On those cold winter nights, five to eight years ago, anywhere between 300 to 700 adults would sit in their rooms, or in the institute library (fondly called Ref-Li for the BITS, Pilani nostalgic) poring over those books that would decide where they ended up the next day. Yep, the first series of tests were in action. On every one of those nights for the four good years I spent at Pilani, I have whined and cursed the unfortunate events that made me write these life-or-death tests. The day these endless series of tests would end, I decided, life would be worth living once again.
And yeah, it was good when they ended. I probably won't have to write another such test ever again. And everytime I missed college, the places, the friends, I wondered if I was forgetting a little reality-check of the countless tests I've had to write. I still feel though, everytime, that the fight for the grades, the sleepy tutorial hours at 8 am on a zero degree morning, the scanning through answer sheets for a couple of marks that would get you that elusive grade - would all be worth a chance for four years back in college again.
A few weeks ago, I saw a snap of N during his college days, sitting at a desk with a huge folder of text in front of him. One pen in his hand, another three of them lying around on the desk. A calculator open beside him. His watch on the desk. A notebook and a pile of other papers scattered across the same desk. And though I've known N for over two years, the brightest grin I've ever seen on him. And with a sweatshirt over him, a flashback of a winter evening. His comment, borrowed courtesy Will Smith, below the snap, revealing one simple truth - This little part of my life is called happiness..
For someone whose college life I was no part of at all, this snap and the little comment have become one of my favourites.