Nah… I don’t have a good enough post to merit this title… getting my Voter ID passed off without incident.
Unless of course you count all our addresses being printed wrong, to some location that possibly doesn’t exist.
Or the guy with the ragged shirt and the gold chain, watch, bracelet and ring.
Or the ladies agitating that the ladies line moved slower than the gents’ one. And the policeman saying the ladies’ comp was virus-infected, and hence, slow. I offered to fix the virus with Avast, and the policeman vainly declared that no power on earth could fix the problem, and if it was so easy *mean look at me*, the nation would have developed many years back.
Nothing that really HAPPENED, or is worth blogging about. Just I don’t feel like passing up the title.
So in the last one week, it became a regular feature to be at the bus stop between 9 and 10:30 pm bidding goodbye to good friends, best friends, and acquaintances, and then come back and roam around the campus getting even more senti, and occasionally (and later, mandatorily) becoming teary-eyed.
First we saw off Nam, it was the cockiest of farewells.. our very first goodbye, it hadn’t yet sunk in. And by the time we were seeing Swat off, it had sunk in enough to merit tears.
We were used to farewells by the time we had to say ‘bye to Sin, and we didn’t think it would be a big deal. Then came the shocker.
“Thirteen pieces of luggage? Thirteen?“, I asked.
“It’s okay da.. my mum’s here no”.
I wasn’t convinced… Shruthi assuaged my fears with “It’s okay da… she is sturdy and so is her mum”.
She shook her head.
“Devre Gati only, I guess”, I said in way of jest.
Many hands make light work, and it was easy enough getting all the bags and boxes down to the ground floor lobby. It took two rick trips to get the luggage to the bus stop.
Huge GB gang turned out to see her off, and we started joking around and singing senti songs and the like. Then Shruthi suggests we get senti right now itself, as we might not be able to do so when the bus arrived. We do so.
We assume an almost-military stance to load the luggage into the boot of the Ideal bus that was expected any moment now, trying to pre-empt any juniors who might fill the boot with their bags.
Half an hour passes, and Ideal is late as usual. We’ve considerably slackened by now.
The bus turns up out of the blue, but pauses a few metres away from where we had assumed it would, thanks to the still-waiting Manjunatha and Sugama buses.
All our war-footing was useless now. The alert juniors waiting there had already finished filling the boot. We started lugging the boxes one by one. Stab and I were carrying the UPS… god, that thing weighs a ton… and we desperately wanted to get the damn load off, but No! the Ideal man tells us the boot is too full, keep the damn thing in the front. We negotiate. Tell him Sin has twelve more pieces. That she’s cleaned out her room. Please consider.
He’s too stubborn. Thankfully Avi took the load off our hands, phew! We were beginning to feel our backs might give out.
Then a mass-loading operation starts. The chant on everyone’s lips is “Pass! Pass! Put it in!”. People who didn’t even know who Sin was a few minutes back were helping load her luggage in. And people who didn’t even know which was Sin’s luggage were helping load it in too…. “Oi, take this suitcase! Take this one!”, I was yelling, passing a tan suitcase to Varun, and there appeared behind me a scared firstyear girl screaming “That’s not Sin’s! It’s mine! It’s mine!”.
“Missy, we’ll take whatever we are able to load in here today, ask your friends to send you the rest by Ideal tomorrow”, said the Ideal man. “No, we friends have our own luggage tomorrow”, I said. The man gave in.
By now, everyone there knew Sin’s name and 13 pieces of luggage.
Finally, all the bags went in, and formed a regular fortress around the driver’s seat. The man appeared only slightly flustered, to his credit, and said he wouldn’t start the bus unless they were taken off from around him and redistributed elsewhere around the bus.
We heard later that two seats were used to pile the luggage, and four people slept in the space meant for two.
And then the bus started. People were hanging out of the windows desperate for some air…. No… wait.. those people were trying to get out of the bus. Some who had gone to see off their friends or load the luggage in had difficulty getting out thanks to the stack of boxes by the door.
Finally all that was meant to reach Bangalore was in, and the rest were out of the bus. The bus moved off precariously.
