Friday, November 25, 2005

The journey begins...

When it was decided that I would have to join BITS-Pilani, Goa, I started preparing for the journey.

As nobody was free at home, I had to leave alone. The tickets were with me. The problem started from day1. My journey to bits took place in three phases. First from Deoghar to Howrah, then to Chennai (where I had to stay with my brother who is in IIT madras), and then to Vasco-da-gama.

The first phase was horrible. My coach was S10. Somehow it was placed next to the engine. I didn’t notice and went towards the train’s tail. When I realized that my concerned bogie was the first one , it was too late. So I entered S9. Now, I had a big heavy suitcase, which could not be lifted (could only be rolled) and a bigger bedding. So you can imagine my condition. I made two trips from S9 to S10 first with suitcase and then next with bedding, that too through the small space in the coach with lots of passengers and obstacles in between. I was almost dead!

At the Howrah junction, I was wearing my brother’s T-shirt with IIT madras written on it. A student enquired, whether I was an iitian, and guess what, I said, “yes”.

He said “so you are a first year student?” and I replied , “no I am a third year student”.

He was shocked that such a childish boy was in the third year. It was great fun. He kept asking me, how was IIT?, how to study to get into IIT, about coaching institutes and all such related stuffs. I kept him engaged for hours. At the end, I told him the truth.

Finally I reached Chennai, my brother received me and I went to IIT hostel with him. The campus of IIT Madras was great. There were many new-comers, and the seniors were ready to take their introduction and rag them. My brother Amrit and some of his friends called some of the new comers in their room. I joined the seniors. It was great fun to see the newcomers being ragged and the fact that they were mistaking me as a senior was making me happier.

Next morning I departed for Goa. On reaching my college, I completed the admission formalities. I was assigned a room in first floor. And now I was ready for my college life.

Setting up in the college

After seeing the campus I became unhappy as the campus of IIT Madras was still fresh in my mind, I felt sad that I landed up here. I hadn’t mingled with students as they were with their parents.

For the first few days it was very boring. During those days while having lunch and dinner in the mess, other newcomers thought that I was a senior (as I was alone). So I had some fun with them.

The first three friends I made were Dhruv, Soumyadeep and Lokeshwar. In the beginning we four had planned to do many things together, (like hunting for girls). By then the ragging also started in the campus. Since the campus was only a year old, we had only one batch of seniors; we didn’t have that hell of the experience of ragging. The inexperienced seniors were afraid and to be honest there was nothing at all.

Soon the classes started, and I started bunking Thermodynamics lecture from day one. I still think that they are of no use unless there is a test in the lecture. The first two friends I noticed in my class were Uday and Kushal. Unluckily Kushal was assigned some other class but for few days he sat in our class. Next friend which I made was Ankit Bamri. And since then we three attend classes together, if we attend them!

I soon started knowing other students also. In the beginning it was really hard to remember the names of all the persons I met but soon I managed it.

The hunt for girls was still on. We tried talking to girls, first of them being Aakriti, Neha and Akshita. We talked to them for a while and even took their contact numbers. We also planned to go out somewhere but it was too early.

Next were Sucharita, Shuchita and Abhishikta and the last were Pavani and Chavvi. Further we never tried talking to any strange girl. Around this time I got some hints that I was itching some of the seniors as well as some newcomers. I didn’t know WHY? In the beginning many recognized me by my long and little brownish hair. Even senior girls used the phrase “the boy with long brown hairs” in their talks. Now I was more familiar with the college.

New friends Aditya, Abhinav, Govil, Ashok, Jaspreet, Pranjal, and Prannoy came in my life. Lokesh Harnal came little later. I had also made friends with some seniors. My first crush was A******, lucky girl! I forwarded messages to her two-three times and asked for further permission. She wrote back “don’t message me from now on”. I stopped after two-three more messages. Soon my crush was crushed and I was free again.


Soumyadeep introduced me and Dhruv to Sucharita. She is a simple girl with good looks.

“Hi, I am Ankit and you are Sucharita, right?” I had said.

She had nodded.

All of us were confused regarding her name, was it Su-charita (good picture) or Su-charitra (good character). Dhruv asked her the meaning of her name. She reacted as if many have asked this question to her before and she was fed up giving answers to everyone. Though, she was pained, she did explain the meaning of both the names and said that she was Su-charita.

“I think you are both” then I paused for a while and said, “No, you are only one, which one?”

She was dumb for a while and said softly “that’s up to me to decide”.

Soumyadeep got little frustrated and was worried about his impression rather than ours. He was attracted towards her since his first talk. I think the chemistry clicked because both are Bengali. I talked to her on phone, for Soumyadeep. She was not at all angry and sounded friendly.

Nidhi, a sweet friend, was introduced to us, by Sucharita. Soon we five became good friends and shared many things. I even told them about my feelings for A*****. They suggested me to talk to her directly.

One night, Dhruv and me were talking a walk after dinner in front of GH1 (Girls hostel 1) and GH3 (Girls hostel 3). It was dark; the post lamp was switched off. Then Dhruv noticed A***** & Akshita walking. They were ahead of us. I was not sure whether she was A*****, but the height and the figure convinced me that she was A*******.

