I am not a person who believes in new years and the resolutions that generally mark them. Neither am I interested in the discount sales/vacation plans associated with the coming of a new year. For me, a new year is a time to think back on the past(quickly though). The previous year denotes a time-frame which tells me what I have achieved and reminds of the lessons I learnt. Certain years, in that manner are more memorable because the happy moments they bring along outweigh the sad ones they leave behind.
The first half of 2007 brings me vivid memories of the last few months of my college life.
It was mid February and the Chairman of our college Shiv Nadar was paying a short visit to the campus. It was a big day for both me and Ragesh, since both of us got a chance to present ourselves in front of the man whom we had been admiring ever since we entered college. Ragesh made a presentation of his project on thought controlled car driving, while I sang thulladha manamum thullum with the Samarpanam team. I even managed an autograph from him which I have carefully kept in the remembrance of the big moment. On our way back home, both of us felt exuberant, for Shiv Nadar had a magical aura about him and his greatness was evident in his speech and manners.
The eighth and final semester of my engineering degree. I met one of the worst professors I ever found all through the four years of college. She made our lives thoroughly miserable, treating us like lower primary children. Especially, being our project coordinator too, she left us sleepless with her insensible questions and ignorance about the subject. All we were worried was to get a pass in the project, so none of us dared say a thing against her. Finally the semester came to an end and all of us happily rejoiced the end of the project.
The last few days of the semester were really some of my most cherished ones. I , Mili, Charan and Gow had some of the best moments of our lives together. We visited all places in the college and took photos with each other. The whole of my class suddenly looked a really close-knit circle. We played games together, had lunch together and gossiped together gloriously. Some of us were placed, some were ready for their higher studies and still others were totally unaware of what the future had in store for them. But none of that dampened our spirits. We were one, nobody could do us apart, such were our emotions. Every other day brought the thought of the last day coming closer and we merrily fought the advent of passing time…
The last day at college was commemorated with the cutting of cake and splashing colors at each other. Farewell brought tears in all eyes and we finally bade each other adieu.
During the end of April, I and Divya managed to learn car driving and went through the gruelling process of getting license! Weekend mornings were fun when our teacher used to get scared with our somnolent driving and never took his feet out of the brakes!!! 🙂
It was during the study hols that I got a chance to teach a group song to the tiny tots of my school. The whole week was super fun and their performance left the audience spellbound. (see previous post for details).
Then the semester exams commenced. The last scooty ride to college with Ragesh to college for collecting the hall-ticket. It was perhaps the last exam I could ever study at Sandhya’s (my studymate and cute friend) place. Her pregnant sister helped us through half of TQM syllabus and we were done with the last engineering paper on May 11.
On May 12th I left for Rameshwaram with Appa and Chittappa for performing certain important rituals. Everything went well. I saw Pazhani with my darling cousin Shakthi and enjoyed a sand-flavoured tea at Dhanushkodi, seeing what seemed to be the most scenic thing in all my life. The mighty sea stretched before me and I couldn’t see any traces of land for the farthest of my vision. I once again felt how tiny and powerless I was in front of the Great Mother Nature. I also got a chance to see Dr.Kalam’s house and collected a few sea-shells in memories of my visit.
Immediately after returning from my holiday, I got information from Cognizant about the joining date. It was June 1, and I was seated in the Tidel Auditorium with 300 others for a welcome speech by some of the high officials of the firm. Many of my old friends were present along with me, thanks to the bulk recruitment!! The day went eventfully and I returned home late in the evening to narrate the happenings to Appa.
The following Monday I joined a paying guest accommodation in Indira Nagar along with Sowmya and Aswini. After a three-day orientation program at Tidel, we were sent to the training academy in Siruseri.
The first day travel in OMR gave me a terrible back pain and once back to my room, I and my friends cribbed and cried about having to travel everyday to Siruseri for the training. But slowly, we got used to it.. Waking up early, then waking the ones asleep, the rush for the bathroom, the hurried munching of breakfast and running to the bus stop to board the bus just in time, everything became routine. Hostel life seemed eventful. The evening gossips with tea, the combined preparation for the entry level tests(retests), everything is still afresh in my mind. Slowly the academy seemed like a home. The new found acquaintances at the academy , especially those in my batch, never talked so much with each other. I looked at them as a very serious group, highly focused on their carriers. Another Charanya and Sandhya entered my life and made it beautiful. Those lunch hours were the time we really got to know each other closely. But slowly my batch evolved into an enviably close group, where each one cared a lot about the others. In this regard, it is well said that good things take their time to enter one’s life.
Came August and came my 22nd birthday. What a wonderful day I had!! It was made a real celebration by both my college friends and my batch friends(though I missed my school friends). I got a lot of cute gifts and I cut 2 sumptuous cakes(one black forest and the other chocolate), on the same day!!!! 🙂 It was the second last day of training and again, the emotions of farewell came into us. We knew that we would be into different locations and different projects, so we tried spending more time with our batch and making fun of each other, more popularly known as kalaaichufying !! 🙂
By the end of August, we were in different places for projects. Meanwhile there was the Alumni meet at college. I met my old teachers and was pretty happy on seeing my article published in the Alumni magazine. That day , I had lunch with my old classmates at Blue Lagoon Resort. The to and fro bus travel was something I wouldn’t easily forget because of the extraordinarily high spirits of Naren and Aalu.
One fine day at hostel, when wordly things seemed to proceed at their normal pace, I took terribly ill. It was my first bout of typhoid for the year and I couldn’t even wish my friend Naveen on his birthday. I felt as if I would faint on my way home, but luckily, in a totally exhausted state, I reached home. The doctor gave me cipro and within a week’s time I seemed to be doing better. Generally I never allow any sort of illness to hinder my spirits. So I was soon back at the office.