The goodbyes had been forgotten!
We call Sin a half hour later, and hear that the bus was still at Kulur. The legendary Ideal bus had broken its own records for velocity, helped by the large mass being transported. We get Sin’s message at 3 pm the following day saying she’s reached home safe and sound. Egad.. Yeshwanthpur at 3 pm? Another Ideal record broken.
Pooh asks Sin what she would have done if she had gotten onto the wrong bus
Later, in all seriousness I chide Sin on her extreme cockiness that brings about nerve-wracking edgy situations like this.
“Tsk… wasn’t it that much more memorable for all of you now?”, she says.
Oh, man…. it sure was. It really was.
So a couple of friends of mine finally decided to say balls to block timings now that we’re graduates. I don’t see the point now… Mangalore sleeps at 9:00 pm. I hated the city the moment I saw it. And I still hate it for having no culture of its own, save a few instances like the kite festival. And I also hate it for making sure that the student population has no need whatsoever to learn Kannada/Tulu. No self-respect, no whatever. God, and I thought Bangalore was bad in that respect!
Oh, and the malls! So there is this place that calls itself “99 Varieties of Dosas”. I ask the man at the counter, “Ondu neer dose“. He laughs and says, “Adhu illi sigalla”. This is Mangalore only, no? How come no neer dosa? I ask. He smiles back.
Go to hell, I’m pleased as can be that I’m getting back to my own city with its myriad darshinis and places like Nammura Hotel where I don’t have to shell out half the GDP of Vanuatu every time I want to eat out, and where I get to eat the cuisine I’m used to, and love. I hate it that inspite of being so close to Udupi, there are hardly any Udupi restaurants in this damn place within easy reach. And I hate it that I’ve not combed the streets of Mangalore looking for them anytime in these four years, and just taken it for granted the cuisine of Mangalore is to be found in the desserts at Cherry Square.
Oh, and Manipal. Billboard city. Not a single tree, or even a blade of grass. I hate it more than I hate Mangalore.
Bangalore… I hate it that our culture is now officially Pub City. Identify the whole damn population with alcohol, paint us all with the same brush, go on. “You don’t drink?? I thought all Bangaloreans drink!!”, a Kolkatan friend once said. I’m not pissed with the alcohol bit… just that it’s too broad a generalization. “Pensioners Paradise” implies it’s just a great place if pensioners want to live here, not that every Thomas, Richard and Harold is a pensioner. Why does no one recognize the polyglot culture, the fact that we are the only city in the world apart from New York to show movies in six languages or more? Why don’t people talk of Suchitra Film Society, or Gayana Samaj? Or even Alliance Francaise, Max Mueller Bhavan, Indian Institute of World Culture, or that we have one of the best chapters of Toastmasters’?
I haven’t quite figured out why yet… when I’m neck-deep in last-minute coding, my mind runs in all sorts of absurd directions and comes up with lines like “The model eating the banana split was worried it was all going to waist”, and “Hardly anyone goes to Crumbz (known for its pastries) these days… it’s so desserted”. I also take to singing songs like “Lal lal hoton pe gori kiska naam hai”.
I’ve also realized that there are a few people here I’m really glad to get away from. And tolerating them these four years or less was an experience all by itself; something I’m glad for, for now I know the sort of people I should avoid.
And another thing I’ve found out is that it’s very hard to find people who share all your interests. And that you need not have much in common with someone to be good friends. And having things in common is no indication of a great friendship.
Something Pooh said comes to mind now… “It is easier to find someone to marry than to find someone to work with”. I don’t know about how easy it is to find someone you would like to marry, but finding someone to work with is downright hell, I’ve found. But when you do find someone, there’s nothing quite like it.
I feel there’s a certain amount of disgruntledness in everyone’s mental make-up, and that’s the driving force behind any sort of action. Cribbing is a normal facet of life, a necessity, I would say. It helps you analyze things better, makes you more articulate, and lets you acknowledge you have a problem. And no amount of making things better can remove the minimum quota of disgruntledness a normal person is supposed to have.
