Tuesday 8 April 2008

1999-2000 - The best phase of my life


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!


Unknown 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 Aggarwal 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!