“Bhaiya, what is the difference between 911MS and 911ES? Which one do we buy?” I asked a guy two years senior to me in a compartment presumably oscillating in simple harmonic motion on a rail-track of western line. “Get a 911ES. Though Profs can’t stand it, but it’s programmable. Maths mein 45 karne mein kaam aayega” he said. “45? Sounds like a special number, eh?” I asked, surprised and inquisitive. “Boy, you’re a DDIT guy now. The numbers 24, 36 and 45 now should mean more than just the figure specifications of girls. These are the numbers you’ll always look for, not just pertaining to girls but pertaining to exam.” he scoffed. “I’ve heard, these people detain if your attendance goes below 70%. Really?” I continued interrogating him. “Bacche, first year mein notice board par fatwa nahi lagate yeh log… Jalse maar le…” he scuffed my back in confidence. “Fatwa?” I questioned. “Yes! Soon you’ll realize faculties here are big fans of each and every student. If they see your autograph less often in the attendance sheet, you’re reported at the high. However, they choose to inform you of their dissent publicly on notice board each month.” he said and we descended down the train at Nadiad.
The above para was an excerpt from one of the few conversations I’d with a guy two years senior to me when I was an infant in the DDU realm. Coming from a school which was too particular about attendance and discipline, I quibbled less about DDU than the other freshly detained prisoners of academics (the term scribbled on one of the desks in MMH- bestowed upon the newly enrolled by the veterans of DDU CONCENTRATION CAMP – again a term scribbled on MMH DESK.) It just took me the first internal of 1st semester to hop from ‘pro-DDU’ to ‘anti-DDU’ clan amongst the students. Centuries ago, as it feels today – I used to be nervous due an exam every month. Not only girls, but even exams in DDU brought claustrophobia to me. Bunking a lecture, I thought would not suit my image of a ‘Mumma’s boy’ and hence I glued my bums over the perforated MMH seats with restrain. I worked not for a total of 36 on three but a 36 on 36 in one! I then, also cared as to who mugged up the max and managed to get his/her marks printed in bold in the mark-sheet displayed on the notice board. Then I would get pretty amused to see my fellow prisoners in the cellular jail in Nadiad METRO CITY getting magnetized to the notice-board quicker than the coins would magnetize to the player running in Temple Run when the Magnet power-up would activate. However, today I infer that the power-up in Temple Run was probably inspired from DDUians! Writing journals (and record books too – I belonged to the IT CELL in the prison earlier) was as important as drafting a law and getting it signed without a flaw by the Prof was as difficult as getting a bill signed by Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal. Owing to my highly proactive tongue, I would get into rampant verbal brawls with professors when they’d ask us – the 1st semers that- how overwhelmed we were by DDU. I would naively elaborate on how DDU was giving us an awesome time then! Though I would reach from the canteen to MMH and back without a stumble, I felt my feet were trembling then.
3 years later, I seemed to have improved my vocabulary of life and updated it as well. I walk-off blatantly to bunk lectures regardless of dampening the “Mumma’s Boy” image within me. I’ve shed off the claustrophobic shade of mine in context of exams and today I deal like a stud with them, taking them on a ride each month they come. (Though exams are no joy, but as one of my friends puts it “You experience orgasm only once you’re fucked.”) I’ve now comprehended that ‘happy endings’ matter more than ‘dhamakedar entry’ and hence I’ve learnt finding peace in a 36 in 3 exams rather than a solo 36. Journals to me are a metaphor to ACCOUNT BOOKS which on being found inaccurate and un-updated with the latest plagiarized data would lead to RAID. I’ve drilled it to my taste-buds that Payal Puff and ChaarBhuja are Dominos and Subway and I’ve told the Amdavadi within me that Nadiad was soon going to have an International Terminal.
I don’t crib about anything in the college or about the town in which my college is located in now, for two reasons – Either i) the thing I had a problem with has already changed to what I’d wanted it to. OR ii) I realized I’d have to comply with it if I wanted to finish my graduation in four years. Today I walk comfortably all over the campus and there remains no path untraversed. The soil now grips my feet well. Has the soil changed? Or have the paths become hurdle-less? Probably what has changed over 3 years is – I’ve learnt walking. I feel my feet have finally attained poise.