And at the end of it all, I know I’ve left a lot unsaid, or half-said, or said very badly. A couple of months back, I compressed four years’ worth into one line which indicated nothing except in a nutshell… no point … I know second chances are hard to come by, but I can only hope.
My most memorable times have not just been all the Incidents, and the Engineers, but also a great number of incidents and with a good many engineers.
PS: I know the last line sounds slightly meaningless… but I just had to say it for its own sake.. kindly adjust.
Dedicated to chronicling status messages. (And maybe email sign-offs.)
‘Coz it’s about more than Available, DND and Idle.
So check it out, add it to your live bookmarks, your feed reader, digg about it, stumbleupon it, reddit.
Contributions welcome there.
I’ve thought and thought and thought some more on how to say farewell on my blog to the place that has been my home for the past four years. Should I mention each person I’ve known here individually? Just some sort of a time capsule and googlebait that if any associate of mine decides to ego-surf someday twenty years later, (s)he’d end up on my blog… and maybe relive his memories of this place. But the glitch is that I don’t want to chronicle everybody… meeting such a large number of people has its side effects – there are some people I simply want to fuggetabout. And there are so many people I’d want to mention…. but don’t have much context to mention them with… or if I do, it might not be right to put it up on a publicly viewable searchable space like this.
And what do I do about those who I miss out by mistake? That’d be downright insensitive on my part… but then, you know how my memory is.
The memories of this place… I’m not sure the best of them should go up here – they involve a lot of people not all of who will like themselves being known for single acts like that.
I thought I’d go right ahead and do it in spite of all I’ve said above.. but I simply am at a loss for words, especially when it comes to talking about people who matter to me. It sounds clichéd, but I simply don’t want to make my relationships with people here feel less important than they are by putting them up on my blog.. I mean, this is for not-so-close-to-heart stuff, right?
Anyway…. guess I’ll filter it down to what not being at NITK means to me.
No more being nocturnal!!
Guess I’ll have to settle down to crashing at 11 pm and keeping sane hours. My life has always started post-10 pm here. Celebrating birthdays – that’s how we started keeping awake late. And then those innumerable nightouts before exams.
Movie marathons. Especially during the weekends. Sleeping until the sun went down.
Project nightouts. I’ve always flown solo on my project and mini projects, and so the week before submission was one of intense nightouts and extensive coding. Madness it used to be, with many visitors, the number thinning as the night wore on, the music mellowing down as my roommate drifted off. I’d once taken a break and gone walking around the GB when I saw one of the most mindblowing sights I’d seen – first there was this cat, walking around normally. It suddenly froze, brought its four feet together, fur stood on end, eyes glowing in the dark, ears up, neck muscles tense. Two seconds later, two dogs jumped at it. And the cat just jumped sideways!! And again and once more, before finally running away. Cats.. really have nine lives.
Segmentation faults used to be the death of me, until I learnt to use gdb. Thank heavens for the Internet where I would always find some or the other page explaining gently to me why my code didn’t work.
Which brings us to the second fallout of leaving NITK:
No unlimited broadband at all times
Well, I do have Net at home, broadband.. but it’s not exclusively for my use, is it? True, we had/have pathetic Net at college at times, we have Ironport, which bans us from accessing anything that comes under – Entertainment and a variety of similar themes. But we’ve always, always been able to google anything we want to know in the twinkling of an eye, wiki films to review them, GOOGLE ONLINE PICTURE QUIZZES (and win), and most, most importantly to me, BLOG.
And any unfair blockages, we have a plethora of workarounds.
And Mr. PGM sir, you’ve been a great sysadmin. I particularly was bowled over by your changing orkut to localhost at the DNS (am I right?).
No more exchanging arbit fundae and links… atleast not as much as we do now.
The Net wasn’t always there, but LAN and DC++ hubs almost always were…
No more DC++ and unlimited access to media
I just read a NY Times review of Juno, search for it on DC++, and watch it. I hear of Kite Runner, immediately search for the ebook, and discover it’s been made into a movie. I’m reading English, August, and Ogu puts on a Scott Joplin record. No, there isn’t no Scott Joplin, but there’s Janis Joplin, and she has a new fan. When Ogu’s listening to Neera’s present, I, too, feel like listening to
Ella Fitzgerald singing I love Paris. And the next moment, I have ten Ella songs on my playlist.
