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The Age of Adventure

( This is extravagant indulgence in my memories of college days….others not involved may find it boring….read at your own discretion…)

If a man is all about what he is and not what he was then undoubtedly I would pinpoint my years in Sastra University as a golden era wherein I learnt the hard ground realities of life.

While college days are in general recalled with pleasure by all people, in my case it assumes bigger role because it comprised a complete change in me and it is in tribute to this period where I changed tremendously I named this blog “Inner Metamorphosis”.

Every single thought of mine, every idea, and every virtue or vice or any influence on me can be traced back to this period and was in effect was a preparation for me for the life to come and I fancy one fine day when I make it big I will be in a position to brag about this better.

Adversity invariably teaches us more than pleasant atmosphere. And this was an age of turmoil and turbulence and the eventual redemption after losing the battle in every front.

Failure always cuts deep into heart. And especially when a guy who’s known in his circle as “brilliant” falls down to earth it cuts even deeper. And obviously you have others poking at you and have gala time enjoying the fall…..

But anyway, when I look back, I truly feel that I was more than adequately compensated for all these problems through top-notch friends and a fertile environment which ultimately led me to understand human problems and psychology better and most importantly myself better.

When in childhood it’s easy to imagine the whole world to be revolving around you, deeply appreciative of your talents and very much interested in every aspect of yours.

Only when you land in hostel you understand that you are after all one among the millions on this earth! It takes time to adjust to this new indifference of others.

And in hostel you understand that there is a diversity of a much higher level than one would expect. There are persons who belong to every conceivable breed.

I used to deeply admire few personalities and my interaction with them was very fruitful for me. When others around to campus used to talk about girls and their petty politics, it was a refreshing experience to discuss in some purposeful talk with my friends.

Among them used to be this one guy who in my opinion was a perfect twin Rancho of 3 Idiots. He used to read our textbooks as much effortlessly as we read some novels. He never used to be bothered about marks which resulted in few arrears in a particular semester. Later on, he used to read only as much as it was required to clearly pass the examinations and used to spend the rest of his time with his most unimaginably varied interests. Philosophy, scientific classics, mathematics, electronics and used to be able to design any circuit for any application. However, most notably what I found to be truly stimulating is that he used to do these with as much naturalness as a seed develops into a plant which requires not much external force.

“Enjoying work” for me was a thing removed from our daily-duties, but was compelled to change my viewpoint after looking at this guy.

His love for philosophy was infectious and was to pass on to me with greater effect. And our discussions were most illuminating to me and left me with greater insight each time.

Likewise, I had other friends in whom I could clearly see the spark of what they were to become in future. A person maybe able to act for official hours but then hostel is a place where the real nature of anyone comes to fore however much he tries to conceal it.

In one particular stretch when I was forced to be in hostel during holidays as I always had a big pile of arrears pending, I became acquainted with another guy with similar position. We used to see many movies and the manner in which he used to analyse them was mindblowing. He had this habit of explaining any scene with such clarity that I was sure that this hobby would surely be elevated to higher level and can’t remain a mere timepass. Now, he’s already working as an assistant director in Tamil Industry.


I always used to be in company of our gang leaded by a person who used to display remarkable leadership qualities. Along with him we got interested in internet and created a website with some normal features and did many other creative things. Few of my most personal interactions involving the deepest of my problems were with him. The guy was obviously gifted and used to just glace before examinations and invariably used to get good marks. But despite his serious and tough appearance I was at once most surprised to see him literally broken down over a failed affair and was very sensitive.

It was then I felt that we never truly understand the compulsions others go through and make our judgments based on mere an external appearance which is wrong. Never did I feel the validity of the statement “everybody have their own problems” more than that day.

Another close friend had a similar temperament like mine which resulted in bitter-sweet relationship. He came with a bang, whimpered a bit in between, but resolutely cleared of the mess he was within and was a pillar of support in the last few days. My perception towards him was varied but ultimately what I understood was that my definition was based on what he was to me and had no relevance to what he is otherwise.

We used to have various groups based on region (all India students used to be there) and it was then I understood how it is possible for a minority to rule the majority and other powerplays of politics. (And here I have a very dark past which I can’t share at this moment for behind the scenes I was responsible for many things happening :-))

The compassion and affection my friends used to show to me was truly wonderful and they took serious pains to make my position better. I doubt if I could have survived the onslaught of pressure from all directions had it not been for the soothing influence of my friends..

A eureka moment for my friend and myself was when I cleared towards the end a subject which was pending for 3 yrs with 100% marks. Something that was totally unexpected.


In the final months before parting I initiated and coordinated a joint effort to make a movie with our digicam and named it "Fabulous 44"( class strength) and my team was very happy when I gave them the caption of "The Feel that Never Fades". I thought of a story in the lines of Dil Chahta Hai which was developed by a particular friend of mine and lo and behold we made a full length movie which used to the talk of the campus those days....(its another thing that due to my pending "works" I  completely refrained from active involvement in the later stages)..


Even making allowance of the chilly perspective which comes after experiencing the bitter realities of life, I still believe in greatness of humans. I trust that despite all the problems, few salt of the earth are capable of easing the pains of others and making worthwhile contribution to humanity.

That men are not mere pawns/puppets driven by vicissitudes of fate. That even granting the natural limitations of man, he can conquer the darker side. Men burn with ambitions, desire, greed, envy, jealousy, anger, revenge………………but few use the fire within to light the lamps of knowledge and show humanity the path ahead.

And the living proofs of this statement are my friends. For living with them I was at once elevated to the same range as theirs.

