Thursday, July 29, 2010


(Based on a true story)
16th May, 2010

Beta, uth jaa... abhi saamaan bhi pack karna hai.
“uuuuunnnnnnnnn...... Sone do na papaaa. Abhi toh soya hoon.”
DHAWAL... 8 baj gaye hain... aur kitna soyega?? Saara din sota rehta hai..saari raat sota rehta hai..!!
With that he went and switched off the main power supply of my room. Now, howsoever lazy or sleepy you may be, you can’t sleep without atleast a fan in peak summer. And, in order to switch on the fan, i’d have to go all the way to the ground floor and switch it on. So, after 5 minutes of lazing around on the bed, i got drenched in sweat. Ultimately, i had to wake up. This is one of many irritating ways conceived by my dad to wake me up. In winters, he takes away my blanket and leaves my without any cover from cold and consequently, i have to wake up. With just 3 hours of sleep, i moved towards the washroom with red eyes.
Dhawal.. tu saara din sota rehta hai. Fir bhi teri aankh laal kyu rehti hai..??
“Mujhe kya pata?”
What i obviously did not tell him was that i used to be on the phone with my girlfriend all night. Today was no different and i had been talking to her till 7am – so late because maybe it was the last time we were talking over local network. From now on, it will be costly STD calls, the meetings would become fewer and far between and there will be distances. I’d have to wait for months to even see her face. I had got selected at S.C.R.A (Special Class Railway Apprentice), which acording to my dad, is the next best thing in Indian government after an I.A.S officer. To all those who don’t know about S.C.R.A, click here. I was amongst the lucky 38 out of 1.25 lakh applicants who were called to join the prestigious IRMEE by the U.P.S.C. Only God knew how i had managed to pass in the written exam, and then the interview, and then even the medical exam! (Mind you, 6 people even failed the medical exam out of 44 and I am skinny, unhealthy and fragile by every standard.) Even my dad (my harshest critic) was marvelled that how i had managed to clear all these stages without even preparing for them for even a minute. Even i found the fluke too hard to digest.
But, here i was, all through. Now i will soon get paid for studying- that too Rs.18,000 per month. And after my engineering degree will get over at IRMEE, i’d be luxurioulsy placed as an Asst. Engineer in Indian Railways earning a handsome 40,000 per month (plus the govt perks and allowances and there in no limit to ‘upar ki income’.) My days of toiling and slogging at IIT were over. My friends had even given me the most awesome farewell treat and i sill feel indebted to them. Today i was leaving for the IRMEE campus at Jamalpur, Bihar by the afternoon train. All set for an awesome life, wasn’t i..??
Back to reality, i refreshed myself and started searching for anything that i had forgetten to pack.It had been fun shopping for all the things. Nothing feels better than to roam around in the streets of Delhi. You realize the amount of variety God has created in the world. The week-long shopping extravaganza in connaught place had been an awesome experience after 4 months of sulking around at IIT-Ropar. I had to leave for the station by noon so as to reach in time. By 10am, everything was packed and well in place.
These are the times when all the weird things start coming into your mind. And one such thought struck me too that was enough to change my life. ENGINEERING – i had been studying engineering at an IIT for the past 2 years. But, Had i learnt anything? Was i interested in it? Did i have any sort of passion for it? Did i want to be engineer? Was i enjoying what i was doing and was about to do? Was i excited? Did I even want it in the first place? Strangely, the answer to all the these questions was the same - a mono-syllable word “NO”. I had got good grades in many subjects even at IIT but did i ever understand them? “NO.” And yet,the place i was about to go to, required me to continue this and bluff myself. Was i doing the right thing? "NO".
Was it a momentary move or my rush of blood, i still do not know. I went up to my dad and said ," Papa, can i talk to you?"
"Haan beta, bolo.."
"Dad, i am not going to S.C.R.A. In fact, i don't want to go to S.C.R.A."
"What do you mean???", said my dad with a puzzled face.
"I am not interested to go to S.C.R.A. I am staying here only."
"WHAT??? Are you all right??" My dad was still to come to terms with what i was saying.
"Yes Dad. I am all right. I am saying this because this is what my heart wants"
"why is your heart is saying bullshit all of a sudden? Dhawal, you just don't know anything. Why the hell are you saying all this?"
"DAD, I AM SAYING WHAT I KNOW IS RIGHT TO MAKE ME HAPPY. I - WILL -NOT- GO." This time, my voice was loud. And i hated myself for talkin so loudly.
"WHAT IS THIS? if this is what you wanted then why the hell did you give the exam? Why did you decide to leave IIT in the first place? Why did you go on a shopping spree for S.C.R.A? Why did you not leave it long time back? Why did you do all this drama in the first place?" There were a lot more ''why's'' thrown at me.
"Dad, i did all this because i thought money was all one wants. I thought happiness increased with your stature. I thought great things makes us happy. But NO. Happiness makes great things. I have been an idiot all my life. i took science because i thought taking up anything else was a shame after 94% marks. I took engineering beacuse it was more popular. I joined IIT because i thought the best institute was the best thing to do. But today, i realize i never did anything on my own. I just followed what the world thought was right and i thought that was right. I thought SCRA gave me good money and that would make me happy. But dad...i'm not interested in engineering anymore. i never was. The money may keep me smiling all my life, but i don't think i will be happy. I don't wanna waste the next 4 years doing what i don't like. I don't want to continue wronging my life just because i did this in the past. Dad, please. For the first time in my life, i am conscioulsy deciding something for my happiness. PLEASE."
I don't know how it affacted my dad but he just smiled and said, "Anything for you son! Anything for your happiness. I want my son to be happy. Nothing else matters." And he hugged me. Tears flowed from my eyes. That was the best moment of my life. I just closed my eyes. I don't know for how much time i hugged my dad but when i opened my eyes, my heart was happy and so was my dad. I happily unpacked my bags and 1 hour later, we were having lunch and enjoying. Was i happy?? YEAH SURE, I WAS!!
As the noon passed, i decided to timepass by watching T.V. What i saw left me open-mouthed. There had been a stampede at New Delhi railway station. Numerous people had been injured. Few had died too. The platforms of two bihar-going trains were exchanged at the last moment which lead to the stampede. I....was supoosed to board the Vikramshila express - one of those two trains. i din't know what to do first - to thank god for keeping me away from it or to feel sad for all those who were there. (to read more, click here)
Today, when i look back at that day, i still feel weird. I do thank God to give me those thoughts at that moment. Maybe, i will not earn so much in my life but i am content. My dad tries to convince me to try for I.A.S because that's the only thing better than S.C.R.A. But,right now, i don't care about it. I have my brilliant friends still with me who have even made my engineering life quite enjoyable though I had to give all of them a return treat. But thats not worth caring about. The studies may suck but i have a nice company. I am still at IIT. I am not courageous enough to leave IIT for the hate of engineering. Security is still a dominant option in india. But, i am now left with just 2 years of engineeirng rather than the 4 years i'd have had to spend at SCRA. Today, i am happy and smiling, both at the same time! I realized why people always say to follow your heart. It may seem a bit harsh but it definitely keeps you happy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