Now I’ll actually have to pay for music and books… I know it’s the right thing, but I feel the current costs and packaging is simply too exorbitant… and selling individual songs would find more takers… Like Madhavan says in Aayutha Ezhutthu, Never buy the entire liquor shop for 100 ml.
Think I’ll drop by every few months just for the DC++ hubs. I hope someone comes upto filling the very large void that will come into existance after Bo… leaves.
No more arbit conversation
People in the outside world, the real world, are too sane for my liking. I don’t think I can discuss threadbare statements like “There are as many opinions as there are heads”, and face criticism by people pointing out that the fallacy is that there might be two-headed people… and argue by saying that that is offset by the number of headless people. I don’t think I can loop about saying “He’s so cuuute yaaa..” just to irritate people and bring out their best sarcasm. I don’t think anyone other than folks here will get my PJs or crack the sort of PJs I consider classy. I don’t think I can just run to someone and say “You know what just occurred to me…” and have them hear me out.
No more LAN Radio
http://172.16.xyz.abc:8000/ on every other status message. Shoutcast, Icecast, Ices2, Darkice, Darksnow, Amarok, Winamp plugin, VLC, alsamixer… I remember getting my playlist to stream across the LAN for the first time… the amount of trouble it took me… all because I’d missed running alsamixer… And the times when it was a fad… “Listen to my playlist da…”… As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Joe Sat on a friend’s playlist… last few times…
No more long post-midnight chats
Venting frusts. Cribbing. Bitching. Gossiping. At the very fag end of the day. Getting advice. Giving advice. Planning schedules. Pouring our hearts out to each other. Making resolutions. Fixing broken hearts. Philosophy. Pragmatism. Analyzing what’s wrong with this place. What’s wrong with us. What’s right with the world. Current affairs, ranging from reservations to Tibet. Religion. Palmistry.
No more status message wars
No more all of the above together
My current state. The last few times.
No more front-row headbanging
My last Inci done and gone.
No more GPLs
Only burday bumps. I don’t think any other place has such an elegant name for lifting someone in the air and raining their posterior with the choicest of kicks.
No more club/class/fest Tshirts
True, they were mostly oversized, but…
No more running to the beach on impulse
I didn’t want to say “No more beach”… surely I’d visit coastal areas…? But I don’t think I’d live five minutes from the sea anywhere else.
And… there are a few things I certainly won’t miss – the tiring laundry, the filthy wash areas, unhygienic people, limits on mess food – call it whining and dining, being half an hour from anywhere worthwhile, the intellectual stagnation you experience without the Net, the hard water that causes hairfall, the power and water shortages… and a few people here and there.
But what the heck, all that fades into insignificance at the thought of leaving the place where I really felt I belonged, which has made me the person I am today, that has given me some much-needed self-confidence and taught me to make my own decisions, to stand alone in the face of resistance, to never give up hope even when I’m in the doldrums, to mingle with just about any crowd that comes my way, to dream, and to work towards what I want, to separate the sinner from the sin and the saint from the sainthood, to not be afraid to walk alone when I’m on my way to what I want, to respect others and their space, not to forget their culture and preferences – a right old mini-India here.
And also brought me in contact with some of the most wonderful, most inspiring people I’ve ever met… I’ll treasure all the friendships I made here… everyone here has something in them worth emulating, worth thinking about. I’m sure I’m never going to be so close to such a wonderful set of people again.. I’m gonna miss everyone – my wingmates, my classmates, my hostelmates, my juniors, my seniors, my batchmates, including a good number who I just know fleetingly.
And gave me some of the best experiences I’ve had, some of the best music I’ve listened to, some of the best movies I’ve watched, some of the best onstage acts I’ve seen…
I’ve had the time of my life.
