“I won’t stay and study here…” these were the first words I said, once I was done with my twelfth board examinations. And boy, was it a good decision to make! This decision of leaving my home to study in another city was a life changing one. A change, which synthesized me into a tough, self dependent and a more confident individual.
As a child, I was fascinated about how it would feel to live alone all by myself. No restrictions, no boundaries. And when it did happen, it was all together a different feeling; a mixed bag of emotions – I was excited that I would live alone, nervous about the first day of my college, sad about the fact that there would be no Mom or Dad around to rely upon. Albeit, there was this sense of achievement within me for the fact that all that I used to dream about was actually about to happen. With all these things, I landed in Indore, where I was to spend the next four years of my life.
What was my first day like? Well I would say – AWESOMELY CONFUSING. I didn’t know where to go or what to do, with our seniors all around us, like vultures stalking their prey; ready to rag us. One such encounter was when I bumped into a senior and he lectured me for about an hour about how juniors are supposed to be in college, “Look at you hero…modeling karne aya hai college (Here to do Modeling), what are you wearing? Oooooooooo Jeans? Where’re your trousers boy? Ankho me mat dekh! (Don’t look into my eyes), follow the ‘third-button’ rule (which means you have to look at the third button of your shirt at all times in front of a senior). “Kal se belt, jeans aur watch nai dikhna chahiye samjha? (Your watch, belt or jeans, none of it should be visible) Come in formals, top button should be closed. Wish every senior you see, every time you meet him or her and call us Sir/Ma’am….Understood?” He finished. “Ji sir”, I complied. I had no other reply to give but this. We had to face every day which used to be very annoying at times. Every time I would see the college bus approaching, my heart would pounce due to the fear that I would again have to do the atthanni-chavanni (Move back and forth), say formats for intro (yes, there was a specific format for that too), sing and do whatever they say. But all this would one day become a part of cherished memories, I had never thought that. The seniors who made our hearts pound, became the biggest supporters and friends of ours over the four years. And to bid them farewell in the final year became more difficult for us than atthanni-chavannis.
My first examinations were the mid semesters, for which my friends and I prepared quite seriously. Amazingly (and I have no idea how), I topped the exam, that made me the Sincere-Studious kid of the class. And, for the next four years, irrespective of the fact whether I performed or not, the tag remained with me.
Along with the successes come failures, so did happened with me. When I was in my second semester, I had a back, when the results were announced. And what perfect timing it was, when I came to know of it. It was during my fresher party (the first one ever organized in our branch) and the awards were being announced. My name was called out for the Award of the ‘Best Junior’. When I returned, I learnt that the results were declared. Everyone was like, “You’ll definitely clear dude; you are a topper after all.” But no one realized that the last semester was of nine months, way too long than this one. Then I came to know that that my roomie had flunked. So I sat there consoling him, when I got a call from my friend, “Bad news bro, you’ve flunked”. I was like, ‘Great! The ‘Best Junior’ had a back.’ The funny thing about this was that my roommate, whom I had been consoling a while ago, ended up consoling me in return!!
Becoming a senior, was a very different feeling. We were the “Sir” now. And it was our time to become vultures. But I was more of a savior senior. Saving the juniors from everything. Doing all this had earned me a reputation of being the Good Sir. I got what most of us desired as Seniors – RESPECT, not by force but by own.
Now I was in the final year and this feeling had started to sink in that my college would come to an end soon. We all had become like brothers (Yes, we had no girls in Mechanical) over these years. All those fights, arguments everything had been side lined. We were one for all and all for one. Eighth Semester. Final four papers of the college life. One by one all went by, and it was time to say good bye to this beautiful journey. They say rightly, college life is one of the best times of one’s life. And we made sure it ended in a rocking manner, with the dance, masti and friends all around. And yes, now that I look back, I realize I’d a memorable college life.
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