In our lives, we do a lot of things everyday that are necessary to keep our body functioning properly. We eat food to get nutrition, do exercise to reduce the calories, go to loo everyday to excrete the extra and a lot of other chores. One of these is bathing. Surprised as you may be, but it does constitute an interesting phase our daily lives. For a regular human being, the process of bathing is amongst the first things that happen in the day. Even the laziest of normal fellows manages to put water on his body by the noon.
BUT, there is also a certain part of the population, esp in India, who are quite averse to the normal trend. This population resides in the hostels and P.Gs of India. These people are generally criticized by the society for not bathing daily
. Sometimes, they are even ridiculed for the same which can be very humiliating at times. I have myself known a lot of references who were even refused food at home by the family because they weren't bathing regularly.Almost, all the people know this fact but very few actually go in-depth to analyse the reason for it. It is not for nothing that it becomes regular for people to avoid bathing for upto a week. (I have a reference who, once, did not bath for 28 days continuously.) Here, I am trying to present to you the various logical reasons that lead to people developing such trends and tried to present a view of the situtaion from first-person's perspective in order to provide a better view to the world. Hopefully, this will open the eyes of people who live in the comforts of home and not hostels.
'Bathing' , in hostels, is a very sacred rite that is preformed daily only by the dedicated and chosen ones. After a well-performed research on a lot of hosteliers, including myself, it was found that bathing may seem a simple process but it actually involves a lot of difficult and hectic steps. Some of these procedures are:
+- Pouring the water into the bucket from the tap.
+- Searching for soap, shampoo, towel, clean clothes, etc that are necessary for a good bath.
+- Finding the immersion-rod in the hostel.(This applies for winters.)
+- Carrying the heavy bucket of water (it weighs atleast 20kg!) into the room and putting the immersion -rod into it.
+- Agonizingly waiting for atleast 20-30 minutes for the water to get hot/warm as per your requirement.
+- Carrying the heavy bucket of HOT water back into the bathroom. (one has to be careful that the hot water does not get spilled or burn your body.)
+- Mixing the right proportions of hot and cold water.
+- Pouring the water over your body mug by mug. (It consumes as much calories as push-ups!)
+- Finally, washing your clothes once you are done with the bath.