But this time, I was not to go back to the PG for stay. Moreover darling Ragesh bought a new Hyundai Xing(scarlet red) car. So I decided to commute with him from home. After all those years of scooty ride, this new tiny car seemed terribly exciting for the both of us!!
It was the first Friday of September and we were having birthday celebrations at our CoE. All the new entries(us) were asked to introduce ourselves to the seniors. I had still not completely recuperated from my illness and had little strength to stand. But the celebration was for the August-born associates and here was another huge cake to cut! I and Kittu happily went through the ceremony when someone from behind called my name out to sing a song. My first performance in office. I was shivering in fever and the brigas came effortlessly due to the shiver. Hee hee, a nice evening in all. The day marked my official entry into the testing group.
Days passed by and the inter corporate music hunt was announced. Being too enthusiastic about music-related stuff, I registered immediately for the event, not foreseeing its scope.
There were several rounds of competition inside Cognizant and on being selected in them, I was to represent the company in the Classical round, against a dozen other companies in a television program titled Paadum Office. It was a mixed experience performing in front of the camera after the last group performance with my music troop at college(Samarpanam). At the end of the evening, I was left with the feeling that I could have done better. Though I was in the waiting list of candidates, I never made it to the finals. It took me sometime to let go off the guilty feeling the program left. Nevertheless, inspite of the fact that my portion came only in the promos of the program , and got completely edited in the telecast, I got a lot of publicity inside my CoE for the participation(for good or bad!). My colleagues also gave me a chance to sing for them in a good mind of having missed my show on tv.
It was late October and I was getting all too excited about Golu. I was determined to bring back the toy-story, that left my home four years before. Yes, it was the first time in four years after Amma left, that I was keeping Golu. So I invited all her friends and exchanged fond memories along with vetthala-paaku.
As October came to a closing, I took severely ill once again.We were on a batch outing to MGM after Kittu’s anna’s reception on that Saturday. That Sunday I felt a mysterious fever dawning on me. It was a second bout of typhoid. The first one week of wrong medication only aggravated it and the first Saturday of November, I could hardly get up from my chair. I was immediately taken to the Hospital by my Aunty , and the doctor, at my very sight, put me into the sick bed.
The following five days were what I would call an unforgettable experience in my life. I had to be on drips all the time and four moms continuously kept watch on me. It was the height of self-pity and self-realization. Thanks to the love of my fairy godmothers, I recovered from the typhoid and malarial infections within 5 days. It was the day before Diwali and I begged the nurse to send me home. Lachu had fondly sent me a new dress for Diwali which I had to get stitched and I also had to exchange wishes with dear ones.I simply couldn’t think of spending more time in the bed, waiting for minutes to tick away and looking at the sufferings of fellow patients.
Once home, I got back my high spirits again and made a pretty good recuperation. That was the first time in all my life that I felt scared of eating anything made outside. Yes, I was on a mission of cooking my own food! I had a lot of difficulties in the beginning, but things seem to be straightening out with time. I can say this with certain confidence now, three months since the start of my cooking venture. 🙂
I had plans of visiting Hyderabad with Sashi uncle and aunty during Diwali. The tickets were booked and I was looking forward to the trip, that I got hospitalized. The whole Diwali got spoilt because of typhoid. Nevertheless, I learnt a very important lesson that staying healthy is more important in life than anything else. Once health is lost ,you lose everything.
December came and I heard most of my friends getting either committed or married or engaged. I was sincerely happy for the all of them , but never could I imagine myself doing any of those. No, I am not getting hypocritic, I do not disapprove marriages, but I am still uncertain about the whole concept(sorry,no offense intended)! I seemed to be having a desire to learn further, but lacked the motivation to fulfill it. Few of my elders began thinking of my marriage. I had no idea of what to do. I still don’t. So I leave it to my fate or destiny or whatever it is called, to reveal what is in store for me. And as always, I like living in the present rather than worrying too much about the bygone and the forthcoming.
December also brought home a new mobile phone for me, thanks to Naveen!! It was a long pending wish to get a new one, not a sophisticated one though. My new Nokia 6030 helped me communicate faster and better with my friends. 🙂
The golden touch of 2007 was the last two days of the year I spent with my music miss and her son Hari. I could cook for them, eat with them as a family, and learn music after a loooooong time. Hari brought back the love of a sibling and he never felt like leaving my place. His cousin Radhu also joined us on 31st with her mother and all of us had a nice time in the beautiful beach at Sadras.
Last but not not the least, in the whole of 2007, I saw three movies in Chennai in theatres(I would call it an achievement since we don’t have theatres at Kalpakkam, and I am forced to watch most of them in television). The first was Mozhi with Charan, Kittu and Swathi in Sree. The second was Sivaji with Raji, Sathya, Priya, Shwe and Nirmala at Velan in Nanganallore, on day 2 of its release. The enthusiasm of the crowd and the cheering of dear Raji, kept the fears of watching the movie in Velan subdued. The final one was Chak de with Aalu in Satyam, also on day 2 of its release. He got thoroughly bored seeing it, but managed to sit through it just for my sake. Then came my scary illness and put an end to my movie watching spree! 😦
At last, here it comes – 2008. I welcome it with open arms. I wish it brings happiness to all those who have always touched my life with their warmth. I wish it brings solace to broken hearts and lessens the sufferings of the ones in need of peace. I thank all the people who have been with me all through 2007 and I wish we never forget each other in this fast paced mad world!!!! 😉