Reminiscence - The End of an Era

Looking at my life at NIT Trichy through Graduation Goggles

Date: Apr 1, 2015

It's not the goodbye that hurts,but the flashbacks that follow

Going to college is a funny experience. Amidst the slog fest and nerve wracking pressure to do well in high school, the faint glimmer of hope is the promise that you are going to be free. Most parents,teachers and relatives would've said something along these lines "College is a life changing experience. It is going to be the best time of your life. You don't have to study much. You can enjoy all you want. Study hard for 2 years and live like kings for the rest of your lives"

If you had fallen for this gimmick earlier, don't worry - I fell for it too. I guess a vast majority did. Looking back, it is true in bits and pieces. The truthful part being I did have a lot of fun. I did study very little and manage to hang on for a while. The clubs, fests and clamor of classrooms made for an enriching experience. If you are fortunate enough like me, you'd find wonderful idiots who'd be your friends for life. Life is an awful, repugnant place to not have a best friend. Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."After all, birds of a feather flock together. The flawed part was that it was supposed to be a joy ride with no hiccups and a future guaranteed by just enrolling in an institution whose reputation precedes its name. Once I recognized my folly, I had to come terms to reality and make peace with it. After all, I still was having a lot of fun except for a few setbacks.

Hanging out casually in the room with a large gang, watching some random movie late night, dining at dhabas, celebrating each other's success and mourning each other's sorrows is something that everyone must've experienced in college. But as the days fly by and suddenly it is about time to bid farewell, you realize how much you took everything for granted. If not anything, college has helped us appreciate the value of friendship a lot more. When I look at pictures of myself in 1st year of college the first thing that comes to my mind is - "God, I look like a dork!". Maybe I still do. But I honestly don't care anymore though. The happiness in our faces and the twinkle in our eyes is something I consider invaluable.I'd probably trade anything for that in a heartbeat. We didn't have a care in the world. Making fun of each other, taking a bite from your friend's plate or a sip of the drink he/she ordered, putting proxies,getting caught and sent out for talking in class... - the memories are just etched into my mind in graphic detail.

Out of the blue, life hits you in the head with a brick. You're running around for placements, higher studies, trying to get a head start in to the corporate life. People expect you to behave like an adult and take responsibility. Some even go to an extreme to claim that the best time of our life is getting over and that life is going to be drab unending sequence of events. God, that is scary! I mean the very idea of life not being fun is just bat sh*t crazy. Shouldn't life be fun each and every second? Shouldn't we be cherishing every single moment of our short stay here on Earth? Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become. Just think about the profound sense that statement makes. When you get right down to it, you could either get busy living or get busy dying. I've had my fair share of mistakes. I've had exhilarating highs and lows that made me feel worthless. In the end, the one thing I learnt at NIT is that the rat race is never going to end... unless I choose to.In the words of my wise Hindi friends - "Yeh Sab Chutiyapah hai":P.

The past few days have gone in a blur. People have been going crazy with all the comments in the rembook, last cts, etc. One thing that the juniors could've noted amidst the social media frenzy is - The increasing need to feel relevant. You can deny it if you like, but the very idea of not being relevant anymore scares the wits out ofany normal person. With less than 50 days to go for final year students, there seems to be an intensified need to feel relevant at our alma mater - NIT Trichy. After all, we'd love to know that we've made a difference to this great institution. Paraphrasing the immortal words of Steve Jobs, You can hate NIT, love NIT, disagree with it, glorify or vilify it. About the only thing you can't do is ignore it. Its true. NIT has archaic rules, conservative culture,very few good profs and pathetic infrastructure. But the one thing that has stood the test of time is the quality of students. Somehow,great innovators and world leaders land here and make this a half decent place to learn.

Now you might be wondering what I'm trying to say? Ultimately, what is the point of this note? I guess what I'm trying to say is a little clichéd.... It is the end of an era. At least to most of us. But itis not the end of the world. No, it is not doomsday. And most certainly life doesn't have to be the drab, desolate, revolting picture you paint it to be. It's is up to you to stay in touch with your friends. After all, they want to spend time with you too. There lies a brand new canvas to be painted as you love. You could either scribble and throw it away or make a masterpiece out of it. Have the guts to do what you think is right. And most certainly, have the balls to face the consequences of your actions. Be with the right people and you'd automatically go places. And most of all, have fun.I can never say that enough. Have fun as much as possible. I once came across this wonderful quote:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO whata ride!

Thank you for reading this. Sayanora! Most important of all - Stay Hungry. Stay foolish.

Signing off,
Gautham Vasan