Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reminiscence or Nostalgia.. Words fall short.

Some one has rightly said. Bad times go slow and good times jus fly by! The worst part is we realize this only when the good times are over or the bad times have just started. Irritating, unavoidable and harsh fact of life. At this point of life, when I am working in the corporate industry, having gone through all the school and college times. I seriously feel like going through them again and not many would disagree to this.
Looking back, going to K.G.-C of St. Xavier's High School Loyola Hall seems just like yesterday. Being the junior-most in the school, the cutest kids in the whole of the school gives a different feeling altogether, which I realized long after I passed K.G. At that time, it was fun with friends in the play ground, innocent pranks in the class, motiveless actions which annoyed the teachers to the core and little bit of studies! Being in a boy's school till the tenth standard, I felt that we always had that extra masti compared to the guys in the Co-Ed schools. Running about like unmanned cattle, shouting like rowdy hooligans in the corridors during recess, reaching the ground first so that the other team doesn't "capture" the ground before my team does, forming teams in the class itself, eagerly waiting for the class to end just to run to the other end of the class to discuss about the previous day's wrestling match between ROCK and UNDERTAKER with your friend, going for the early morning football practice, finish school early and rush for practice again, feeling proud when your name gets announced in front of the whole class, be it any reason, loads of extra curricular activities: SPORTS DAY, CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS, NAVRATRI, ANNUAL DAY, SINGING DANCING AND INSTRUMENTAL COMPETITIONS, the excitement of having the whole day free cause of any of these occasions, the walk to the Auditorium to celebrate Fr. Charlie's birthday, murmuring within each other even with the finger-on-the-lips, the constant fight with the GUJARATI MEDIUM guys to name the few fantastic memories.... Xavier's gave me an awesome Primary and High School life! Higher secondary, woh kya tha? Dekhte hi dekhte nikal gaya! LOL! Had it's own wee bit of fun. Physics, Chemistry and Maths ripped us apart though English and Computers tried their best to do some damage-control. Majority of the time in 11th and 12th was either spent at Shambhus or playing Counter Strike at the gaming cafes. Girls, who were a alien thing for us till now, weren't a hard thing to mix with after all, considering we studied in a BOY'S SCHOOL!! The boards jus flew by and God knows why but majority of us got into Engineering. 6 weeks into the college and we started realizing how badly we missed school and it's Bindaas Masti!

Nonetheless, as they say, desperate times calls for desperate measures. College main bhi maze dhundh liye. New friends from different parts of the state, new cultures, new thinking adding to the new type of subjects, different pattern of studies and what not. A million trips to the canteen, files, submissions, fights, relationships, groups, politics, inter department matches, Cognizance and Adagios, DJ Nights and Vrund, working late-night in the college, hostel life, midnight dinner at the Dhabas, world cup and premier league matches in the hostel TV room, rivalry while watching the matches and playing with the same guys in the same team for the college, ghost stories of the CHANGA village and many more…. Loyola Hall sent a innocent little devil to study engineering at Changa. Four years later, the devil was enhanced, refined and ready to face the rough and tough world. College gave me 4 years of unlimited fun, nothing of which I expected and so it came as a pleasant surprise after 13 years of schooling! Coming into the last semester made me realize that it’s over. The fun, the easy-going times, where tension was only files, submissions and exams, will be getting over soon. Time was running out and I so felt like freezing time, then and there. 

Helping seniors, lovely batch-mates and supportive juniors, what else did I need. It was like every time I felt that things will be constant now, Life was to be started afresh. 13 years of school gave me friends I bonded with so so strong and then it was a new life in the college. Made friends here too, close and best and now it’s time to start again. Just when all seemed lost, June 2010 had passed, PDPU gave me a fresh lease of life. Though Masters was never my cup of tea, I had no other choice for the time being. PDPU took me a run through the college I had just a few days back. Met people who were a reflection of my college life, be it sports, pranks or organizing events. Had loads of fun, every single day, trip to the mess, messages and calls for breakfast, lunch or snacks, going to Infocity just for a 2 hours lab and itching to come back from there as soon as possible, a “farewell” given to me which turned out to be given well in advance, hostelites, localites, Proscenium, drama, everything but studies, LOL ….

So, even that had to end soon. Come Dec’ 10 and I made the trip to Pune, entering the Service industry, finally becoming a WORKING MAN!! I don’t know how life will treat me but till now it has been fantastic. Every second, minute and day has been worth remembering which makes me smile today and will keep doing so till I breathe no more. Naming the people who played their part in my LIFE will get too formal and reduce the importance of the relation we share! A few pictures of some of the beautiful souls that I have met till now is all I can put up here. Time cannot be rewinded but memories are all that can make me live through! Thanks for being a part of what I am.


Friday, April 1, 2011

4-0 TO 5-0 .. One Amazing Day!

The day India defeated the Aussies in the quarter finals of CWC 2011, every Indian was more excited for the semis rather than celebrating the win over the Kangaroos from Down Under! It was the BIG match, the MOTHER of all battles. India Vs Pakistan. Boy o boy, the mere mention of this match brings back memories of the fierce rivalry between these cricketing nations. The verbal fights between Siddhu and Aamir Sohail, the game where Venkatesh Prasad allowed the ball to do the talking, Gambhir roughing it up against Afridi and many more!

