Monday, 4 January 2010

Annual OBA Meet 2009 at Sainik School, Bijapur on 26, 27 Dec 2009...

The alumni spend a complete year waiting for this moment to get together with friends and rejoice lives. And this year was more special as the venue for the meet was the school itself. What a grand feeling would it be to step back to your alma-mater and celebrate the success that you had in your life with the people who have been an integral part of your growth and developments years of childhood. I certainly believe, most of our destinies were written in those 7 years spent at SSBJ. I was a bit hesitent to go to the school as I did not yet have the kind of success I wished to have. But yes, I was at par or even a little more successful than many others. By success, I mean the same Indian definition, i.e., do you have a job and how much salary you earn? If you had positive answers for these, you are successful. The more positive the answer, the more would be your success. In other words, success merely means earning capacity

After a lot of yes-yes-no-no, it finally so happened that I booked the tickets to go. And I was still undecided whether I would go or not. The reason I booked the ticket was SBI was conducting a promo in which IRCTC ticket bookings would give some points. Crazy consumer

There was a lot of difficulty faced. I also had a plan of pushing off some of my luggage to Bengaluru through someone who would come to Bijapur in order to ease my burden when I would be shifting there. I carried 2 bags, one to be delivered to Hubli and one to Bengaluru. The bag to be delivered to Hubli contained some gifts that I had purchased for my family. In fact, the plan had been there from the day 1 since I joined for a job to buy some gift to my parents but I could never do that due to financial extremities. And now that I am leaving the job, its a high time that I somehow make my dream come true. The bag to Bengaluru contained all my ICWAI and Symbiosis books and was quite heavy. I had another bag on my back with some apparel and accessories that I carried for my 2-3 days journey to Bijapur

I got on to the passenger train which had only one sleeper coach and my request for a seat was kept on a waiting list. Soon, I was given a seat to sit and was told that I would get the permission to sleep in case of any cancellations. This is called as RAC (Reservations against cancellation) in the railway language. And very soon, my berth was confirmed and I slept. I was going through some sorts personal issues that kept me disturbed for quite a long time. My life for the previos two days had been too difficult as I was mentally upset. Life can put you so down that you can never rise but still, till you are alive, you gather some courage from some source and come up again. So, whats the fun in going down when you are sure that you will come up. There is fun. That makes life a see saw. Else, life would be a plain vanilla. However, a lot of time gets wasted in getting sad, falling down, seeking help, getting motivated and then rising up. Instead, a better option would be not to fall and take life calmly in the right perspective

On stepping the soils of Bijapur, the first thing that took me for a six was the presence of tongas (horse carts that carried people). That was a beautiful scene. And the next one took my joy beyond skies. It was the Gol Gumbaz that stood as if it were built to welcome me. I got in to an auto and started towards the school campus which was about 7-8 kms away. My eyes kept wondering how the city has not changed over the past 13 years. There has been no significant change either in the appearance of the city or the weather or the people or the language or anything. It was the same old Bijapur as it was 13 years back when I stepped into this city for the first time. I remember, I had come with my dad to write the entrance examination and went back. Later, I came for the interview and went back. And then, I came with my mom and dad to get admitted for class 6th and I stayed back while they went back. My mom did cry. My dad too felt emotional. But I was a daring to go soldier who did not feel anything. Perhaps, that was the beginning of hardening of my heart. After a couple of hours after they left, my heart melt and tears rolled down. I was a new boy amidst all and all laughed at me and some consoled me saying that they too felt the same but things would be fine soon. After that, things did go fine

I entered the gates of this palace named Sainik School, Bijapur after 5 long years. I remember the last time when I entered these gates with my head in shame. It was from that day that I never dared of getting back on these gates till invited. Invitations are given to successful people to come and share their experiences to motivate the students at the school. I was a blackmark on the school as I had failed in Physics in class XIIth. And to my ill fate, I was the one and the only person to fail. Had I passed, our batch would have made 100% clearance which would be a splendid record. I still feel the guilt for my part in not making that record happen. The guts to enter this gate again was very low. I knew that I would get no recognition except that of a failure. People do not know what has happened in life ever after and they don't wish to listen to a failure either. I somehow managed some daring and called my friends who were already present at the venue. I was asked to keep my luggage in Wodeyar house, 2nd barrack, get fresh and join them. I did that. The entry into the living dormitories (called as barracks in military language) tickled my senses with joy. There had been changes in the ambience of the premises. The appearance was more greeny due to a lot of gardening activities. Further, the bathrooms had become better too

We all met, felt great and delighted. Hugs and shouts were on the top. Talks began and soon slipped to memories of yesteryears. We registered ourselves for the meet and then moved out for lunch. We went to Mysore Restaurant for lunch which was one of the most famous restaurants and a regular food junction for us in the past. After tasting the food that had not undergone any change except that of the cost, we came back to the school. Sports had been organized to begin the meet. Those who were interested to play got themselves ready with the kits and moved to the ground. Considering my pot belly, though I loved to play, I took a step back and decided to be a cameraman rather than a sportsman. I was already getting comments on my physique which made me seriously think of doing something. I have been thinking ever since I left SSBJ that I should join a gym but that never got possible. Even recently, after attending the Personal Effectiveness Program, I had taken a decision which never got implemented. Hockey, Volleyball, Football and Basketball were all on. I tried a little stunt on the football ground and got a nice hairline fracture on my right ankle which made me limp for a couple of days. The experience of playing games was really great

The events in the auditorium began. Nothing had changed even there. It was the same Jadhav sir who sang the same song, 'Jahaan daal daal par sone ki chidiya karthi hai basera, woh bharat desh hai mera'. And then, there were more shows and performances by other artists which were again the same ones which had been coming through traditions. Then, we moved out to the quadrangle where the dinner was arranged. I started munching some food and watching the people get on the dance floor. Expressing my thoughts would take a long time and continuing writing like this would take a week to describe those few hours when my mind thought so many things. So, I have captured those moments and uploaded them at Picasaweb Albums and Youtube

After tiring dances, we went back to the barracks to sleep. And then, someone initiated the idea of going to the Hanuman temple that was almost in a forest. I could not say no. We went over and came back in an hour and I planned to sleep. However, the talks went on and on and on. And it was 4 by the time I slept

The next day, we did not have much to do except breakfast, lunch and saying good bye and passing keep in touch messages. It was a nice time spent together. Though we all asked each other to keep in touch, the work life will again take us over and we know, it would only be the next time we meet that we get in touch with each other and the next meeting is subject to availability of leaves that the companies we work for decide to give

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