This post has been written given the fact that the writer didn't have much time as the deadlines of two of the universities the writer is applying to are looming over his head and as usual he has loads of work to finish!
Sometimes,I can't help wondering how great an influence NIT,Jamshedpur had on my life.Some of the influences are obvious but some of the indirect influences are though not palpable but have been very significant.It was because of me that my brother, once an introvert,lethargic fat kid,who had an attitude I loathed,has been able to change himself.The change ,like any other change,didn't happen quickly.It took time and loads of real patience on my part.But it's been worth it.The enthusiasm,positivity and talent that he possesses now and the way he has changed himself over the last few years simply surprises me.Not only has changed a lot,but there's been a seismic change in my parents' outlook too! Who would have thought that someday they would become so much liberal? Although it took immense amount of energy and hell lot of patience over the last 1 year,but it makes me joyous that they are no more their irrational selves.I love talking to them now.Not for a thing,do they force upon me their views.And mind you, this change has been no less dramatic especially when all through their lives they had lived in a conservative set up -ardently following the old customs,blindly sticking to weird beliefs,having their "own" expectations from us.At ages of 47 and 50, they hit the gym daily;their lifestyles,thoughts and opinions have changed for the better.My dad has become more like a friend to me.The kind of love he gives me,the myraid topics on which we talk,and the way we pep up each other-in short,the chemistry between us has become mind-blowing! They are the ones who now assure me that they will support me in anything I do,even if they go bankrupt or have to even sell their property!They have even asked me a couple of times that if I want to give up my job and pursue my goals now,I can and that they'll support me-whether it be for acting,music or for doing anything in any other field!
Huhh!Now why all this in a birthday post meant for Dion? Because I couldn't find an occasion better than this!And although tomorrow is the last date for submitting my applications for two universities and there's hell lot of work still to do but here I go-doing what is more important! Letting the people know that in what unseemingly big way they have made a difference in my life! The journey in the last 6 years has been more than exciting! Coming to NIT,Jamshedpur was like being re-born.
What was I when I entered the college? A geeky,brilliant guy with idiotic views and skewed opinions!Add to that false notions and self righteousness !The guy with the proverbial "spoon in mouth".LOL! No, I don't mean to degrade the guy i was in the past ,but that's the way it was ! And the metamorphosis NIT,Jamshedpur brought in me remains history,a witness to which you all have been! I don't think anybody would have undergone such a dramatic change as I did and I owe this metamorphosis to the great peer group in got in the form of you all! Here are some snapshots from this process.
It was first semester and Dion had brought a CD player from his home.That was a big deal in those days because we all didn't have any source of entertainment apart from the endless bakar and "bug each other" sessions we used to have.That was the age of floppy drives,a time when we used to rent a TV from gate no 4 to watch movies including pondies[sic],rooms without computers,and STD booths overflowing with students .That was when I heard some rapper,who later on went to become my demi-god,hurling words in a beautifully twisted way on the CD player. For some reason,I could feel myself connecting to his one song "Stan",in a mystic way.It is the feeling you get when you find that for long you've been looking out for something but never exactly knew what and then you hit upon something and then you realise that this is what you were looking for ! Like a wanderer who roams around in search of something he doesn't himself have any idea about and one fine day he stumbles upon something and stops and says "Whoa!I guess I've found what I was looking for".There started my journey into music.Dion had brought a "Scorpions" CD given by his cousin(Charlie,if I remember correctly .The name was written on the CD) and I instantly connected to the music .I realised that I connect to music on a level on which an average person doesn't and I need to get deeper into it! After that, as they say there was no looking back.
End of first year in college. We all were packing our bags. Dion had finished reading "Not a penny more, not a penny less" by Jeffrey Archer. Till then,though I had a flair for reading but I hadn't really explored fiction;save for the occasional Charles Dickens and R.L. Stevenson which I used to read in school, I had the same perception which most of the folks have "I find novels really boring".I asked Dion for the book and put it in my bag thinking that maybe I'll read it or maybe I'll bring it back without even opening the book.On my way back in the train,when I had got bored of reading magazines and newspapers and the 27-hr journey had made me the victim of boredom,I took out the novel from my bag.I took out the book more because I had got bored of seeing the jungles of Orissa and Chattisgarh than because I wanted to read it. I started reading the book and soon was quite overwhelmed .It was not only because I hadn't read any novel earlier and I was enjoying it but because I found this book breaking my perception that these kind of books are boring.The perception was fading away with every page I turned and with every twist in the story I wanted to read more.One day after the day I arrived home,I went to our Battalion library,which had a formidable collection of fiction and non-fiction books and the books issued from which have been read by some of you too and issued 5 books.That summer I went crazy reading novels. I probably read 16 books or so in 1 month.Today,I have probably read 200 books or so.And that too in just the last 4 years .And to whom does the credit go ?None other than to Dion .
Then came the next big step in my life-learning the guitar.A big step- not in terms of any kind of achievement but in terms of the beauty it added to my life.In terms of the creative outlet it provided me.In terms of the way I find myself connecting to my inner self while playing songs such as "Yesterday once more" ,"Otherside" ,"Duncan"(has one of the most beautiful lyrics of all times.Tears of joy flowed down my cheeks once when I played this song on the guitar while singing the last verse of the song.The strangest thing is that I have never heard this song because it's not available anywhere on the internet but I remember it from the way Dion used to sing it in 211.) And how did I learn the guitar ?That's again because of you folks ! Because of Sam and partially because of Dion.Sam had the patience to teach me without trying to put me down,given the fact that I had not been able to learn it for quite long .I remember him saying in his usual lovely tone "Abey,ho jaayega!".
I am not a chauvinist and I tell you,the Rajput stories like the other ones ,which used to go round were just the fabrications of Dion's and Sam's wicked minds.LOL! but I feel proud that we are a great lot,if not the best lot out there.We have Raj-the guy who's absolutely passionate about the A-word and who had the balls to chuck his job,Karma-the "quizzkid" who is a walking enclyopedia in himself,Shayon- the tech genius who also makes for an amazing writer(a rare combination,believe me!)l,Rathz-the guy redefining creativity, buzzing with new ideas,notwithstanding his flop plans:wink:, Dion- the phrase "One hell of a guy!" does justice to the kind of person he is ,and Sam-"Bas naam hi kaafi hai",people can't help becoming his fans.Literally!For such an amazing person he is.No wonder we all are his biggest fans!
When we were about to leave the college,I knew one thing that ,for sure, I am not gonna get these great mates again in my life.And I couldn't have been more correct.I would not be wrong in saying that somewhere deep down there's a void.The kind of people I meet here can never match the ones back in Jam.But life goes on and anyway I don't have much of an option. But since I have The Wall Mag as an integral part of my life,I never feel that a glorious chapter in my life has come to an end.
Lemme raise a toast to our friendship.A toast to the great times we had ,a toast to a great bunch we all are !And the final toast to the birthday boy -Dion! (Teetotallers raising toasts.Sounds funny!) Cheeeeers!
Wish you a very happy birthday,man! God bless you!