The years really do roll by. I remember meeting a random bunch of pass-outs at The Mall (Shimla) in my first week of joining college. They quickly tagged me with “You must be the one in the group who’s from Shimla”. They were right, although it occurred to me much later as an afterthought, that they meant I had loads of attitude.
I miss that young me sometimes, it’s quite difficult to accept that time has fast forwarded more than half a decade since those first days that I met the few people I now love and hate for life. There are bittersweet moments that I could never forget about my journey through the Jaypee system, like waking up late for my first maths exam in the university (one of very many), finding myself a roomie (more like adopting an [irritating] brother for life), finding my first ever bandmates, adjusting myself to what I now think was one of the rooms in college with the best views, properly discovering Pink Floyd, and a million-odd “supplis” in between.
To counter the moments that I felt on top of the world, I received my fair share of downers from the place too. For the first time in my life, there were people who didn’t care how many websites I had made or how many songs I had written. Speaking of faculty, a majority cared only about their amour propre and how much marks I had. Admittedly, I never had very many.
I was in a bad place, and a terrible student. The walls seemed to collapse around me, and I was too proud to look for help.. initially. Then when I did seek help, I accidentally gained gratefulness for what I had in my life. The shrink didn’t help, but in front of the queues of people who actually had genuine problems, I felt like a poser.
I learned to respect, and I learned that everybody is living in a high speed video game with just as many challenges as me. I learned I wasn’t “special”. My perception started to shift, and with that shift, I started finding people in the faculty who I would now move mountains for. I started finding people who really and genuinely cared, and it is thanks to those people that I made it out of the journey alive and kicking, albeit stumbling a bit as well. I learned that there exists good in the world, if you start looking. I learned that there really can be god in a teacher, and I learned that it takes time and effort to find that God. The other people were still there, and some of my peers had very different opinions of them.
I learned to respect opinions.
I know things are changing in the Uni, but the truth about my JUIT (or my perception of it between ’09-’13 anyway) is that it will leave a beast of an impact on you. It has the potential to end your dreams and destroy your passions, but if it really does that, your dreams weren’t big enough, your passions weren’t hardcore enough, and you’re better off with new ones. It can crush your aims in life, or make you committed as hell to succeed in them. It’s just like the old cherokee saying:
There’s a battle of two wolves inside of me. One’s evil and full of anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies & ego. The other is Good. It’s full love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth. Which one wins?
The reason I reminisce, however, is the document we all go through it all for. I asked one of my friends (who’s now pursuing his master’s there) to collect my degree and bring it along when he visits me, and I laughed when he said there’s also a gift for me from the University. I thought he was joking. As I unwrapped the present, however, I was moved to (glorious man)tears.Well played, JUIT. Well played. Someone in the University was kind enough to include a book with the piece of paper that rather boringly stated I was an engineer. The title of the book?
What an epic final goodbye, JUIT, and what a brilliant way to redeem yourself and bring a saline smile to the ones missing you.
Thank you, JUIT Waknaghat, you crazy beast.
[Head’s up: These are my personal experiences. Your mileage may vary.]