April 23, 2007

A Trip Down Memory Lane IV – The BITSians

I am one of the new breeds of Global Indian. Agreed. But after that the second spot is very confused. Am I a Calcuttan having spent my years of growing up? Am I a Bosconian with the strong influence of my basic education? Am I an IIMBian, the identity that’s perhaps my latest and most important as it defines my future steps? Or am I a BITSian having grown from a child to a thinking teen and having the courage to bet all to move to where my heart led? The answer is complicated. Perhaps I am a combination of all of them but this post is for the BITSian, a group of people that shall always be a class apart.

Whenever a person takes a trip back, he knows there will be two sets of people, some of whom he would have met earlier, others whom he would not have. And I think it’s the second class of people who make the trip a memorable one. The new faces of my department, who had no reason to come and meet a heap of old bones, people who had just read my articles and had never seen me, juniors who could as easily ask for a treat as could their seniors after my placements, these were the people who showed me the real meaning of camaraderie of one’s alma mater. After all, where else would you find a junior missing classes in the mornings to accompany you to Profs’ houses, where else will someone sheepishly knock on a psentisemite’s door and ask, “Are you Madhurjyada?”, where else will a guy start laughing in a class seeing my SMS, where else can I sit with a multi-talented guy and discuss his theories at 3 in the night, or sit with another equally talented guy and be offered the best of Anjan Dutta’s music?

But the one thing that’s most amazing is to stand aside and see your juniors perform on stage, alone, without your help, and pull off the show with easy brilliance. This trip showed me this one scene which I always wanted to see. I have seen batches from 1997 to 2004 and I have met some amazing people but the 2003 batch is undoubtedly the one that has produced an amazing set of people across clubs, departments and associations. If I have to choose one single BITSian batch apart from my own, I would any day choose the 2003 batch. Living in a psentisemite’s room has an advantage. He cleans up the room because I’m coming; his sidie puts it up as his status message and life begins afresh for me. And it feels nice that even now they want to create something new and want to give back something to their college before they leave. And last I heard they were immensely successful. The DOPY BOSM coord comes sauntering into sky and arranges for a meet; only yesterday he was ushering in the cell phone revolution at DOPY and BITS arranging batch meets through his cell phone. Two of them stay with me all through till I leave C’not for one last time, my pseudo-ju doesn’t care about her last set of CDCs.

I know it’s not possible to talk about all the amazing moments I had meeting my juniors in Pilani and seeing them as adults and in control. In my last trip back to school, the seniors had said, “It’s your school.” I had said, “No now it’s yours. Take good care of it.” My juniors at Pilani have done the same. They have taken good care of my college. I am an old fashioned guy in many aspects. Though I call people juniors, they have been more than friends to me, yet till they graduate I would continue to introduce them as my juniors. Come on. Give a little leeway to my innocent idiosyncrasies.

There had always been a sense of guilt whenever Instrumentation Forum comes into the picture. Of my innumerable clubs and departments, it has received a little less attention. I have always been there to help out but never submitted an individual project. That’s what always pained me. As a result, even though I almost stopped writing after Pilani, I have never turned down an Instru Mag Editor. So this year too when the Editor, who has never met me, asked for an article, I could not say no. Don’t know whether it will be published, but it does feel nice, more so as the Ed gives the insignificant me a personal audience. J

But this post would not be complete without three people. First, my little sister, just the other day a school going kid, sulking at why I don’t come more often to meet her will be the next Moruchaya President. We had seen a total strength of 50 in Moruchaya. She’ll have 50 coming in every year. Second, the next DOPY OASIS coord, a guy whose love for the department surpasses even mine and if I am asked I would put him on the same pedestal with VJ and Setty. Coming from me that’s something. He has a tough job ahead of him. Maybe he’ll be the one during whose time the future of the Department will be redrawn. I wish him well. But I know he’ll be an amazing co-ord. And yes, he'll definitely mail us all about it.

And finally, his wingmate of my psentisem, the Editor in Chief, Cactus Flower, 2007. Ever since CF 2003 was published, I slowly distanced myself from my most beloved thing in Pilani. The Old School of Life had taught me not to interfere in other Ed’s matters. (I never refused to help with technicalities though.) I could feel the winds of change that swept through. People told me about it, but I never judged. Let the future decide which path was right. Maybe both were. Anyway, the point is as I spoke to the CF Ed I could feel the same sense of pride that had differentiated the Eds of yesteryear. We took pride in our task, in our responsibility. And my resolve to never look at a blueprint again fell down like a sand wall. In front of me was a guy who could very well have been from an era a decade back. In front of me was a draft that looked fresh, yet traditional. Whether he was a good Ed only his team can tell, whether it is a good CF, BITSians and Time will judge, but time spent with him during my last few hours at Pilani was worth the self imposed exile.

An excerpt from Cf 2003,

After all “in this mortal world everything perished and will perish, but ideas ideals and dreams do not.”
That is all and all that I ever needed to know.

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