As we observed above,the above process is really tedious and involves a large number of steps that should happen in tandem with each other. Now that you have known the difficult procedures involved in bathing, LET ME TELL YOU, there are a lot of other things that can go wrong. The scope of such things is really vast and these can make the process more and more irritating. Some of these hinderances are mentioned here:
+- There may be no water left in the water-tank. (This really crushes your confidence before it has even sprouted.)
+- The job of finding an immersion-rod in the hostel is as difficult as finding the holy grail. (This is because there are a lot of other people in the hostel who have also decided to take bath. Hence, almost every immersion-rod in the hostel is already taken before you even know.)
+- Kiss a girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. Wait for water to get hot for a minute and it seems like an hour!! One realizes the real concept of relativity as he/she agonizingly waits for the water to get hot.
+- In case luck is not on your side, your precious hot water may get stolen while you just thought of chatting with the person in the other room.You may be left staring at just an empty bucket! Moreover, your dear friend may emotionally blackmail you to give the hot water to him, so that he can bath first. (All this really takes a toll on your tolerance power. Trust me. It happened to me thrice on the trot and i was left devastated!!)
+- While you are happily carrying the hot water bucket towards the bathroom, you will find that the bathroom is already occupied just before you were to occupy it. Now, by the time the other person comes out, your hot boiling water may cool down and you will be left to undergo the pre-requisites of bathing all over again!! The only solace can be found in hurling countless abuses at the person who was inside the bathroom just before you.

These are only some of the procedures and the difficulties involved that i've tried to highlight here. There are a lot of other things that go unnoticed even by the victims. Add to that, one has to bear this procedure everyday if one intends to bath daily. plus, there is constant pressure of studies, exams, assignments, etc that add to the workload on the poor student. Hence, it is no wonder that people in hostel bath so less. So, next time when a person tells you that he does not manage to bath everyday because he lives in hostel, please try to understand his/her scenario. Don't show your superiority as daily bathers and try to humiliate him. If not anything else, you can atleast pat their back for helping to conserve water. Atleast, they are somehow doing their bit to help the environment.What are you doing???

P.S: I study at an IIT and I have managed to bath everyday for the last 3 semesters (I'm not joking at all). Trust me, only i know how many hardships i had to face to perform the sacred rite of bathing. Please don't mock people if they choose not to bath and save water.

(In case u liked the post, please comment on the post. By not doing so, you are not giving the due acknowledgment to the author.) (*_*) (^_^)