While talking of pizzas, Margarita has become too common. But still, people have just not secluded it from their favorites; they just prefer seasonings over it with of course a delicious supplement like garlic bread. Well, this isn’t a blog-post directed towards food and particularly pizzas, but I being a foodie couldn’t refrain myself from comparing the topic I am gonna talk about with the eatable delight I devour the most – Pizzas. Well, let’s us for a moment compare 12th Standard boards with Pizzas, an issue with a lot of zilch hype and taken up by masses with fair concern. Now the garlic bread which I just talked about shall be compared to board supplements like AIEEE and IIT-JEE. But, the credit goes to these garlic breads that over the decades they have overtaken the popularity of pizzas. We’re in an era where parents and their kids go frantic for their association with some premier institutes of the nation like IITs and NITs. And hence, most of the parents get their kids enrolled in sophisticated remand homes called – COACHING CLASSES.
Two years ago, even I was a 12th Science student and even I had aspired to crack JEE and AIEEE and with that determination (I just needed a filler before the following word, so I used determination, please don’t take it so seriously!) I joined MindTree education, quite a popular Coaching Institute for JEE/AIEEE in Ahmedabad. I joined it telling my parents that, “I’ve got no alternative. I’ve got to be serious now. I gotta work for AIEEE/JEE. I want to work hard (Oh really?). And I will. I will start solving H.C. Verma, Irodov and Arihant. I will mumma-dady, I will.” That day and today, time has been a vigilant witness of my sophistry. I did join MindTree education, but what I did after that was not even around the periphery of education.
MindTree was based in Satellite area, some 15 kms away from Maninagar where I stay. We had a few guys coming from Maninagar and they’d hired a rickshaw for exclusively commuting to Bothra’s (MindTree’s more popular name). I joined the rickshaw group where we were 4 guys- Mandar, D.P., Kaushik and I . On seeing us descend down the rickshaw, the people there would have even a better impression of ours. Some would mutter, “See those guys. You know they travel every weekend from Maninagar to here, just for Bothra’s you see. This is what you call dedication”. Well, then we generously accepted their secret compliments, but we knew how “dedicated” we were. And not to forget, we had Aditya joining us there to accompany us in our “dedication”.
Just in a matter of few days, we showed our real colors. We used to have 3 lectures each day, each of 1.5 hour. Between two consecutive lectures, when the professors would interchange their classes, there would be a trivial break of some 5-7 minutes. The studious ones called it a “DOUBT SOLVING SESSION” and ones like Prathmesh ran like an angry bull to maul the professor with some gauche questions and the “dedicated” ones like made no delay in frisking towards “Gwalia”. (To the non-Ahmedabadis reading this, let me tell you Gawlia is a popular food and sweets outlet which sells awesome Indian snacks like Kachauri, Mini Indian Pizza, Khaman, Dhokla, Pudding, Samosa, Kulfi etc.) I remember, the very first day when I joined Bothra’s, before inquiring about the professors teaching there, I inquired what varieties Gwalia vends. And needless to cite that I was more than quenched by their list. With such dishes, I could hardly resist every one and half hour. With Aditya taking the lead, I would ardently follow him towards Gwalia’s. Two different items for each break and one special Mava Kulfi after the classes were over – this had become our routine and even the staff @ Gwalia’s had got acquainted with our likes. At times, I would not have to ask for Kachauris, the person at the counter would give me one without seeing my coupon. I’m sure my wife (the one to be in the future of course) might have met them in person then and told them about my likes. They received us as warm as a wife would receive her tired husband returning from work. Absurd comparison, but nothing struck my mind to acknowledge the courtesy @ Gwalia’s. This was about the breaks. Let me clear any misconceptions before they’re seeded in your mind. We did no productive work during the lectures too.
We were proud last benchers at Bothra’s too. Most of the times I, Aditya, Mandar, D.P and Kaushik would sit together to incept all fun possible in those 4.5 hours at Bothra’s. As it was the Satellite area, there was no paucity of some really beautiful girls coming at Bothra’s. Electromagnetism and Claisen Condensation reaction didn’t lure people enough to the white board (Bothra’s had a white board, the one on which you write with a black marker – just to be explicit) so they thought it would be better to focus on some really white skin. Most of the guys there had an eye-candy fixed for themselves. Some of my friends too joined the club. And at a point of time it became their reason to go to Bothra’s. “Aree Saturday Sunday dono din wo aai thi yaar, Kya lag rahi thi yaar!” would be their first sentences to their chums in the school on following Monday. Though my friends even today don’t appreciate the choice of my eye-candy, I think she was good enough to be stared at. In his novel 5 Point Someone, Chetan Bhagat says, “There’s not a worry if you don’t have a girl. Food is almost as good as girls”. We were lucky, we had both.
We almost wasted a full year in this “dedication”. Bothra’s granted us a parole from their torture in January as our boards were nearing. After the boards were over, we were again struck by a wave of “seriousness”. I thought, “I’ve screwed up my whole year just gobbling the stuff at Gwalia’s. It’s high time now. I must make most of the vacation classes. Profs there are going to revise things right from the basics. I’ve a month. I can make it.” While thinking this, I never knew I was scripting a few good punches for Comedy Circus. The vacation period @ Bothra’s was no different. We somehow managed to cling to the “Seriousness” agenda for a day or two. Then onwards, the same “dedication” returned. Unfortunately, eye-candies had shifted themselves to the “Crash Course” batch and my pals couldn’t please their retinas any longer so they quenched themselves by seeing their Facebook Pictures through their cell-phone. I unfortunately had nothing to do. Neither did the baldy teaching Mass-Pulley problems in Physics manage to get stuff in my head nor could the fumbler in Maths teach me any good Permutations and Combinations. Hence after a few days, we started bunking lectures there. We used to leave one or two lectures early, have some Maska buns in the mall adjacent to Satyam Mall, give a call to our Rickshaw-wala and briskly frisk from Bothra’s.
A month passed this way and AIEEE arrived to check some real dedication. I wish Gwalia’s could have sponsored the AIEEE exams, if not for the sake of some better questions then atleast for some good quality OMR sheets. But anyways, Kapil Sibbal doesn’t like some really intelligent brains like me suggesting some unconventionally intellectual stuff in his ministry you see! I didn’t manage to score so well in AIEEE. I don’t know about my pals, they never revealed their scores. But today, after two years from that “dedication” and “seriousness” era, we’re all in good, decent and reputed colleges of Gujarat. Thank god we didn’t land in IITs to get our asses whipped by the professors there.
Today or may be even tomorrow, I won’t regret of not having passed out from IITs for the days of fun I’ve had during my preparations for getting there. For the guys in IITs, I believe they were misers who could not afford a price as high as “being human” in the days they were supposed to and hence they made it to a realm of humanoids. For the “generous”, “dedicated” and “serious” ones like me, I don’t regret enjoying my days. Though I had not been serious, I was atleast “Seemingly Serious”.
Love & Regards,