30th March 2011 was the day and 2:30 PM was the time. I had my morning shift that day but I was so deep into the dreams of seeing India win against Pakistan that couldn’t get up in time! Somehow manage to reach the office by 8. There was just one thing people were talking about in the office, be it the canteen table, the central sitting area, the cafeteria or the Tech Center itself, THE BIG GAME! “Aaj Akhtar khelega?” , “ Nehra ko nai khilana chahiye yaar ” , “Batting first karni chahiye, Mohali pitch is the best for batting.” ,  “Sachin toh aaj 100th Century maar lega”. Be it any match that India plays, suddenly you have a billion critics, a billion advisors, a beating with just one motive, A WIN for the BLUES! And when it is our noisy neighbors, it is something more than a cricket match. It is WAR. Between the players, between the supporters, between the diplomats and between every Indian and Pakistani. I opened my facebook account and it was a beautiful sight. Everyone’s profile picture was the Indian flag or the Indian cricket team. Every status though meant the same, spoke a thousand different feelings. The first good news of the day, a mail from the HR team, stating that today was a half day, buses to leave at 12:30PM. Match hai bhai, you can’t play with the feelings of a FAN, chutti dena toh banta hai!! ;) So, with the excitement to go home early, work speeded up in every tech center, working with an efficiency of 300%. Some unfortunate ones had to stay back owing to the pressures of the project, I presume.

Time just flew by and soon it was the time to go. People started running towards the buses, plans all made in advance, food & drinks stocked up, flags ready and throat all cleared up to shout out to the fullest! It was an amazing scene, the office bearing a deserted look at a time when the office is at the peak of its population. The roads wore a deserted look, shops half closed and people moving towards jus one place, THE TV SCREENS. I reached home as fast as I could, got fresh and took my seat in front of the TV, promising not to move even a step till the match gets over, superstitious that we are. The pre-match show had its share of Good and bad news. Shoaib Akhtar not playing but Nehra was to replace the carom spinner, R.Ashwin. Many were baffled on this move by Dhoni but He is surely not an Idiot as Harsha Bhogle said. There has to be a reason behind getting Nehra back! Positivity is what I kept in my mind and the match started with the national anthems. Jana Gana Mana gives you shivers even if you hear it for the thousandth time! Boosts you big time. Maybe that’s what makes us perform so well every time. It wasn’t only the supporters but high profiled diplomats and politicians who were there to witness the match. What was special was to hear the roar of the full capacity crowd when the prime ministers of the two nations shook hands with the God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar. Truly goes on to show how highly respected he is!

Viru and Sachin got us off to a flyer before the former perished. But Indians held on to the run rate pretty well for the first 30 overs. Sachin was dropped four times and was adjudged not out on two occasions by the Umpire review. It surely goes on to say without a doubt that Misbah and Younis dropped the CUP for the Pakiss. The run rate dropped after the 30th over but somehow India managed to get to 260, all thanks to the CUTE boy, Suresh Raina, as referred by Chehek Bilgi, a.k.a Chikuu. It was a great score but a defendable score. Indians were sure to be disappointed but not out. Something somewhere in our hearts was saying to us, India’s gonna snatch this. Pakis came down to bat and Hafeez got them to a flyer as well until Zaks struck the danger man, the senior Akmal. The downfall had started. Nehra too performed well, as he had no other choice. Thrifty bowling and 2 wickets might get overlooked but will surely help him remove the stain he received in the last match he played against the Proteas. Wickets fell at regular intervals and it wasn’t long before the final catch was taken by Virat Kohli to hammer the final nail into the coffin. India had repeated history, the clean sheet of the World Cup continued and the Pakis couldn’t break the jinx.

49.2 overs it was and crackers were already bursting around my place. Music on full blast, people dancing on the road, bike engines roaring, shouts of India-a-a-a-a India-a-a-a-a-a!!! 30 runs were needed of the last 4 balls so the match was virtually won. It was good to see Indian bowling and fielding perform so well when it was actually needed. Messages started flowing in & statuses getting updated, one beating the other comfortably. Each message, each status had so much of joy, so much of pride and so much of INDIANISM filled in it. It made me so proud to be an Indian! I watched the whole match alone but continuous chatting and update-sessions with Rishigandha Mistri, Manasi Chauhan, Madhura Deshmukh, Chehek Bilgi, Maitri Patel, Devesh Chainani, Maulee Desai and Harsh Desai never let me feel alone. Thanxx guys <3 The best part was A.R Rehman’s “Vande Mataram” being played at the fall of every Pakistani wicket. I can just imagine the atmosphere at Mohali. Seeing your team see-off the fiercest rivals is nothing less than heavenly. It’s amazing to see the unity Indians show during such events and situations. I missed Ahmedabad and my friends out there more than anything else cause I know it would had been wild fun after the match at the streets of CG  Road and SG Road! Aapnu Amdavad rockss!!

Come Saturday, the 2nd of April, it’s surely going to be Dusshera for us. Watch out Ravanas. Mythology is with us and so will be that day. ’96, Eden Gardens wont be repeated, I swear! As of now, it is celebration times till D-Day arrives.

Gooooooooooo Indiaaaa!! J J

---------------------------------_!_ << AJ >> _!_ ----------------------------------