Once when I was talking about how few steps of mine when wrong, my friend gave me the following eg. Imagine you go out for travelling on a rainy night and your car breaks down. You can try repairing it, else leave it and go ahead to destination or stay at a shelter nearby. What you must not do is to ponder why you came out at all! The point of life is wasted when you complain beyond a point. You have no control over what is to happen but you do have certain control on what decision is to be taken over it. The point is to keep taking decisions and not allowing other things to disturb you from taking your decisions.

BTW, last Sunday was Friendship Day it appears. I missed out because I never found any difference at all….:-) and while the first innings was a drubbing, I look forward to the a more meaningful second innings.......

I quote my favourite Philosopher Frederich Nietzsche yet once again before I take leave……..

“My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from "capsizing"! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other's sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather!”

Comments

  1. 好的開始並不代表會成功,壞的開始並不代表是失敗..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well written Madhav. Here I would like to share my views..Human life is like an expedition into unknown territory. We can never really be sure about what to expect next. The people closest to us are our companions in that expedition. We are all in it together yet each one of us has to not only make personal discoveries on the way but also complete the journey on our own and reach the destination. Life shouldn't be taken too seriously for its experiences for they are illusory in nature. However, we should take our life seriously for the one and only purpose--purpose of achieving Reality.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have surprised me with your post this time. This post has the REAL feel, positivity and optimism... which most of the times I feel is missing in your blogs. Keep up the positive spirit always.
    "When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal."

    When things get screwed up badly one should blame oneself and never others.... This Funda keeps us going.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Madhav.....one suggestion my friend, shorten your posts man. Great content though.

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  5. I fully sympathize with you regarding the concept of “brilliant” falling down. It is more acute in good institutes like BITS. Normally most of them are hands down winners back home and suddenly they find themselves to be one of those “also ran”. The college conducts counseling sessions to help them in recalibrating their strengths.

    With little more grey hair, (in fact I should be saying with little less hair of any color) my take is different from your friend’s in the car break down episode.
    Firstly one must know the inherent risk involved in traveling on a rainy night. So having chosen such a journey one has to own up the rewards and disappointments also. After all if you were to successfully complete the journey you would not have stopped bragging how “smartly” you maneuvered and surpassed all the difficulties.
    Now where I distinctly differ from your friend is, I encourage people to ponder over when there are failures. So why the choice of calling off the journey and returning home should not be considered?. Why not re question your own self whether you really wanted to travel or is it a show of bravado for the public consumption. After all life it self is one long journey (some say from one difficulty to the other) and there is no place for unnecessary bravado. If it is a mistake why not correct it?
    So here is a strong piece of advice from me. When you meet such a break down it is entirely possible that you may meet some one who actually started late with lesser driving skills and lesser skills, steadily over take you because he had no break downs. He might have had a fleeting smile on his face which could also be a part reflection of your own past behavior with him. But thinking that, he started his travel anticipating your ensuing break down or believing that your failure is giving him more happiness than his own successful journey to the destination is taking your self a wee bit more seriously. Honestly, as you said every one have their problems. Also the frame of references keeps changing. It is silly to believe that all the students of all the classes you attended are divided into two categories namely the ones who scored better than you and the ones scored less than you and all those who initially scored less than you are today happier only because today they are better off than you. For all that I know their frame of reference might have already moved ahead. It is a dynamic world. Tomorrow, you may lead. Then you would definitely accept that what gave you more satisfaction is your own success, not others’ failures.

    Of course knowing and appreciating the fact that “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do –Henry ford” would definitely help.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。.................................................

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  7. @Sathiya:

    You have a point there when you say that life should not be taken seriously....!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Sowjee:

    Positive and negative depends on merely the perspective from which you tend to look at things..A country's patriot is another country's enemy...

    A optimist builds a aeroplane, a pessimist builds a parachute...!!!

    "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot control what it is that he wants."- Schopenhauer.

    Blaming oneself is something thats perhaps a highly difficult task. The least one can do is not to blame others!!! That too is a hard task again!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Chaitanya:

    What my friend told was this in full..

    Imagine you begin a journey....In between it starts raining and your car breaks down...In this context, we can take a decision to act upon any of the options including your option of getting back if it appears to be the right thing to do.

    What we can't do is to curse rain or our car...

    I get your point on the "frame of reference". People who experience varition of fortune never compare themselves with the previous form. A poor man who's suddenly got rich after a certain time never compares himself with the previous condition. For the present becomes his default condition which he takes for granted....Likewise vice versa...

    Nobody is exempt from these feelings! The victim of one situation is often the culprit in another...

    Can one fight evil without becoming it? !!! With all good intentions most of us end up becoming the very persons we hate....
    These things are all "interaction"....

    Likewise, because any mistake/success/activity involves participation of all involved in varying degrees, depending on how one wants to present it (and if one has the power to complement it) it can be easily skewed in favour of anyone..

    Its ultimately not abt who's right or wrong; its abt who has the power to impose his perception on others!!

    Every powerful organization has always found handy a justification for its actions and there have alawys been a set of people who've accepted that..Even the most blatant violations of human rights have been justified ideologically...

    Its a big world....and I personally feel that Philosopher Nietzsche's observation that world is after all a will-to-power is very much correct.....

    ReplyDelete
  10. 愛情是一種發明,需要不斷改良。只是,這種發明和其他發明不一樣,它沒有專利權,隨時會被人搶走。.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  11. Share with us, this Dark Past of yours.. .

    "We used to have various groups based on region (all India students used to be there) and it was then I understood how it is possible for a minority to rule the majority and other powerplays of politics"

    ReplyDelete

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