, going to quizzes, ogling that cute girl from Info Science you always see in college but have never talked to, hitting more colour-blind people, "Duty!!", going to some more quizzes, talking about porn, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Fellini and Bergman, all in the same conversation at 2 AM in Delhi, basketball in the wee hours of the day(like, 7 AM), worrying yourself silly over your project which refuses to work the day before your final demo, delivering a seminar in twelve minutes flat when it's supposed to be atleast twenty minutes long, discussing the varied and sinuous storylines of Hindi movies and laughing yourself silly(again, at 2 AM in Delhi), watching and going mad over that hot junior doing salsa at your farewell, realizing suddenly that you will no longer be doing all these things......

"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive.
But to be young was very Heaven!"

It's weird and strangely disorienting when it hits you you're done being a kid and have to be a 'responsible adult,' whatever that means. Just because you're going to be working....

"Hope I die before I get old." -- ­ The Who

Some people can capture nostalgia very well in words. Others like me can only feel it. I don't know, I'm feeling klutzy with a bittersweet sadness. I'm grasping and clutching at that last strand that binds me to engineering and student life. It will soon sever and break, plunging me into the depths of 'grown-up' life. The abyss may shatter me, but I will go with memories of the surface ever-fresh in my mind.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ma'a, agalla ma'a!!!

Nann kannalli kambani tarsbitte...

You couldn't have put it better. I also felt the same things you felt. And some other things you couldn't.

Sandeep.

Harish said...

"Many men become engineers; engineering becomes some men." -

aha, entha heLbittri Arjun!

Arjun Sharma said...

Sandeep, what were those other things you felt? Yourself? [smiley]

Harish, neevu intha maatugalanna heltaane irtira. Bahala vinaya nimgantu.

Malaveeka said...

hmmmm....

not maudlin whatsoeva!!

very very nice.. :)