Nowadays I am getting more time to write in the journal since I am alone here in the house with not much work to do. It is almost like sitting in a jail. Probably jail would be better since people would be getting better food there than what I am eating here!
Yesterday I got a break when Sunil called me for a movie. Our GECT classmate Sajith Kunjachen was also there with him. He currently lives in Nashua. We went to Belmont, may be around 25 miles from here, and reached by around 4:30 at "Studio Cinema" theatre there. "Raavanaprabhu", the latest Mohanlal movie, was playing there. It had already started at 4, but we took the ticket and went in. The ticket system was interesting. There is a cello-tape kind of role of tickets made with thick paper, and the person in the counter tears a piece from it. It costs $8. The movie theatre was very small (may be half that of Irinjalakuda Prabhath theatre) with torn cushion seats and it was almost half filled (of course, with all Malayalies living in the nearby areas). I also met our classmate, Surendranathan CK. About the movie, it is nothing worth writing about.
We went to a Malayali grocery store after the cinema. I wanted to buy some pickles made of coconut oil, but couldn't find any. I saw frozen Uzhunnu Vada, Parippu Vada, Aviyal, Uppuma, Porotta etc. It is fully prepared and we have to just place it in the oven for one minute before consuming. I bought one pak of all (didn't have the courage to try it yet) and also Palakkadan Matta rice.
After that we went to Chelmsford and had dinner from "Applebees". I had veggie patch Pizza, as it was the only vegetarian item available there. Some tomato pieces and leaves were put in the sticky pizza material. If in India I would never have smelt it, but in my current desperate condition I ate it with wide mouth. A girl with beautiful blue eyes had taken our orders. Sunil told all the people who take orders were students who are doing part-time jobs.
We had a chat there about our days in GECT (obviously, what else..) and then Sunil dropped me in my house. It was around 10:30 then.
Surendranathan was the most mature guys in our GECT class. He was the class representative for few years and he really showed his dignity and capability in all ways. During the end of fourth semester, I broke my leg one day while in college. I think there were no classes that day and I came for submitting record or something. I had to go to Kaveri hostel and took the usual shortcut of jumping over a tall wall and exactly landed on a sharp stone on the other side. I immediately felt pain, but went to hostel, came back through the same way, submitted records etc. After one hour I felt severe pain and couldn't walk. Nobody was with me and I was wondering how I would go back home in that condition. I quietly sat in the classroom alone. I thought it would be better if somebody could accompany me till the bus stop from where I could take the bus to IJK and later take an auto from IJK bus stand to home. Some of my friends came that way after some time, but I, as always, was too hesitant to ask for help and expected them to offer it. I told that it is a simple pain and will go away after some time.
Surendran came after sometime (My friends might have told him) and he called our another classmate, Trini Alexander (who used to drive a maruti wan those days) and took me to the hospital immediately. I had to put plaster on my leg. We went to my home in Trini's car and Surendran was holding my plastered leg all the time so that it won't move while going on the guttery road. I could never forget that day and the way Surendran managed all the things.
Sajith Kunjachen was my batch mate in all the Electrical and Electronics laboratories in college. Sajeevan PC, Ramesh Kumar PK and Saji Kumar were the other people in the team. Sajeevan would be absent or late for most of the classes, Ramesh and I would discuss about movies and other important matters while Kunjachen will do all the experiments with the help of Saji Kumar. I enjoyed reading theory in textbooks by Taub and Schilling but always hated the lab sessions. Main reason for this would be that I never used to get the expected readings and measurements in any of my attempts to do the experiments. The sight of the breadboard brought terror to me and whenever I collected transistors, capacitors etc from the attender, I had the tension that I won't be getting the correct readings. I made myself satisfied thinking the blame would go to old and bad apparatus and components.
The Electronics laboratory examination in the fourth semester was the most horrifying of all. I felt sick to go to the exam. The question I got was to implement an Impedance Matching Amplifier. I didn't know what it was and went and asked the examiner (A teacher called Madhusoodanan Nair) for an exchange of question. I guess there was an option for doing so with a 20 mark deduction for every exchange of question - but not sure whether it was a rule or was just the examiner's mercy. The examiner rejected my request and I immediately came out of the lab giving back my paper. I still don't know what made me do like that. I got zero marks in the exam and it was my first failure in a school examination.
This lab became a nightmare for me for the next one and half years. The supplementary exams were announced and postponed many times. So I had to go through all the process of tense preparations etc. etc. many more times. Eventually they were conducted during the end of seventh semester. I was asked to design an RC Coupled Amplifier. Before starting the experiment itself, I was sure I am not going to get the waveform correctly. Everything went on as expected. A teacher called David was the examiner. During the viva voce examination, probably understanding my condition from my face, he gave me a pass mark of 41 out of 100.
The interesting thing is that, once I passed the lab exam, I became proud of my getting zero in the first time, and even now, I would never miss an opportunity to narrate all this story to any friend I meet.
Suraj had called me yesterday and today. We talked for long time and talked about our college days, economic recession and job cuts etc. etc. Probably we would meet during Christmas vacation.
I always enjoyed the days in GECT. The company of Sajeevan, Joju, Kannan, Sudeesh, Suraj, Siju, Nambeesan, Ramesh, Jayanand. The long chats I used to have with them, Sitting in the classes without paying attention to the teacher, The journey in the college bus, Lunch sessions sitting in the stadium, Those aimless walks through the corridors of the different departments, Those hopeful moments of waiting in the Pallimoola and Vadakke bus stand... When I came out of the college, I felt I would never be happy again as I was in those days.
When I came to Bangalore, I became sick of the atmosphere there. While going through the roads, you can see vehicles going in high speed without caring for pedestrians. In the movie hall or restaurants, you could hear software engineers arguing about Windows, Unix, Java etc. etc. so passionately as if that is the essence of life. Smoke, Sound, Smell. Office life was also miserable and I could hear sighs and cries from four directions of people who could or could not go to the US. Any conversation with anybody soon lead to one topic: Life in the US. Money. Why you are not going to the US? My answers never convinced anybody. Soon I wished I could rewind life to the college days. So I joined the Indian Institute of Technology for another school life.
IIT was great. I could meet many great teachers and could get many close friends. First time after my initial school days, I started listening to the classes and actually waited for the classes of Prof. R Kalyana Krishnan or Janaki Ram. But, living standards in hostel were the sad points. Every day morning I woke up with tension whether water would be there or not. Spending the month of May in Madras is really a miserable thing. Temperature would go upto 47 degrees and there would be occasional power cuts in the hostel. Water would come once in three days or so. Entering the hostel mess and just smelling the Rasam and Sambar made me feel that my stomach is full. Sometimes I felt the life in Bangalore was better and wanted to go back to Bangalore.
Nostalgia.. I feel it is nothing but lust for life. So now I realize that how much ever you hate Today, Tomorrow you would like to come back to Today.