I went to VJTI on 12th May to submit a form for my brother. Stood in the same serpentine queue that I stood in 5 years ago. I listened to the music being dished out on FM...and almost by coincidence, they were playing a lot of songs from 5 years ago.
DCH,Pyaar tune kya kiya and Lagaan ruled the roost.
I wondered what happened in the intervening 5 years... would I like to restore the conditions to as they were 5 years ago. System restore ,Bill Gates will have us believe,is a very useful feature in Windows XP. Maybe.
Could,or rather would, I want to restore the conditions that prevailed then? Or rather would I change the way things had shaped out in these years?
I had good PCM score,and since then my engg marks have spiralled downwards a la Fermat's method of infinite descent.
I had a tight knit group of great friends,an amazing collection of people,who in collective talent were second to no other collection of people.
I had flunked my first attempt at the JEE,but had great hopes and aspirations for my second attempt at it.
There was HOPE.
There were things I had not seen, that I have seen in these years...and experiences taken that will last a lifetime.
I lost my innocence, my photographs used to have a boyish charm...now they look world weary...as if I know the world is against me.
My smile has probably lost its freshness,though probably through overuse. I smile at everything these days(apparently)...whether I am sad or happy,enlightened or confused.
As some wise man said,"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want". Perfectly right.
These experiences, however painful, enriched me as a person. I might smile at everything but it takes a lot to make me lose my temper.
It helps as an engineering student, in the stressful moments that it causes in the lives of all of us, to remind yourself that you have been through worse.
In these 5 years, I gave up on God as an agent of the good. I don't pray except to keep someone's heart...God does not matter to me...the people I love DO. And I don’t really pray to Him…just show as if I am.
In these 5 years I spent hours upon hours questioning my ability and found that I wasn't lacking in much. I also realized that I need to prioritize my efforts. A friend had put it as "Learn to value your efforts"...are they giving you back as much as they take away from you? Is it of as much value to you as the effort it demands?
I learnt from Norbert Wiener that "If you compete with slaves, you become a slave".
In these five years I started reading fiction, Rand and Thomas Harris being the first.
I read self help books, even Christian drivel like Tough Times don't last, Tough people do. I read that and at the other end of the spectrum in the same genre I read Tuesdays with Morrie.
I found a few friends that I want to hold on to for the rest of my life. They made me realize I was only making my life worse by not letting go. I had become too much of a control freak...repressing my emotions so as not to impede my ambitions.
They let me talk to them as no one else had cared to...and I opened my heart to them as I had never cared to open to anyone else, in one case almost unknowingly.
I met people...I learnt about human behaviour. I learnt that people are not always rational ...and that only in that rarest of cases is the irrational the right way to go. My family will remember me as a hot headed, tantrum throwing kid...my friends think of me as someone who never loses his cool. Yes I have calmed down over the years...and I have also learnt to hide my emotions. So you never know how angry I am.
As a song in The MATRIX OST says I am "Calm like a Bomb".
All this happened in these 5 years.
Maybe I should start Cafe 5 years ...since A lot can happen over 5 years.
So do I want a system restore?
If one thing is allowed, absolutely...without batting an eyelid.
If that is beyond my control then I am undecided...yes life would be a lot easier (probably) but all these lessons would be lost.
So I look forward to the future, one that promises so much...happiness and undoubtedly pain as well.But then
...I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.