Tag Archives: College

Our first home

For the first 17 years of my life, I lived with my parents. When I went off to college, for the first time to a different city (Nagpur), things changed a bit. I started living with some seniors at a rented apartment. I was living without parents, but I was still living at someone else’s home. When these seniors passed out, I lived for a few months at the college hostel, which was, again, a different experience.

When the toilets at the hostel turned into shit-geysers, I knew I had to leave. I started looking for a new place to stay at and a roommate to stay with. The excitement was palpable; this was the first time in my life I would stay at a place of my own choosing with people I chose to stay with.

Eventually, I found a roommate in the form of a creature known as Whoreko and a nice, independent place to stay at Verma Layout.

The time spent in this new place were one of the most blissful years of my life. We had our own place, we could come and go as we pleased, we setup our stuff the way we wanted and we both had our own rooms. In short, we had our own place and we were masters of this little area. We even had our own terrace, where we perched in the evenings and threw water on Halud when he came to visit us.

We both had a computer of our own and we connected them using a LAN cable for multiplayer gaming and file sharing. We listened to our own choice of music (Which, thankfully, matched) in the mornings when getting ready for college and in the evenings, well into the night.

Our First Home
My Room

Once, we even setup a fireplace in our kitchen sink by burning old clothes, books etc. Flames were leaking out of the kitchen ventilator and the neighbours gathered around to watch. Everyone dispersed when we threw a pressurised deodorant can into the fire and it exploded, rattling doors and windows nearby.

Kitchen, forever charred by the fire

The place was at an awesome location. T-Point hostel and Shankar Nagar chowk were nearby, so was a Cafe Coffee Day and Ambazari lake.

After Whoreko, roommates came & went, but I will forever remember and cherish the time I spent staying at this house, our first home.

Below are some of my earlier posts about this place

Recurring Nightmare

I have been having this one recurring nightmare for years. There are different variations, but the basic theme is the same.

Theme – I have not managed to graduate from college, because I haven’t passed anywhere between 6-14 exams after my last semester. Now, I am at a stage that I have to clear all my remaining subjects in the next exams, or I have to do my graduation all over again. Also, I lose my job if I don’t produce a valid degree.

Variations – In some of these nightmares, I am determined to study hard and pass this time around, but when I open my books, all the pages are blank, so I cannot study. In some variations, I do manage to study, but end up sleeping through the exam day, waking up in panic in the evening. In some cases, I am not even aware of the exams till the last moment and I end up rushing to the exam centre with no preparations.

In real life, I did manage to graduate almost 14 years ago, but by the skin of my teeth. I passed some subjects (EMF) by some fluke (I studied only a few topics and those are the ones which appeared on the exam) or after multiple attempts (Mathematics-1 took 5 attempts).

However, when I I truly lucked out was during the 8th semester exams. I had appeared for both 7th (failed subjects) and 8th semester exams during my last attempt and had only attempted the bare minimum questions in some of them. I was more surprised than relieved when the results were announced and I realised I had passed in all of these exams and graduated successfully. Later, when the mark sheets were released, I realised it was another fluke.

Nightmare
Fluke!

You see, I had actually failed in Subject 5 above, but, our university had a provision of grace marks. However, the rules were very specific and I had never received grace marks ever, before this. Some rules

  • You would get up to a total of 10 grace marks per semester only.
  • You would only get grace marks if it enables you to pass in all subjects in that semester
  • You would get grace marks only in certain specific denominations
    • Exactly 10 marks in one subject (I would get grace marks only if I score exactly 30 in that subject. 31 would also not do)
    • Exactly 5 marks each in 2 subjects (Need to score exactly 35 in 2 subjects)
    • Exactly 2 marks in 1 subject (which is what I got)

Even though I failed in Subject 5, I was awarded 2 grace marks and I passed that subject and graduated. If I had 1 mark more or less in that subject, I wouldn’t have graduated when I did. Maybe the fact that I graduated because of such a fluke is what triggers these nightmares. Strangely, when I wake up and realise it was all a nightmare, it still doesn’t make me feel better. What a nightmare!

The kicker? The subject that I couldn’t even get passing marks in was related to Computer Networking and I am now a network engineer.

My Worst Purchases-Honda Activa

So, I was “studying” in my first year of engineering (around the year 2002) in Nagpur and living with 2 of my seniors in a rented apartment. For those not familiar with Nagpur, public transportation was almost non-existent at that time and 95% of the people rode 2-wheelers (Motorcycles, Scooters & Mopeds), remaining 5% had cars.

I had nothing of my own and soon started to feel the heat of wanting to go everywhere but not being able to go anywhere.

I wanted to buy a bike, but the aforementioned jealous roommates didn’t want me to have one, so brainwashed my father into buying me a Honda Activa. I was desperate for anything, so didn’t argue much and greedily accepted it.

The Activa is by no means a bad scooter and it is quite handy for middle age men/women looking for a quick trip to the nearby stores or for kids who are just learning to ride. For a college freshman however, it was the social equivalent of walking around college with “dork” written on the back of his head in Bold letters.

As if the social ridicule wasn’t enough, the scooter was also not suited for a hormone ridden teenager riding around town “trying” to show off and competing with motorcycles. Inherently unstable, it caused me to have numerous accidents within the first few months itself.

Eventually, it was either continuing to ride the monstrosity or drop out of college, so I chose the former and sold it before it had completed one year.

It took 2/3 years, the manliest bike available in India at that time and a year away from college for people to forget I had one.