Sayonara


‘Dream. And your Dreams will Come True…’

Everybody has reveries: dreams about the distant future, near future and a thousand other things. The disappointing results of my senior year and the still unnerving mark of JEE shattered many a dream of mine. Yet the hopes of getting admission in my “dream college” were far from getting extinguished. While attending the selection process for minority students, my dream was getting soured with each candidate choosing their college of choice. XIE was a disappointing distant choice as I never wanted to get admission through any quota.

I remember walking out with my parents after my admission to the Xavier Institute of Engineering through minority quota, when reverend Fr. John Rose called out to us and told me not to be disappointed and that I should work hard and make my parents proud for they have sweated out their hard earned money for my education. It has almost been four years since that day but I can’t recall any occasion when my parents showed any disappointment in me.

I had only heard about XIE when a few school friends spoke about some far off engineering college that existed next to St. Michael’s Church in Mahim. Today I spend an average of almost four hours daily, travelling to and fro from college, sometimes physically hurting but always energetic. As tiring as it may be, I’d still say XIE has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Meeting plenty of like-minded individuals and being nurtured by a hardworking and kind staff, I’ve grown from being a first year floundering Junior to being a final year exemplary Senior. Building relationships – be it with students (juniors or seniors), professors or with non-teaching staff – played a huge role in XIE as much as being engrossed in books did. It isn’t important how many of the relationships lasted or got lost but what mattered was how it shaped us to become what we are.

What many colleges fail to understand is the importance of nurturing the growth of students from their own comfort zones without burdening them with excessive stress by pressurizing them to fit pre-fixed moulds. At the same time it is necessary to ensure that students don’t take the Institute for granted. XIE created such an atmosphere for me that I could manage to keep calm and focused on my goals in tune with my abilities without letting lethargy overtake me, thereby bringing the best out of me.

Those long lasting moments of friendship, attending routine lectures to bunking a few, holding serious as well as funny conversations in the canteen, cheering and playing games at the ground, the never ending submissions and viva phase, loud and bright festive events and activities, fun filled picnics, post exam stress to nail biting result days are memories that I will cherish for life.

True, my dream wasn’t fulfilled in terms of getting admission in the college of my choice, but all my dreams came true exponentially in terms of what I wanted to achieve during my college life.

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Phony


She told me to look straight into her eyes before she closes them. I thought she was out of her mind. Yet I didn’t want to take the risk of the consequences of not listening to her. So I stared into her eyes, for too long. She blinked and nothing happened. We walked off and I kept wondering why she was acting so weird all day. I found nothing special in her eyes.

When I reached home and switched on the Wi-Fi, I remembered that night at her place when everyone was waiting for her internet to work. She said it always crashed during the rains. I didn’t bother about Wi-Fi then cause all I wanted to have was fun and a night away from my phone. We danced all night. Played games, sang songs and laughed all night like we didn’t have any worries of the world, lost in the music and the smiles that lit up the room even when the lights were off. She loved having fun. We were always her motivation to smile and do things she’d never do if it weren’t for us. She lived her life and enjoyed it the way she did because when she watched us play she would elude herself into a different world. A world where she didn’t have to fret about who was watching her and talked what about her.

We were the reason why she looked beyond those prying eyes who only reckoned her by her guises (She was indisputably beautiful). The purpose behind she letting herself free was us. If it wasn’t for us, she would mix around with the crowd and be one like them, the ones who never looked deeper into a soul than the body alone.

Then what about us? What about those times when she didn’t have us and we were on the other side of the road while she was busy being one like them? She judged us with her inquisitive senses, gossiping wrong about us only to get some limelight. What about the times when she would ignore and disrespect us only to sound levelheaded and popular? Words and actions can hurt anyone as deep as the ocean. At times like these you don’t know what to believe and whom to trust. When you’re never being yourself around one person, how will the person know you’re for real?

Maybe that wound never healed and hence I didn’t grasp anything in her eyes but a blank dark hole that only saw and took others for granted. She was with me, with us, only so she could experiment her guilty pleasures without pricking her conscious. It is saddening to realize the fact that during those times when she let herself loose, her eyeballs never left us. Her eyes ogled deep, and never beyond our remains. She only perceived what she wanted to and never paid attention to how much she was losing by pretending to genuinely like us.

What she failed to understand is that we are who we are. Being copies isn’t going to take her as far as we have come. She lost us to the people who always judged her right. At least they were right about her and didn’t fall hard like we did. I’m glad we could dust ourselves up from the mess and finally go back to being what we were and care less about the world and worry more about our happiness.