PS: I had this thought irking me.. “You said the same things about school”. But then, it’s just not the same. Fresh out of school, I was thinking of troubles with fitting in, doing well… but NITK has given me the confidence that anything I do, there’s always a non-zero probability I can do it really well. I know I’m going to get over the “missing college” phase fast, but I also know the memories will endure forever, and will be recollected with a smile or a grin, and without the twinge of regret at the end that it’s over.. balls to the cliché, I’ll really be glad it happened.
I find I’ve not really talked about the wonderful place that is NITK much on this blog. I’ve talked about the life we’ve led here, the quirks, the travails we’ve had to face, the fun we’ve had during our fests, and occasionally some conversations I’ve had… but nothing really about the college and what it has meant to me.
I’m sure this is not my final take on the college. I’m sure my perspective is bound to change once I enter the real world. Which will be hardly a couple of weeks from now. But I just want to preserve what I felt about this college these four years someplace… this page is getting used to being used as a time capsule.
My first impression of Mangalore was when I looked out of the window on a Manjunatha bus around July 12th, 2004, to cries of “Jyothi Circle, Hampankatta, Mangalore!”, and saw a whole array of mold-covered buildings. I wrinkled my face.
I liked the frontage, the Library, the Additional Teaching Block (ATB.. some people call it the ATB Block), the Main building… but walking towards the Girls’ Hostels, I stopped short on looking at a one-room structure called the Ladies Common Room. Moldy. Bad paint job. And one look inside gave me the heebie jeebies. Until now, common rooms were the Enid Blyton sort – music system, tables and chairs…. nope.. this place had broken furniture and tons of dust. Only later was I to find out we never did use it.
Then the Old Block…. “Ma! I’m not living in this Bhooth Bangla!!”, I said, my eyes taking in the more-black-with-mold-than-pink-with-paint building with vegetation growing out of its roof and its walls. “It’s like a chawl in here!” I said, looking at the rooms around the open courtyard. And went on to happily spend a year there, watching the rain fall into the open courtyard, play badminton, throwball, tennicoit, volleyball (Phoenix time ) at odd times of the day and night.
My roommate had arrived a week before me. I would have normally had apprehensions sharing my room with a “northie”, considering the stuff I’d heard and all, and might have asked for a room change with people I knew from before… but the moment I said hi to her, something clicked… and we went on to share more than just rooms for four whole years. Whenever I felt homesick in those initial days, I would look across the room to this girl who was a week away from home, and who would go home only once a semester, and suddenly my worries would all seem insignificant. And all those times I’d fallen sick… when I was down and depressed… when I’d wake up crying from nightmares(!)… when I got an interview call, when I was ecstatic with happiness… Mal, I’m so thankful you were there for me sharing both my joys and my sorrows.
It was tiring at first, having to do my laundry myself. There were others who skipped baths and laundry… and many other essentials… simply coz they couldn’t fathom the depths the hostel conditions were here. Thankfully, I had come with my expectations at rock bottom, and they only got lower after the initial Bhooth Bangla shock. Laundry was a new experience… especially when I found a lizard-snake maintain eye contact with me throughout the duration of my first washing.
I mailed my old friends pretty often back then. They, of course, with their CET tensions didn’t find much time to mail back, and they didn’t have as easy access to the Net as I did in the GB net center. I remember writing to one such friend asking him to occasionally remember to mail back “the poor little girl growing littler doing her laundry”. And yet another friend got to hear about the fan in my room that had a weird drone, that one day Roh thought my mobile was vibrating. They all wrote back encouraging stuff telling me to not be homesick, to enjoy my stay there… but heck, enjoy was all I was doing.
So many weekend activities. I remember my MLTR and Blue experiences.
Getting used to the rains. Returning back to my room soaked to the skin every single day. Mum had given me a raincoat, but I found it was useless… umbrellas were better anyday. Being demented with shock after seeing my first snake on campus. Staring for hours on end at the black worms with yellow markings.
