Monday, April 28, 2008

Autobiography: Entry 3

IIT Delhi campus was a world in its own. There was a peaceful redundancy about the student life there. We resided at the locus of five most popular youth joints in Delhi: Vasant Kunj, Saket, Chanakyapuri, South Ex and Green Park. Priya was at our backyard. Then there were places within a mile - The Tankoos, Giasarai, Sasi, Nescafe, Ber Sarai, HFC, Surd Shop, Juice Shop, SDA, Munirka, Katwaria Sarai - not to forget our official restaurant outside campus - Mezbaan.

Campus life was simple. Attend 75% of classes. Study 4-5 hours before exams. Eat as much outside as much you can afford. Booze hard in parties. Play underarm cricket with wingmates. Chat with friends on any X, Y or Z topic. Watch latest movies through LAN. Enjoy AOE. Have fun.

The outside world was very different. Without friends and a familiar surrounding, I often found myself at a loss. It took some effort to get along with strangers. Then there were few people always ready with an exclamatory remark "You are from IIT Delhi !!!", followed by the puncture "Which stream - Computer Science?". I would have an urge to say "No Sir. Computers are out. Fabrics are in. So I chose Textile Technology instead."

It was so easy to go back to the comfortable hostel room and sit with familiar faces and laugh on total crap of a topic. Those four years were life. There was a degree of innocence in the first year that is equivalent to childhood. Then came adolescence in the second year with all the raw energy. The third year was more towards a strategic and planning side. The fourth year was dedicated to friends and fun before the death encapsulate us all.

I almost cried when I had to leave the campus with all my belongings on a sunny day of May, 2004.

When I came back to college two months later for convocation, the sense of belonging was over. I felt like a soul without body strolling on the grounds of a familiar campus that was no longer mine.

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