As I entered and sat, I saw a flood of people around. Chatting and interacting as if they know everything about the other one. I, a reluctant, hesitant, and probably diffident introvert had entered a class of mass media. Everyone around was so open and talkative that I felt jealous and agitated at the same time. How can you talk so much in one day? I cannot talk that much to strangers even in a week! Then, I sat in a corner, alone and distant as my background would permit. What on earth can make them take selfies in the very first week of college? I never took selfies because I dislike them and the event or the place has to be special enough for me to take it. (Additionally, I never had a front camera in my phone!). Fast-forward three years, the same diffident, reluctant, and hesitant guy is now confident enough to go and talk to anyone; takes selfies with people and clicks some decent pictures to remember a lifetime. How? Let’s see that in my college journey!
The first year of college was about adapting to the new culture, merging in the new environment, and adjusting myself to the change in my life and lifestyle. The major change was in the culture and environment. I belong to Rajkot, Gujarat where there is a huge gap between males and females. My school wasn’t co-ed and there were different sections for boys and girls. Adding on, I am an introvert who would take time to gel in and make friends. The friendliness and the warmth people had in here, shocked me. They would hug strangers and take selfies with them on the first meet! Err, we would not do that unless there is a certain amount of closeness there! The presence of girls in the class, very different vibes and culture probably made me sit in a corner and witness what all people would do. I would talk more about the subject in class to the teacher than to any of my classmates! However, I did plays and took part in every committee possible in the first year. That was quite an experience. Some personal issues were going on too and I was not satisfied with my accommodation then. Hence, the first year was all about exploring the city and college, trying to gel in with people and get accustomed to the new culture.
Come to second year where everything seemed familiar and I felt more comfortable and open. I had found my friend circle and I was happy with how life went. Every problem or hindrance I faced in the first year seemed to resolve. The year was greater as we celebrated days and festivals. The short film screenings and project presentations were a unique experience. The smooth journey ended with an ultra -memorable day wherein we had potluck in our class, a roast, and we dressed like actors from Bollywood or Hollywood. It also marked a shift in the classes as I was going to journalism stream where there were only a handful of people. The most fantastic discovery happened in this year- my affection towards photography. I did like clicking pictures ever since I had a camera in my phone, but I was never satisfied and always complained about the results and the equipment. I finally discovered the art and the passion that lies in me.
The third year was by far the best year of education I have had in my life. The change in me was evident. I spoke in every lecture and talked to everyone around. I also started singing full on shady Bollywood songs like Beedi jalaley aloud and in class. There was a different me altogether now. I could see the negative side of everything too. I had become critical of everything. This always helps me to see the potential one can have and the best one can do. I had grown in every aspect I could think of, be it putting opinions aloud, showing my mean side, writing, photography, and I guess drawing too! I met and studied with a different set of people. The concentrated class with similar wavelengths and interests created a magic to cherish for the lifetime.
What added cherry on the cake was my small role in the play we put together- Chali Kahani. It was hardly for 30 seconds in the play of 120 minutes. The role was of an authority that would announce the harsh decision of dividing classes that were together for two years. The message literally crashed the dreams of everyone. That is what I played. I did realize that I could play the villain too. The mean and the bad side of mine is coming out slowly and it is something that I need to display as and when required! And of course, there is no greater fun than being a sadist! 😛
This journey would have been incomplete without many people-
- Teachers– You all did the best thing someone could do to someone else- empower them. You taught us and made us learn about various things in life, be it about the printing techniques or the simple etiquettes one needs to follow in an interview! There is still loads to learn from you and I would do that by staying in touch with you all!
- Batch mates and friends – I have learnt something from each one of you even though I would have rarely interacted with you! I am always here if you want to talk and I would be glad too! We have a great set of memories to cherish and reminiscent our college life! I am sure someday, we would have a reunion and talk all we want to, like old times!
- Juniors and seniors- you are the people who made college look like college. Without you all, we would probably be a lost and a hopeless class who had no one to guide and no one to bully! 😛
- Journalism class– Haaye, I hope someday we are back again at some place and pretend to be the pseudo intellectuals we always be and talk about issues of world like Donald Trump and shady songs of Bollywood! I am sure each one of us would stay in touch and make the most of our lives!
- My mentees and the mentorship committee– Well, the one thing that I was never confident of was my leadership skills but you all proved me wrong in various ways in that! I think I can lead someone now although I have lots to learn. But the experience was awesome and I feel empowered enough to help and guide anyone in need! I am one-step closer and a level upgraded to my final destination!
- The college and everyone in it– From the canteen person to the peon, everyone contributed in some way to make this journey even more beautiful! The college would never be the same even if one of you were missing!
I think that is all from my side! Thank you for making these years a world in itself and transforming me from a restricted and a bit afraid caterpillar to a carefree and agile butterfly who can fly wherever it wants to! A few lines to sum up the experience-
Sehma sa ek ladka aaya tha yeh class mein,
Jo Hichkichata baat karne se, kehta tha baad mein!
Na jaane kya jaadu kiya sab ne mil ke,
Woh tod gaya sab zanjeere dil ke!
Na raha dar, na rahi hichkichahat,
Befikar hoke karta hai sab, leke muskurahat!
Khoobiyan thi kahi choopi kone me jo,
Bahar aayi aur choo gayi dilo ko woh!
Har ek ko dost banaya aur har ek apna ko mahatva dikhaya,
Yeh safar na jaane kitne badlaav laaya!
Jab saalo baad main kholunga yeh yaado ka guldasta,
Yaad aayega har koi jaise ek farishta!
Jab aap jaise humsafar hue mujh pe meherbaan,
To Ek mamooli sa silsila bhi ban gayi meri anokhi dastaan!
Bas kehne chahta hu aapko yeh apne dil se,
Chate chalte yuhi takra kar dauhrayenge yeh dastaan ek baar phir se!