From BITS with hope

He took out his ID card and stared at the cheesy face, he could not contain but wear the same sorry look as his lips slowly started curving into a smile.  Perhaps the smile that drew him towards a chemistry lecture when he was scribbling in his friend’s book, which was the obvious option when plated up against a ‘chemistry’ lecture that was putting the weak minds to bed and teasing the bright ones. The lecture brought him to a senior’s room, filled with grins and guffawing while an ‘Illad’ was singing a ‘gult’ song. That very smile ignited the most flammable of his thoughts that was waiting to burn all the travail that took his wit and sweat for the past four years, and let the holy smoke reach his soul as he started to sense the heat and shed a tear acknowledging his journey. That cathartic moment brought him back his college days......... a timeless timeline......


He was entering through the main gate which was not the most exciting welcome he would have imagined. He was through with the registration and went to his room, his mother stupefied by the bucolic nature it wore as his grandpa was proud his grandson had just entered BITS Pilani. His roomie was weeping as their parents boarded a cab which disappeared into the early morning mist. He did console his roomie though he wasn’t as brave inside and was putting up a show having grown up. This was the first time he did not weep at such a sight. He would have begun growing up.

He was sitting in lectures in pursuit of what seemed a touch too far as tests and days passed by. There he was, taming his ego to settle for an 8 point and feeding it the comparisons he made with his peers though a few were scoring big. He promised it an amusing life. Finally, his ego was listening.

He was going home for OASIS and APOGEE, the cultural and technical festivals. Neither was he aware how they set BITS ablaze nor did he want to miss out on a week to go home as one of his best mates was there to root for him and do the logistics. He did stay to figure it out in the second year. He couldn’t. He wonders if he ever could. He left for home again.

The seniors, they were kind to him.  He stepped into one of their rooms and said without the slightest of hesitation that his ‘ragging’ had been done, which raised many a brow and saw him take lessons as to what ragging was or is. But they were kind and protective. Most important of all these, they gave him a ‘comp’ whenever he and his friends asked for one. His ‘name pop’ treated him for sharing the same name and his ‘book pop’ literally gifted him his books. Yes, he was thanking his seniors for their gratitude.

It was a night in his ‘virtual’ wing. The lights were out as he sat with his mates and was relishing the calmness of the moon that shone brightly on a dusty space where they played cricket. One of them was singing ‘In the end, it doesn’t even matter’ while the other was doing the strings. He sat there, listening to every bit of it, thinking someday before he leaves college, he might do the guitar. He was chuckling he never could.

The sun shone brightly on him while he was getting ready to face the next ball, his team rattled by a succession of cheap wickets. He was running, taking catches, cheering every single his team managed and praying looking at the Saraswati temple that never escaped his eye, holding his nerve till the last ball and heaved a sigh, not of relief, but of memory. If only he could keep middling the ball...... he wondered.

What was that? Oh! He just found another previous year’s paper. He could not help but spare his sleep for a few more pages and papers as he was studying for the last compree of 3-2. Chemical has been kind to him he thought. He must have earned more than what he bargained for. But that is what life is, he thought. Win or lose, the deals are always unfair. He felt nostalgic having reached to this conclusion.

As the adages of our society had taught him, one starts to understand the importance of something only when it goes further. He started to connect all the dots and see how his halcyon days have given him a job, helped him manage decent test scores and the most crucial part, gifted him a wealth of companions, some of them having secured a spot in his museum of memories. He could hear the words "One who has lived in Pilani, can live anywhere" reverberating in his ears. Then came the six hour Haryana roadway bus travel, spine chilling cold that never let its reputation dip, sultry days when IPC division soothed the burning BITSians and the continuous evaluation, which was undoubtedly a remarkable feat having made it through. All the embellished essays he was writing for his M.S applications, he felt, may not be a total exaggeration. He must have evolved as a student, a friend, a sportsman, a writer, a speaker and most of all, a human.
Here he comes as I am about to conclude this and asks me if I'm interested for a late night trip to ANC with his buds where they are planning to put together a ‘write-up’ that is aimed at affectionately embarrassing one of his mates. 

Yeah! Why not?

This place is always happening.

That conundrum which you can never solve...... does the future taste sweet or bitter?

I asked him the same.

He said and I quote:

I may move to a place more comforting and modern. I may get better food and stay happier than I am here. But these four years shall be with me in my spirit and deed.

The riddle played its part in spelling out these words for me (or us).

Pics Courtesy: Sandeep Verma


  1. Wonderful. Reminded me of times at Goa Campus (too). Can't decide whether it's the BITS experience or simply the experience of growing up! Regardless, like a famous BITS alumni (you know which one!) said - "BITS makes a man out of you".

    1. Yeah......I guess it did.....glad you read it btw

  2. It is not even my psenti (last) sem but this post made me very senti !!!! Great job Manoj!!!

  3. Wonderful post and a nice click......... Thank you for sharing..........


    1. Thanks man....the pleasure is mine sharing the experience :)


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