Ok…so its that time of the year again !! End semester exams done, a rather disappointing end to an absolutely fun-filled 4th semester. It doesn’t take too long for the realization to dawn on me, that I’m nearly half through engineering now. Everyone I meet (read: the innumerable relatives, who’re ever enthusiastic to drop in those usually unasked for ‘valuable’ views !!) keep reminding me of the fact that I can now call myself a ‘50% Engineer !! (Ok…the results aren’t out yet, but I’m definitely not getting a Year Down !)
Been brooding over the whole ‘50% Engineer’ phenomenon for the past 3 days since exams, and here’s a low-down on the semesters that were:
First semester: Naïve, vulnerable me, all excited and geared up for the new world…after all it was COEP Mech yaar ! Got a whole new cool gang of 14 people- timepassed like crazy. Discovered how much fun bunking lectures and not going home, or giving proxy can be !! Not done much except give the now-routine T1, T2 and ESE.
To quickly chronicle the events- A fun Freshers party with great food, first outing with Gau, Gaya and Rads on tub four- amazing time, Pardeshi’s gay histronics, Mrs. Ekhande’s new-age physics fundas, dreadful time with Electrical !! But loved Workshop and had a marvellous time with Joshi sir in Elements of Mech Engg. !!
Getting to know seniors- the baaps, the geniuses, the GODS, the influencial ones, the inspirations and the ones to be steered clear of…
The only prominent activity was the cultural audition, where I got selected (hurray !!), found a place in the COEP Firodiya 2004 team. Now that was something to look forward to !!
Second semester: The whole of the vacations went in Firodiya practice, the late nights, the music, the freedom, the creative satisfaction, the thrill of being on stage, the COEP maaz, ‘new friends’, ultimate bliss..
6th February- Show done, enter Zest (thanks to Gau) and Fervor (thanks to Sonia)
Celebrated Valentine’s Day- COEP ishtyle !! Full Kalla….:-)
Turned 19 in style with a brilliant surprise party (Thanks Mom !!)
Gau and I passed the swim test, ambitious beginnings on the clinkered pair..
Next in the pipeline- Gathering (participated for ‘friends’ sake)
Of course, exams figured somewhere on the agenda !!
In a nutshell- 4 events, 4 bunksheets (that was the new buzz word !!), a whole new life..
Highlight: Post exam stay over at Soumya’s place- romping around town at 1 in the night, drive to Singhagad with new friends, baring my soul to near strangers…rather enriching time !
On the dark side (which I realized later) – made some wrong decisions, trusted wrong people, took uncalculated risks, lived life, probably a little too much on the edge !!
Was the COEP maaz getting on to me a tad too fast ??!!
Lesson learnt: Never take life for granted, Time and tide wait for no man !
Third semester: Begins with new resolutions, new goals, new aspirations…
New department, new class, new friends, new professors…
Elections in August- campaigning, voting, publicity gimmicks, strutting around with funny badges pinned all over, putting up banners…fun !
Getting chosen Joint Secretary, MESA- Thanks to my F.E. work !
MESA Inauguration- first taste of what being ‘politically correct’ is all about !!
Taking up the job of revamping the music room- first hand experience in Gymkhana politics, quotations, faxes, money matters, persuasion, the government style of functioning, delays, maska-giri…the works !!
Fervor 2005 work begins with sponsorships- read: visit with Sonia to TATA Motors (and lunch at the executive canteen, thanks to Cheri and Manisha Singh !!)
Mercedes Benz- awesome time !! Great company, great technology, great employees… getting people to shell out 50 grand for an event couldn’t get easier !! Of course, a part of the package deal was- a lecture series by two of the nicest men I’ve met- Mr. Chandavarkar and Mr. Mandpe, and approval to get the new Mercedes Biofuel car to COEP….yippee !!
Highlight: The Diwali ‘high’ (if you get my drift..)- a brilliant time with Soumya, arguably one of the craziest but best times of my life !!
Another highlight– industrial visit to a sugar factory, special for ‘special’ reasons !!
Again on the flip side– disagreements with friends, a few people ka parda- faash, a sour end to a few relationships, a fiasco with the Maths department for being caught giving proxy (Result- we haven’t given proxy in a single lecture ever since !! Unbelievable, but true !!)
Lesson learnt: Learn to say NO to people, Never trust people too soon, Speaking your mind is not always such a good idea !!
Fourth semester: Visit to the IIT, Bombay Techfest, and needless to say, the trip was fantabulous !! Inspired the engineer in all of us. Added attractions- the local train journeys, Hiranandani, Vertigo @ Café Mocha (smack !), travelling by the last local at 1:32 am !! An absolutely marvelous weekend !
Uniforms made compulsory on Mondays and Thursdays- thanks to Dr. Sathe (that SSB !!)
No Firodiya, so immersed myself headlong into Fervor. Sponsorships, printing permission letters (Sick !!), endless discussion sessions with Ohol and Kajale Sir, minor ego clashes, lack of communication between team members….don’t really want to get into all that…but in general, not a very fruitful period. Add to that…the trauma of compering a flop valedictory function !! All’s not well that doesn’t end well !!
Lesson learnt: A joint secretary’s job at FERVOR is limited to drafting and printing permission letters, never put your finger in too many pies !
Zest was opening up new avenues, something exciting and never-done-before, but alas…the Regatta incident changed the face of the whole scheme of things..
Highlight– winning the Personality contest at the Gathering- I now am Miss COEP/PIET !!
Another Highlight– Gau, Gaya and I decided to participate in the VIT Techfest Model Making competition- we were finally doing something technical !! Two sleepless nights and late night brainstorming sessions with Gau’s genius dad’s genius friend and the baaps of COEP (read: Addy, Pushkar and Mangesh) later, we had a beauty of a bridge made of ice-cream sticks, cardboard, straws of two different thicknesses and cross-sectional areas (!!) and a whole spool of black thread !! The joy, the exhilaration of creating something with your own hands…priceless (not to add the exposure the whole experience gave us !!) And of course, our bridge was a runaway hit at the competition. And had it not been for the wrongly interpreted rules by a certain Mister Mittal of VIT, we’d have been proud first-attempt winners at a techfest !!
Highlight of Highlights: Brand new, flashy, 25 grand Magnum (read: videsi..imported man !!) drum kit arrives at COEP- An extremely satisfactory end to four months of toiling !!
All in all, managed to garner up bunksheets for three out of the three and a half month long semesters we have (legalized fun !!), hardly attended lectures, bonded better with old friends, made really treasured new ones !!
So..very frankly speaking, the past 2 years have hardly been straight out of the life of an engineering student !! Probably they should be giving us an Event Management and Disaster Management degree instead of the B.Tech we’re getting !! Loads of ups and downs, loads of disappointments, lots of fun and masti, lots of growing up and too many lessons learnt and the learning continues…!!
What the future holds for me- I don’t know, and I don’t even want to know !! All I know is, at this phase in my life- I’m blessed with truly wonderful people, and cherished bitter-sweet experiences that’ll remain an integral part of me, at every point of my life.
As for Engineering- we have all that sorted too !! Come June, and we friends will be off to the Mercedes School of Mechatronics for a month long training course (Thanks to Kadlaskar uncle and Gaya !)
Anyway, as I get ready to enter T.Y.B.Tech, I am reminded of what a senior friend once told us- Students undergo a major transformation as engineers, in their third year !! I can only say….AMEN !!
(P.S.- Gau and Gaya- have I missed out on anything else that we’ve been upto in the past 2 years? Do let me know if you remember anything !! And looking forward to another 2 years of chill marne with u guys !! :-):-))