Tuesday, 2 June 2015

One Last Time

Four years past at BITS Goa, graduation will be the first time when we'll pass out but our parents will be proud of it. And standing at the academic crossroads, looking back at everything, fills us up with a cocktail of memories. Also, by academic crossroads I mean that by-lane towards Zuari and by cocktail of memories I mean, well, just cocktail vodka.

The only Goan resort with an entrance examination and a messy cuisine, BITS Goa is Birlas' attempt at balancing their karma points for making a college bang in the middle of a formidable survivalist war-zone. And that's just the Hyderabad campus. So, "Who builds an engineering college in Goa?", probably isn't the question you should ask someone who thought it okay to establish another campus in a country where flogging is still an acceptable form of punishment. Only for the hardened criminals though. Like women with opinions.

The horrors of getting out of college (and the adulthood that follows) finally hit me when I witnessed my junior batch's farewell. And I call it a horror, because from now on I'd have to ponder about and plan out my future instead of Tyrion Lannister's; which would really mess up my priorities because the winter HAS come.

In addition, the Nareal awards, "All Rounder" and "Casanova" brought up the same old existential question- "What the hell did I do my whole college life?" But the question quickly answered itself as the awards for "Best Social Service" and "Mr Velino" were given out.

Of course, BITS Goa shall be missed. Not necessarily in the same order though. The reasons being:
(a) There is just one Goa.
(b) BITSians are everywhere. In Bangalore. Because when we get placed, we automatically get displaced. To Bangalore.

The good news is, we bachelors of engineering, will finally make it out of the screwed and skewed sex ratio, the infamous 6:1. To give you a perspective, that's the student to faculty ratio at certain prestigious universities. Moreover, the ratio happens to ominously rhyme with, sex is to none. Again, just to give you a perspective.

Talking of screwed, the CDC lectures have been one of the weirdest experiences of our college life. But pursuing a thesis at BITS keeps you from attending classes for so many days, you almost miss bunking them. And these lectures are just like flight safety instructions, considering how both of these are:

=> Incredibly simple at first.

"When a body is heated, it gets, uh, mostly, y'know, heated up and stuff."

//"This is how you fasten a seat belt, in case you've been whiling away your whole lifespan, entirely oblivious of the concept of a belt or a buckle. So sir, could you please try and not ignore my existence while I'm demonstrating?"

=> Fatally incomprehensible after just 15 seconds. 

"...and the equation for heat released by conservation of energy is given by-
cρAΔxu (x,t + Δt) − cρAΔxu (x,t) = ΔtA(−K0.∂u/∂x)x − ΔtA(−K0.∂u/∂x)x+Δx
which holds true only if you assume the 5749 other variables to be constant, of course. And that makes this equation and the 331 that follow, utterly inapplicable to real world situations LOL."

//"Now what part of 'pull the oxygen mask in case of decompression, secure its elastic band behind your head, take a bracing position, remove the life vest, pull the red cord to inflate it, blow into its mouthpieces to refill it and locate the nearest emergency exit' don't you understand, you partially evolved imbecile?" 

=> And by the end, you just know you're not going to survive through this course.

On a related note, BITS Goa might be the only place where your conversations get interrupted aerially, around 25 times a day, by 75 ton machines at a 2000 feet altitude, as you wait a whole 1/2 minute, for their 3-wheeled bottoms and 100 decibel farts to get out of your personal airspace, so you can have a chance at completing your abruptly abandoned sentence.

But at least the airport is just "200 bucks" away.

Now let me add one last item to the BITSian hate-list, the obnoxious "Relative Grading", which happens to be my least favorite English phrase. Because it instantly reminds me of two despicable things: Relatives and Grades. But there couldn't have been a more appropriate name, because that's exactly how a relative of yours would have graded you, if given a chance. Not by considering merely your scholastic achievements, but by going around, comparing them with the marks of every single student in your academic demographic and timeline, until every score is recorded, a normal distribution made; the mean, mode and median figured out; and you're awarded a C-.

The advantage: it's almost impossible to fail.

And that's the reason why most career discussions at home are on the lines of-

Dad :  Mishra Uncle's son has cracked GATE, CAT, XAT, GMAT, NMAT and 50 other exams that coincidentally rhyme with BAT. What have you cracked until now?
Me :    I don't know, jokes..?

This is where college life makes all the difference. Here, your thoughts are not mere echoes of your parents' opinions and self awareness hits you like a finely blended joint. You dream, you attempt, you screw up. And your family tries to counsel, while your friends collaborate. Because home is where people love you no matter how ugly you are, but hostel is where people get you no matter how insane you are.

And you finally realize that there's more to life than just competitive exams. For starters, there's pay scale. And loans and bankruptcy, not to mention.

But that doesn't mean it has been all rainbows and unicorns all through these four years. I mean, just look at us 4th yearites. Nicotine has gradually taken over as our Inner Voice and Caffeine has replaced our Conscience. And fests and all might have helped in retaining sanity but engineering has already had its side-effects.

Remember how once our psychopathic seniors burned down our Waves'11 mascot, Papple, the 8-legged freak, because it would be hilarious? Exactly my point.

Engineering: Before & After (Don't bother asking me why I have these photos.) 

So, now that we're done and dusted, all geared up for the real world (more or less), let's fasten up our seatbelts and roll up the windows, 'cause this is going to be the ride of a lifetime. Like, literally.

Signing Out.