Tuesday, 8 April 2008

1999-2000 - The best phase of my life


Hi,

There are two ways I can approach this post - one being my usual long text post, which is self-explanatory and generally gives a background to the situation being talked of...or the other style being - this is what is!
I think I will take the second approach today...probably I am in that sort of mood right now.

Fact - I dropped a year in my college and repeated the second year.
Fact - Had I not decided to drop this year, I would have been forced to do so - my preparedness for exams would have ensured that result.
Fact - It wasn't an easy thought and was most certainly not easy for my folks to accept.
Fact - As it turns out, it was probably the best decision I ever took in my life!

I never really got going with my understanding of this subject, Statistics. Not that I couldn't understand it, but I could not understand why am I being taught what I am being taught and why am I being taught in this manner that I am being taught in. My mind could never come around the fact that I am being made to learn (rather memorise steps) to prove minus of minus x = x, i.e. -(-x)=x. Yes, there is a proper way to prove this, which would involve two more variables and a few assumptions!

Come July (of 1999) and it was time to go to college - but with no compulsion to attend classes, nor any pain of sitting through lectures that made no sense to me. My dad was hell bent in ensuring that I get up every morning and still go to college - as he didn't want me to vegetate sitting at home. So I did that - got up every morning, went to the U-special stop, boarded it, got down at the college gate...but rarely entered it.

I had somehow decided that if I want to utilise this year for my growth / development in any manner - then college is not going to help me. I decided to make DSE's open area my favourite hang out spot...sat there all day long - seeing people move around at their own pace, either hurriedly or otherwise. For some inexplicable reason I found comfort at being there. Probably because nobody knew me there or because it didn't remind me of KMC.

In just a few days I realised that sitting there wouldn't solve anything...to be honest had got bored of sitting alone doing nothing. This brought an interesting turn in me - I got into reading books and listening to music, both that I had not been exposed to earlier. This was one phase when I could read anything, from philosophy to psychology books, from fiction to biographies...and during all this, I had my faithful walkman with me.

I used to carry the following articles in my bag - the book I was reading then, my walkman, 5-7 cassettes and similar number of battery sets (this made me popular amongst few similar people, who would request for battery replacements for their walkmans). There was a tea-stall there, which would supply me my morning cup of tea - my target was to make it last for at-least couple of hours...then to take another. Sitting area was comfortable - under a tree, on a stone, on the side-walk or at times (if lucky) on grass.

To be honest, I still didn't study for my course or for my exams. Now that I look back, I think that I did study and learn that life, books and music had to teach me. Things that would have gone past by me, had I not stopped and taken a break from my psuedo academic learning. I learnt to think, I learnt to feel and most importantly, I learnt to express my feelings on a piece of paper. I learnt how to deal with adversities, I learnt how to handle pressure (it wasn't easy at home those days, looking at my worried parents) and most importantly I learnt to believe in myself. All those learnings hold me together even today and I am proud of the single most difficult decision that I have had to make.

This is just to share my view on the subject. Please don't try this at home or anywhere else. I wouldn't take responsibility of your undoing!

Take care and all the best!

2 comments:

jasbir said...

This is the first of my visits to your write ups..apart from reading the one that you dedicated to me :-)

,,,,and it might be a coincidence that I got on with one of the most important ones for u,,,

I always knew that reading and music were two of the best teachers to you...and specially when I got familiar to those assertive and absolutely confident words out of your mouth...

"Bhai...!!! ( one of the many expressions i still CRAVE to hear in the UK), jo padha hai woh yaad hai" and at other times...

" I think...I know my music" --huhhhh...!!!!

But this one is to reiterate my belief in respect to that open space of D-School campus really possessing something special about it. I remember some of my time which left similar vibes in me My visits to the place resulted in two situations :

firstly when I have had too much of SHOR-GUL of my Khalsa college friends,

and secondly when I was left with change of 3-4 Rs. in my jeans.

Canteen of D-school was so economical, but still classy, i guess it was my "- get out of jail and free yourself - hangout"

It is strangely pleasing to learn that a place has been of such importance to you.

I guess we never spoke of it until now..!!!

Mudit said...

@ jasbir,

Yes - that was indeed a good learning phase of my life...

Just a thought - what are the chances that we never met in our U-special and never at D-canteen...

Anyhow - there has been a change in my outlook since I wrote this post. Please see my other post - A new thought - reality check!

Take care bhai!