And the friends!! My room was a regular thoroughfare in those days, with both Southies and Northies haunting the place, thanks to the diverse bunch of people me and my roommate met. The initial days meant arbit chatting in arbit rooms with arbit people, sharing snacks from home, narrating school stories, talking about the teachers we had, about what the seniors told us… I remember one incident when I wanted to turn in early at 9:30 (I can see the folks who know me now keel over and faint), but there were some people in my room (who later went on to become my closest friends) who were talking to my roommate and simply refused to leave! And I was too diplomatic those days to ask them to clear out. And no conversation went on around me back then without active contribution from me (I have learnt since, to shut up when I have to), so I ended up chatting. Slowly, people started coming in. Then some people moved out, and falsely raised my hopes. Then more people came in and joined the conversation which went in arbit directions ranging from Verma wondering how come I say something in Tamil and Sin understood it and replied in Gult… we told her we were both talking in Kannada….. “Oh, all south indian languages sound the same to me!”.
My bed in those days would flip if more than four people sat on it, so the floor was filled. The outside of the room looked like the entrance of a temple or a computer center.. so many slippers! Slowly, girls from the other block joined in… then I found out why my room was such a thoroughfare – it was right next to the water cooler!
Finally it was 3 am when everyone started thinking of clearing out and letting us sleep. My very first almost-nightout.. yay!
Hanging around with a mainly Hindi-speaking bunch, I found that my random statements like “I’ll be meeting up with him…. chumma” enticed double-takes. Those initial days were replete with such misunderstandings and misunderestimating-people-from-the-other-side-of-the-Vindhyas… Bond (from Agra) once asked me in course of conversation if I knew of the Ramayan And on my side, I was amazed folks from Tripura were so sophisticated (Pubali, that’s a compliment, take it) and not in grass skirts. Again, it was Bollywood, ML Khanna, Irodov and HC Verma who united us.
I was also overwhelmed by the girls:boys ratio – 1:10! I guess the shock would have been much more for girls from all-girls environments. Prag (who studied in MCC) and I still sorely miss hooting and passing comments for male performers… which we discovered was possible only in an environment with a more balanced sex ratio.
… and there were so many other firsts, so many other things I got used to… Girls Rep elections, the fact that Gobi Manchurian is a side-dish and not a starter here, talk of dress codes, having no one to pass comments with in class for the first time in twelve years, having long conversations with people you’ve just met, the whole funda of “seniors”, talks of “party funda”, first crossie, first quiz – where the name NITK Numbskulls was first coined, first DJ night, first rock concert, first musical night, first surprise test, first assignment in the library, first C programs, teachers aren’t god – the library is, xerox notes are the easy way out…….. oh, man… quite a journey.
This isn’t a well written post, it’s more of raving/ranting. I just wanted to get back to blogging after weeks of unstable Internet. More coming up on NITK. Watch this space.
I’ve been wanting to write on
- This blog and where it’s going
- A news item I read which says that most Jehadis are engineers
- A Gurumurthy column I read which talks about a Sudarshan (of RSS fame) comment warning against idolizing and idealizing women who put their careers ahead of family
- The whole concept of ‘testimonials’ in Smriti (That’s our yearbook), and the character limit on that, and what that character limit might possibly have done to my -for want of a better word- testimonial for Tuna.
- Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy. Dushy, waitup… you’re gonna be mentioned in this one
- My first few impressions of NITK.
- Saying goodbye to folks I’ve been with for four whole years and who I might meet only occasionally.
- Reminiscing about the good times that I’ve had.
- The Tibet situation, the spineless Indian government, Myanmar.
- Right-conservatism in the Indian context.
- How and why I turned so blatantly rightist, and where the hell am I going with that.
- Use up 3 GB of WP space to host the ebook collection I’ve accumulated over the past four years. Copyright violations, I hear that… but no, I just mean to use it as storage space. No downloads. Except for the free non-copyrighted stuff.
Whoa! I had no idea I had so many post ideas when I started writing this.
Between Ironport and Segmentation Faults, I haven’t been able to log on to wordpress for a sufficiently long period of time so that I’m able to write a decent post on these topics, most of which merit long posts.
I’m glad to say I soon will be able to do justice to some, if not all of these.