( 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!”