Friday, May 8, 2009

Winds of change

As I walked down the streets of Srinagar colony on a unusually hot Chennai afternoon, my eyes blurred, only this time it wasnt because of the sun. Like Rocky Balboa says 'if you live in one place long enough, you are that place'. Everything associated with 24th South Mada Street, the place where Great Lakes stands tall - the tapri, the icecream van which kept us cool on hot summer afternoons, puru where we must have gulped down litres of sambar, kowsi where we actually spent more time waiting for food than eating, the temple at the corner, the shops where we bought most of our stuff, the college itself and offcourse my home which I shared with 2 other friends and a dozen other lizards, just everything flashed in front of my eyes. This place was because of us and we because of this place.

This feeling had sunk in 2 days ago when I finally removed my suitcase from the top shelf and began packing. As I opened my cupboard, I could see the entire year stacked up in front of me. My first presentation in class and then many more, my first test when I studied through entire night to giving a test being complete clueless, the innumerable assignments and deadlines and struggling through books of finance, from the days when I was tired and exhausted yet still kept going to days of complete laziness, attending classes till 11 in the night and then relishing on domnioes pizza, from wasting a complete day in library reading magazines just to avoid the heat outside to running to tapri in every break to gulp litres of caffeine, all this and more was all associated with the past one year.

And offcourse where there are friends there have to be celebrations too. The numerous birthday parties, kicking sessions at 12 in the night, celebrating holi, new year, christmas, onam, independence day and u name it festival, waking up the enitre batch at midnight by banging on their doors to wish happy freindships day, converting the seminar hall into adlabs after submiting assignments at midnight, ordering dozens of dominoes cheese burst pizzas and asking for free garlic bread with it, making kanda bhajji at home while it rained outside, giving a continenntal touch to our food by adding cheese to maggi noodles, sangetha dinners, dancing my heart out in parties, roaming aimlessly on the streets at night, watching Fed vs Nadal in college media room and fighting on who should win, even a thought of these times brings so much cheer.

So now after a year, as I walked down the streets and passed the building, I felt all this and much more. I felt I have come a long way through the past one year, a lot has changed either with me or with the world that surrounds me.

On a lighther note, CAT/GMAT is no longer my priority and thank god for that. For once, I dont have to wake up early on Sunday mornings for mock tests and thank God for that too!! I was just sick of finding the relative speed of two trains moving in opposite direction. I never understood why on earth was it so damn important, I mean for a passenger in one train the other train hardly matters otherwise why on earth would he be on this train and for a 'observer' as the problem states, both trains dont matter. He is just a bystander anyways and can be conviniently ignored. Oh yes I would definitely miss having the 'CAT jaundice' in November, but I would rather prefer spending my Sunday mornings lazying around.

The year was tough. A year ago when I left my job, the economy was flying high with tremendous confidence, and it is just quite opposite as I pass out today. I have seen placement days vanish in thin air leaving me with nothing and I have spent hours thinking about them. But all this has only taught me not to be regretful. There were times when I thought and wished that I should have passed a year ago but such thoughts dont clog me anymore.

In all this, I hope I have learnt not to stumble under circumstances that are not under my control. I also hope that I have gathered enough strength not to be pressed under despondency and dejection but to keep moving ahead. And I have finally learnt to accept that to keep going, I do indeed need to believe in something, like my destiny , intinct or whatever and always trust that among this crisis, newer windows of opportunities will emerge.

I have learnt that failure is inevitable and that it was Ok to fail while doing what I want to do. Like every generation that has faced its challenges, these are just another ones and these tough times will pass, they inevitably always do.

As Shashi Tharoor stressed this to us in his speech, I have come to agree that giving back to the society is important not just because it has helped me become what I am today but because it is my moral responsiblity to be a part of collective effort in bettering the place and life of people around me.

I have learnt that nothing is achieved in isolation, nothing at all. Every achievement, small or big has many stakeholders and it is as important to stay humble as you rise the ladder of success as it is important to take pride it. Yes I have discovered that it is a difficult potpourri to make - valuing every small success yet preserving humility, but this to me is the mantra of life, the mantra of happiness.

As I walked down the lane, I took one last look at the building... I carry all this with me as I bid a farewell to a wonderful year well spent. I consider what I learnt in these very premises not just as a foundation, but rather as a spring board that will help me bounce higher and achieve more. In the end, at this turning point, I finally hope that I am going out with a big heart and big apetite for adventure and create newer paths for me.


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