Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman Returns...For The Time Being

No. Yes, no. This is not about the movie. Not one bit. This is, however, about your own personal friendly boyhero - me. I have returned. Here are the details of my leaving, and my time spent hither and thither, as well as a few other boring things you might find interesting.

As you will gather, if you take the trouble of scrolling down for a bit, I had left for Manipal. Now, as you will have also gathered from the above paragraph, I have come back. With that summarized, I shall elaborate. I had given the UGET exam for Manipal Institute of Technology. Results came out and my rank turned out 1844. Which means that 1843 people did better than me. Or, since the glass can also be called half full, I did better than about 50000 to 60000 people who also sat for the exam all over India.

Now the Manipal people sent me reams of letters, beseeching me to come for the counselling on the 28th of June and could they send me a chartered flight if I was too busy otherwise to bother? Flattered by their kind words, I decided to go to Manipal and see how things lay. After all, if one has to do a graduation, one could very well do an engineering one. So one went to Manipal for the counselling. What one saw there was truly impressive. It rained almost incessantly but in short spurts - exactly when one thought one was out of it, would come another shower right at one; the way we used to splash water on each other in swimming pools, remember? That made sightseeing a very difficult task for one (which is basically me in case you're still not sure) who was interested in knowing the place he was going to stay in for 4 years.

Its not easy to find places of great natural beauty to study in, with places like Bangalore and New Delhi becoming more and more polluted and concreted, Kolkata staying political as always, and everywhere else to difficult for the ordinary fun-loving soul to get into. At Manipal, the pollution level must have been like zero. The university campus building looked just the way they showed it in the brochure, which alone is a tough standard for most colleges to live upto. The whole region is as green and peaceful as any yet to be exploited hilltop can be, which it is. The roads were clean, the sidewalks actually only sparingly pedestrianated, the vehicles rare and the atmosphere ideal for student life.

The university campus building was the one I went to for my counselling. Now, the counselling. I'm sure all of you saw the Indian Idol finale episode this time round? Also, all the times India needs a ridiculously low score to achieve against a substandard bowling attack? And surely you have seen that CID mystery episode about the man with the missing toenail, in which the butler turns out to be the one who buried the nailcutter in the flowerpot? Not that one? Never mind, since my point is - how many of you have sat through a truly gripping and mentally straining experience? As in, how many of you have been through an engineering college counselling session? Its definitely the most nerve wracking time I ever had.

Why NDTV wastes time covering college admissions in New Delhi, which are so straightforward and predictable, I fail to understand. Take a look at this place. Once the Admissions Director has finished explaining the procedure for counselling (the rules of the game that is) , the match starts. One by one the different ranks are called up. You come forward and tell the man what engineering stream you want, submit the documents, he wrenches the demand draft out of your clasp and you walk out with a grin on your face. He also grins, and fondles the draft lovingly. Sounds simple enough? But look at this from the point of the view of the hundreds of students looking on. On a projector screen, you have the names of the different streams (Computer Science, Mechanical, Electronics & Comm, Printing, Chemical etc) and as students come up and pick one, the number of available seats reduces beside the stream chosen. So, every moment sitting is spent in craning your neck to see your choice of stream slowly dwindling away. In front of your eyes, and you cannot do a thing. Just watch and hope and gulp. And then repeat this over and over again.

As a result of all this drama, a student managing to scrape into his preferred stream is not unlike a fat, overweight striker finally managing to score for his team that does not need him and still keeps him why I just dont understand. Understandibly overjubilant. One chap went weak in the knees just as him name was called up, and dropped all his documents on the floor. Another one's father conjured up a coconut from where I dont know and insisted on smashing it on the floor when his son was taken in. Magnanimously, the admissions director asked the guards to take the man out the front door, where he was permitted to smash all the coconuts (and even his damned head) he pleased.

I personally didnt need to wait for too long, because counselling was being held for ranks 1801 to 2150, and I was early on at 1844. So I wasnt too perturbed before my turn came up. And anyway, I have nerves of reinforced titanium and the heart of a lion (which I keep in my fridge). But there is an ecstacy you feel when you have selected your stream and realize that you're now a college student proper, and this ecstacy takes you over. My father and I completed all the formalities of submitting documents, filling up additional admission forms, and signing this and that and this and that. Relieved at the end of it, we took our victory lap around the building, singing victory chants, before graciously humouring the guards as they showed us to the exit.

My course (Chemical Engineering, unless I am offered a better choice at 2nd counselling in August) at Manipal starts from the 1st of August and its time to start preparing for college. Very soon I shall be blogging from there, instead of dear old Calcutta. I cant wait to get started with college life finally. Not to mention hostels and eating in a mess and things like that. My parents have already dampened the excitement of independent living, however, by pointing out that it entails tasks such as washing one's own inner clothing and keeping a room clean all by yourself.

I win some, I lose some.


I feel bad that I misguided so many of you dimwits with the title of this post. I will also do something about the movie too, which incidentally has the same name as this blog spot, sometime soon. So, dont worry. Just wait. And keep watching this space.

The space above I mean. Thats where it will come. Soon.

1 comment:

manish said...

I can understand the mental pain and anguish you must have been through while at the counselling,but they are things one cannot escape especially when you are in India.Not sure still what branch you opted for,but more or less,every branch now a days pushes you into software,given the job opportunities in India now a days and the good packages attatched to such IT jobs.

Hope you efforts pay you well at the end of 4 years !!