We all are walking in a fog, trying to figure out the next step; the destination is like an unknown fruit, the best way leads to the best; ironically, we know neither of them.
Engineering, like most of us, descended on me because the known options were less, because I could not realize my purpose of life, because I too suffered an existential crisis; I was too restless to hear the voice inside. Why Computer Science? Not because I knew that I would be able to savor it, but because I Knew I cannot handle any of the other trades. The first year was a pain, because it was generic, why do I need to study electrical when it is not my trade? Teachers are the most spontaneous, and amazing speakers; even the Environmental Science teacher had reasons for us to study the subject which were hard for me to comprehend.
Life was okay, when towards the end of second year everybody suddenly started talking about internships. Seniors, juniors, batch mates; so I too applied not because I was interested enough, but it seemed that it was necessary enough, that’s how I landed in Ropar.
I was accompanied by two lovely seniors, Komal ma’am, and Shubham sir who made me feel that there is nothing called seniority. They are indeed adorable. There is this myth that Rajasthani’s are adapted to heat, and they like spicy food (which may be true) but I cannot deal with any of the two. From 30 degrees, we shifted to 43 degrees, I felt sun walking besides me, my sweat glands activated as if they were succumbed under temperatures of Hamirpur.
The bus stopped in between the road, where the fences were broken, and that was the way towards the main campus, I felt disappointed, you know how IIT dreams are. We walked for 15 minutes and there it was, Transit Campus – 1, smaller than any of the departments of NITH, all this while I have done all sorts of comparisons, humans are the most unsatisfied creatures on Earth, initially I was unsatisfied with NITH and now with IITR. Suddenly I fell in deep love with NITH.
My skin started reacting, I developed rashes all over adding on to my frustration. One of our seniors from NITH, who is doing her PHD from Ropar welcomed us at the gate, trying to make us familiar with the rules and the environment. She was pretty amazing, wearing a constant smile. I liked her.
It was 2’o clock in the afternoon, all three of us went to meet our professors. I was more than happy to step into an air conditioned room, and then the interview began. Guns were fired at me. “How many lines of code have you written till now”, he said. “…… eeeiiiiggghht….”, I murmured something to which he said, “8000”. I felt reducing to a tiny dot at that moment. Then he realized that I am a second year student and hence he lowered his standards, I won’t be writing 8000 lines in my third year either, but I can write 8000 words.He referred me to his PHD student, Shipra Ma’am, who is the wife of the HOD of Computer Science department as told by Pratibha Ma, am (NITH senior), she warned me that Shipra Ma’am is too strict. I was scared.
I met Shipra Ma’am, and I somehow liked her. A woman of high intellect, even her gait reflected her spontaneity, she asked me to join from the next day and I left. IITR has two campuses, Transit Campus-1 and Transit Campus – 2, from both campuses, there are bus services after every 1.5 hours, our hostel was in TC 2 and it is around 10 KM from TC 1.
We reached TC2, settled in our burning rooms, but I was happy to be with such an amazing roommate; Komal Ma’am. The campus was too small, with four hostels, two for girls and two for boys, boys hostel was bigger for obvious reasons. We went out to explore the land, as big as one – sixth the size of NITH or maybe less. My only aim was to find the badminton court, rest everything was insignificant, effects of falling in love too late and too deep. And there it was, a beautiful wooden court. Some boys were playing, I felt shy to ask if I could join, but then it was about the court so I finally asked and they agreed. Badminton has always brought me closer to people, I started developing bonds here with a few seniors. Somehow, sports persons are always kind, people here sometimes teach me the game.
Life here is a bit monotonous, but what makes it a little pleasurable are the people. People are real treasures. The bond which I now share with Komal Ma’am and Shubham sir would never have been possible in NITH. The place is giving me relations for life and there are many more to come.