How I Didn’t Really Live My Graduation Life !
“The best way to predict, how different stages of your life were, is by the amount of photographs you possess of that period”. Isn’t that somewhere true, if not 100% ? It’s no wonder that I do not have a single picture of any blurry memories, that I have of that era when I was a child, growing into a teenager, during graduation and older. I don’t know but I have this some kind of an anger or a regret that probably is an outcome of the fact I didn’t really live those 5 very crucial years… from 16 to 21…
To the extent I remember, my last 2 years in school were great. Really. We were a group of 5 friends then (Dharmesh, Pratik, Rahul, Gokul & Me). So much so that we were daily hanging out with each other and sort of decided that we would get in same college. Apart from that, I did get a lot of punishments like teachers asking me to stand outside the class for atleast 2-3 classes out of 7 per day (some of my teachers, I felt, frantically looked for any chance to punish me). I played a lot of not-so-funny pranks then, including ringing of the school bell before the scheduled time, and all the school mates of all classes closing their notebooks or standing up and the teachers looking confused. 😛 But by the time the board exams got over and almost 3 months later when the results were declared, I just felt that my friendship with anybody in that school just didn’t exist any more.
Graduation Days (June 1998 to May 2003)
So, here I was in Patkar College in June 1998 – opting for ‘Commerce Stream’ as it was my father’s dream to see me as a Chartered Accountant. In any case me getting in the CA course would have obviously depended on my score in Accountancy in 12th Std board exams. So, in some way or the other, my father wasn’t wrong when he aspired his son to be a CA.
I distinctly remember the time when during the first 15 days in college, I used to eagerly wait for somebody from my school, some known face & somebody with whom I have even an acquaintance with, to take admission here, it was so very boring & lonely. Perhaps it was my fault, when I made quick negative opinion in my mind on my new classmates (majority of them from a vernacular medium)… So much so that I never befriended anybody from 11th Std (June 1998) till half of my First year of graduation (Oct 2000) was over. It just didn’t feel right. I thought I never belonged there. This was very unlike me bcoz in school, I was popular, for 100s of reasons. In school, it was more like “Love me or hate me but you can’t ignore me”. And here I was… I suddenly became a nobody, I knew nobody, nobody knew me, nobody recognized me, it didn’t feel anything close to exciting going to college. The clock didn’t tick fast enough for whatever lectures I used to attend and I used to end up feeling like it’s over 2 hours even when only 2 minutes have passed in classroom. Life in Patkar seemed a pain, literally ! I remember a small thing like say, getting the freedom to wear different clothes everyday rather than putting up school uniform, was such a joy for a lot of students ! And I used to be more of “usme kya… ?” I also don’t know as if I am coming across here as if someone searching for excuses but I realized that my college in 11th & 12th was in the afternoons, from 12.30 pm to 5.30 pm. A lot of vernacular schools I know operate in this time. The Convent or English Medium schools were run from 7.00 am to 12.30 pm, the way I studied all my life. So, I don’t know whether this also accounted for even 1% of the reason for the dull life.
As a result, I avoided attending lectures, sometimes for days together at a stretch, literally didn’t know the names of the professors and gym was also not in my mind at that time. The only good aspect that came out of this was that I started watching Cricket matches on TV and began listening to the English commentary. Whatever English you read here, a big part of that is because of the commentary & the words that fell on my ears over & over again, from all the matches being played from July 1998 to Oct 2000. 🙂
Post 12th, as I stated earlier on my father wanting me to get into CA Course, I took admission. I joined coaching classes in Vile Parle immediately after my 12th Std board exams… And I tell you how it ruined my plans of playing cricket whole time for 3 months… It ruined my vacation, literally ! These classes continued even as my college started, which was now First Year Graduation. I know a lot of students appear for CA during their graduation and if they clear any of the stages, its more like a bonus… since you are not wasting any time, that you would have, had you opted for CA after your graduation. But in my case, it only made my life miserable. How do I tell my parents that what they are expecting of me, just didn’t interest me. Numbers don’t interest me (although today I deal with a lot of numbers & graphs in HR too !)… In this whole pursuit of trying to be busy & active, like some other peer level guys I know, I was actually getting pushed to the wall. Nobody knew this, except me.
The question w.r.t what I have written above is also not just about attending those CA Classes. It is about the results as well. When you fail, it is extremely depressing. I flunked in my CA twice and started to feel so very low, despite getting distinction in school…. It is today that I feel & I want to ask my parents “what was the urgency ???”. The same very active peer level guys are actually way behind me in career and money (Of course, I am not banking on their failure for whatever reasons). So, this was what my life from June 1998 to Oct 2000 was !
And then I met MB, a soft spoken guy, whom I befriended or rather he was gracious in befriending me ! Similar is true for PD, a more outspoken but clean by heart guy. Then DJ, who was more of a spiritual kind (at that age !! Can you imagine ?). During initial part of IInd Year of graduation, RB came in. And we were together… a lot of times. A lot of our discussions hovered around video games like Mario, which then progressed to Computer games like Age of Empires, Max Payne, Formula One, Micheal Schumacher, Sachin Tendulkar, Mark Waugh and the like. I am sure the girls of our batch must be laughing at us in those times, for sitting on first bench, being more of nerds, having no life outside of these subjects, majority being mama’s boy, eating Parle G biscuits during classes and who are scared to death talking to girls (although we pretended to be strong & put up a tough facade) ! 😛
In 2001, there came a very hit Bollywood film Dil Chahta Hai, a film about 3 college-going carefree friends, spending fun time together and how suddenly they come up with a plan impromptu to go to Goa… An idea I suggested a lot many times but somehow I think either I was not able to convince my friends of it, or their parents didn’t approve of it or it just didn’t interest them in the first place. So, this part in our friendship was missing.
The only other saving grace in these 5 years, was that in the last 2 years, I could find myself being popular with my professors, and being extremely free with them in discussing on a lot of topics, apart from studies and I came to know from a lot of fellow students on how & what was I talking to these Professors, post our lectures for one hour and how I could become so very popular among them. A couple of girls I barely knew had the guts to even comment on how I was fond of impressing others… And I thought “Damn you and damn your opinion”. I felt nice somehow.
None-the-less, it still used to be fun around for the last 2 years. Now look, having said this… I don’t know if it was really fun or it was more of a fact that when some people are together, invariably they are going to have some moments that will be positive. No person can keep on crying forever. Invariably he will laugh and a magic moment is created automatically. So, when we laughed together, was it genuine laughter or just one of those automatic moments ? I don’t know.
And the day of graduation result !
After 17th May 2003, the day of our graduation result… because our careers were different, we chose our separate ways, with a promise to remain connected…. It didn’t happen that way of course !
Indifference is all that exists today… Even after getting back in touch in over 11 years
It was only very recently in June 2014, that I registered on FaceBook, their names got suggested to me for adding them as friends and then the recollection of sorts, then spoke to all of them first time in 11 years, felt nice… but I don’t know if, just like school, this friendship was also shallow or rather time has made it look shallow to me. BCoz had we been really “together”, a gap of 11 years between 2 communications should not have existed, especially when we all were on such good terms with each other, while parting. After-all, it’s not an unexpressed love story between a college going boy and a college going girl, who are not on talking terms, but have some feelings for each other, some spark existing within both, towards each other. The boy & girl could still get together after 10 years of no-communication, since although they never spoke but had feelings. Not in this case ! (Okay, more on this love story part later… definitely… Stay tuned) 🙂