“Have a bet she is A*****, go and talk to her, I am with you”, said Dhruv.

“I agree, but I will talk to her some other day”.

Somehow I made myself strong enough to talk to her then. I went ahead; Dhruv was with me which gave me some strength. I said in a single tone, “excuse me, are you still angry with me?”

She turned back and to my great surprise she was a strange senior. I couldn’t think what to say. But she saved me by saying “Why should I be angry with you and by the way the T-shirt you painted is really cool”.

I thanked her and left. Dhruv and I laughed too much for it and when we shared it with friends they made fun of me and laughed too much. And I also wanted to add that Lokeshwar is somewhat different from others. He sometimes comes with us sometimes he can’t be seen for days.

And then came Sucharitha’s birthday. She invited me, Soumya and Dhruv. We had a nice lunch at Panjim and then we did some shopping .while in the return journey we played anthakshari (singing game) I enjoyed it a lot.

The unexpected !

Once while having dinner with my friends, the power supply went off. All the students started howling and banging the table. I stood up and went to the last row as I felt no one was sitting there and I could bang even louder. I banged the table three – four times as hard as I could. And then came back to join my friends, I went and banged the second time. But this time, to my surprise, someone caught my hand. I didn’t know him. He seemed to be a professor.

“Cant you see that I am having dinner here”.

I was ashamed, “sorry sir, it’s dark and I thought that no one is sitting here”.

He said nothing and I left. I was sure he had recognized me even in the little light. As I had expected he called me the next day. He was a physics professor, Mr. Bharve. He didn’t talk aboutt the last night and was not at all angry; instead he talked to me in a friendly manner. We talked about each other for an hour or so. He asked my hobbies, my routine, about my friends, the sports I love and about my talents. I felt happy and talked to him freely. I apologized to him again for the last night's incident. He said it was fine. He told me about his friends and his life.

He said, “One of my friends is very good in sketching. He can draw a portrait just in few seconds.” “Sir, I too can draw portraits, may be not as good as your friend”, I said. Knowing this he asked me to draw a portrait of Mr. A.K.Biswas, my physics professor. I think he shared everything with Mr. Biswas who was his good friend.

Mr. A.K. Biswas

Mr. A.K.Biswas – our respected and friendly Physics professor.

I bet no one can escape stomach ache due to laughter if one attends his class. His style is very different and strange.
Once he gave a question in mechanics which was somewhat complex. He noticed me talking and called me to solve it on the board. I don’t know how but I solved it correctly. Since then he was much impressed.
Once he said, “Ankit Vatsa is the captain of the class”. Obviously I felt proud.

Due to my nice impression he once called me to his chamber and enquired which physics books had I read before. At that moment nothing came to my mind. I said Resnick Haliday and Walker, though I had never seen it before. He said “I guess this physics book is too easy for you, isn’t it?” I nodded and he handed me two hi- fi mechanics books and told me to have a look at them.
Unwillingly I looked at them and while I was going through, he said “you can take it for some time.” They were in my room for days together and I never opened them. In mini-tests I mostly got 10/10 so the impression was maintained.

Once in physics class Mr. Biswas was in middle of some derivation. All of a sudden he stopped and asked me to draw a portrait of Hari Charan (a fellow student). I was surprised. He insisted, “Come on Ankit, please come and draw it”. I asked, “Sir, how do u know that I can sketch? And it is difficult to sketch on board, it won’t resemble”. “Doesn’t matter Ankit, come fast and draw it”.
I couldn’t help it. I went to the board and drew a funny human face which hardly resembled Hari Charan. Whole class started laughing along with me and Mr. Biswas.

Some other activities

Once I thought of climbing up the roof of our college main building.

My friends Dhruv and Soumyadeep joined me. It was easy, but we enjoyed because no one had done it before and it was restricted to climb up the roof.

The view was really great. One can look at the entire campus as a whole and since it was night time the burning lamp posts further enhanced the beauty. We remained there for hours, gossiping.

“Soumya, can you jump down for Sucharita?” I asked.
He laughed and replied, “I am not a fool”.

Dhruv was busy sending messages to Nidhi. We three had great fun.

College life became bit interesting with friends. The most F-word rule in BITS-Goa is – Everyone has to be in their respective hostels before 10:30 P.M.- what a crap?

All of us friends decided to break this rule at least once. Large windows, without grills, made things easier for us.

It was 2 O’clock in the night. One by one all of us jumped out of the window.

“Wait for me”, yelled Jaspreet.

He had got stuck between the window and was in shock. He didn't know if he should get in or get out. None of us could control our laughter. We pulled him out.

The gatekeeper was sleeping. Our stomach argued with us to go to the mess. And thre we went. All of us were searching for food, as if CBI were searching for dangerous criminals. We were successful. Some found a cucumber, some tomatoes and the 'clever one' noticed milk and coconut. We all had a great time eating them.

We marched towards the basketball court to enjoy the cool breeze coming directly from the river Zuari. As we were enjoying the pleasant moment, Lokesh noticed a shadow walking towards us. He alarmed us and we ran towards our hostel as fast as we could, without caring to look back who it was.

It was fun after all!