For ALL my ASET friends 🙂
(ASET: My B.Tech college)
A strange anticipation, before entering a new world, of what would happen next – new place, new people and new relationships ahead – a new phase of life to look forward to. Well, this feeling was quite similar on my first as well as last day at college. But much had happened within me in those four years at Bijwasan.
Year1: most of it comprised of settling into the new system post school – joining almost all the college ‘clubs’ – interacting with and getting to know classmates – ‘gangs’ emerging out from within our class of Mechanical & Automation….and a similar observation across all branches. This phenomenon of ‘gang’ formation was not a chemical reaction, but yeah, it depended a lot upon the ‘chemistry’ between folks. Several other factors that led to formation of these ‘gangs’ were: conveyance – common buses and cabs etc, group outings to the bus-pass window in South Campus, sharing of photostat notes (the thicker the bundle – greater the sense of satisfaction), the occasional pilgrimages to the ‘holy Photostat/Project report shop’ at Ber Sarai (looking at the IIT campus from the Ber Sarai while the shopwallah is xeroxing a 3kg book for you, leads the mind in a state called ‘trance’…it goes blank for a while – try yourself!). Ok – so folks participating in all these rituals together, were said to be belonging a ‘gang’.
Another thing that I found special during our first year was the setting up of a decently equipped Music Room. And our seniors and super-seniors who, supposedly, “fought for this fundamental right”, were our real heroes.
The charm of this “first year” was much enhanced with the diverse ambience of Bijwasan adorned with Golok Dham, Carrot fields, ‘mysterious’ village temples (we used to make stories around these – ‘DamDami Maayi ka mandir’ types), a Reebok Showroom/Factory outlet (the one that was ‘naale paar’), and the local ‘Dal Lake’ on the way to Reebok.
I guess this was enough stuff to give you a feeler of a typical ‘first year’ at ASET.
Year2: got to know some seniors better – time to do something for one of the clubs you joined – more xeroxes (by this time you ‘personally’ know the Sharma Photostat waalay bhaiyaa) – you also see super-seniors discussing about ‘placements’. As the year is about to end, the summer-project becomes the buzzword. Form groups, decide a project, start it..realise that you need to change the ‘aim’ of the project…ask your mentor “sir, change kar sakte hain?”… And finally manage 1 color copy hardbound and 4 xerox copies of spiral bound (pardon me if the count is wrong – it’s still a confusion for me) the supposed “project report”.
Well yeah, the college band and a few performances at fests etc were also quite memorable times for me.
Year3: a feeling of being the best and the most confident batch – smarter than 1st and 2nd year ‘bachchaas’ and more energetic than 4th year uncle and aunties!! This feeling comes free with the third year!!
The courses also start becoming more detailed into the subjects, covering more of practical and applied stuff than the usually more theoretical stuff in past semesters. For the brainy ones, this is also the time to join courses, workshops, trainings etc to gain that extra edge. Everyone wants to “bell the CAT”.
You also now ‘personally’ get to know the technical-assistants at various labs – well this was much out of necessity too; one or two persons from the ‘gang’ (if not all) must gel well with the lab staff – and why? – you know well 🙂
Year4: “TCS might come” someone tells…then “Infy”, “HCL”….and so on. And suddenly the focus shifts on previous year question papers of various companies, surfing placement sites, opening accounts on almost all job-portals, reading interview tips, etc is the usual day. Arranging for a ‘Jugaad’ for the Industrial training is also a key thing of this year, but for most, placement clouds the minds most of the times, come what may.
As the year comes to a close – there’s so much on the desk all together- Final exams, Industrial training report (again multiple colored n xeroxed copies) and presentation, and another sweet dilemma for some; “should I go for formal suit (for the interviews)..with a neck-tie or not…or should I borrow it?” – such ‘symptoms’ are also pretty common in the final year.
Well, for many it’s a personal journey after this phase – and each experience is unique.
All said and done, a few fond memories with me are – the Mechanical and Hydraulics labs – the CAD n CAM lab (I adore this subject) – the trip to Jim Corbett – the two AMITECH performances – my industrial training at Jet Engine Overhauling Complex Indian Airlines (and the ultra costly colored print-outs of the project reports) – the final year project – and of course, above all, the GURUS, our teachers. Most of them were helpful, well equipped with the subject matter and they really tried their best for the welfare of the students. Well I won’t lie here…that’s why I said “most of them” ..and not “all of them”. There obviously were exceptions, but these were out-numbered by the better teachers.
These four years, I believe, are much beyond a potpourri of 8 semesters- books- students-xeroxes-teachers and college infratsructure put together. Now when I look back, I see my persona shaping up and my mind getting oriented to learn new things in those 4 years of B.Tech at ASET.
It was not just a course in Mechanical & Automation engineering (or any other branch, for that matter). An engineer was being churned out from within each one of us. Like every other experience in life, this one was an enriching one too.
Today, I have multiple roles to play in the world – family responsibilities, my job as a Senior Engineer in Location Intelligence domain, my role as a Music-Composer and Video Editor and that of handling Creative Communications for an NGO serving the community – it’s a diverse list. But everywhere I find a piece of ASET in me. ASET has a deep impact on the way I am – be it professional or personal. It’s in the DNA now.
So, ye hai meri kahaani 🙂
Wish you the best of everything. Amen !!
Update: Sharing a song that I composed for one of the Alumni meets at ASET…with some memorable photographs. Here’s the link : https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=403234535989&saved