Last 10th of False-Millennium
Ours was the last batch of 10th std of the second millennium…at least that’s when the world bid good bye to it…1999. Though the new millennium was not to start until 1/1/01, people could not care less…Yes yes yes…you all remember the Y2K…now don’t you??? and Aamir sang…”dekho 2000 zamaana aa gaya”.
So…it was a bye bye to BEML nagar…place I was born…grew up…went to school…made friends…played marbles…tops…tyre race…frisbee with bro…made bow-arrow out of used Rockets and Sparklers after Deepwali…cricket…badminton…basketball…Swimming…Kho-Kho…had lunch on the hill behind the school with mates…threw chapatis towards the sky to see the Kites dive and grab it stunningly…learnt karate…cycled to school everyday with Sunil and Santosh…those thursday-friday films in the Officers’ Club…cricket at the Oval…long chats under the street lights with Sunil and Santosh and who ever joined in after that…Chandrika Ma’am’s frustration at being unable to stop me and Santosh from chatting away in our world in her class…those tense cricket matches with B and C section (we beat the hell out of them each time…well okay…most times)…trip to Cochin, Hyderabad and finally nationals at Calcutta for swimming competition…lost the inter-house cricket tournament…won the basketball tournament…and oh…yes…Studies…it was fun…hmmmf…that was my life for 15 years. I vaguely remember all that now…and I miss it…a bit too much.
And here I was…in a city that was nothing like BEML nagar…new faces…new lifestyle…new everything. I felt completely out of place for the first couple of years…I guess I was trying a wee bit too hard to fit in…identity crisis???? probably!!! made super friends during my PUC. Studies???it was going allright…I guess
Was introduced to the world of computers at college…Got a new computer and dial up internet connection at home.
Veerappan kidnapped Rajkumar. As serious a crime as kidnapping is…but to kidnap “Rajkumar”…you got to be seriously insane. At that time…I could not fathom the enormity of the issue. But when I look back now…from the context of what he meant and still means to the people from Karnataka…I think Veerappan dug his own grave with that move. You can’t kidnap a person whom 5 crore people love and hope to stay alive for a long time…whatever the real story behind his death might be…fact of the matter is…for once…people did not care if politicians conspired to kill him for their benefit.
Talking of politicians…I caste my first Vote this decade.
I remember playing Lagaan audio cassette at max volume…just when my neighbour’s cassette had stopped playing it…and then would hear the songs from another neighbour who would play it loud after my cassette had stopped playing!!! yeah…we all liked the songs…and we all had got new music systems around the same time!!!
And then there was frantic chaos about doing well in the 2nd PUC…you HAD to do well…you really didn’t have much of an option there!! I tried. My highest score…as it turned out was in Chemistry…of all subjects…I did not know how to react honestly!!!
Just before we wrote our 2nd PUC exams…we witnessed one Cricket match that in my view was kind of a preamble to what one could expect from India in coming years as a cricket team and as a nation. That partnership of Laxman and Dravid at Eden Gardens in 2001, was something out of this world. I still see the highlights of that game and it still fills me with joy and pride. What made this all the more special was it came at a time when the Indian cricket was all but disintegrated because of the Match fixing scandal of 1999-2000.
Gopichand brought back the All England Open Badminton Championship…a long time after Padukone did. It was a fantastic moment.
Then came the life in a professional course. Telecommunications and Engineering…1VI01TE004…after more than 150 internal and external exams you cannot really forget your roll number. About the time we were settling down in the college…two planes crashed into WTC…date was 11/9/01 (or 9/11 for the more AmericaniZed world). The world has not been same since…is it worse? I am inclined to think so. It must just be a coincidence that 911 is the number to call in emergency in USA. Sheer number of people killed in that incident and since in the terror attacks alone is plain cruel and waste of life.
This was also the time when I read a complete book for the first time in my life. “If Tomorrow Comes”…not sure if its the effect of first impression…I have read all his books since and I still think that’s the best Sydney Sheldon book.
The college life was fun…but only after I finally came to grips with my priorities. I drove from home to college. Driving in Bangalore then was not as much of a pain in the back as it is now. I especially enjoyed the drives in the heavy rain…I liked getting drenched…as long as it was on the way back home. Will never forget the fun we had in HR Ramesh’s classes. There was never dull moment in his class. Innumerable lunches in dhabas with mates…that Watermelon juice at Juice Junction with Palak Paneer Sandwhich. I made a lot of friends…quite a few good friends…few very good friends. Trip to Goa…a friend recently complained that we didn’t plan the trip well…I said…if it weren’t for us…he probably would not have seen Goa in the first place. 4 years now sounds like a lot of time…but when I look back…I can’t say for certain whether it felt that long then. Before we realised, friends were joining their jobs. I for one, had decided to pursue my education.
There were a few sad moments too…Godhra Riots…I do not possess nearly enough vocabulary to describe my disgust at what happened. It was disgrace to us as Indians. Then there was the unfortunate Tsunami. I hope the people who suffered have been able to get on with their lives now. My mother met with an accident. Akshardham attack. Attack on Indian Parliament. Attack in Bombay. Serial blasts in Bangalore, Surat!!!
Sampras retired in 2002. Federer won his first Wimbledon in 2003. Nadal won his first French open in 2005. Agassi retired in 2006. I find it extremely immature to compare them. Paes-Bhupati split in 2006…which was very unfortunate considering they had reached all the Grandslam finals in 1999. Sad.
I prepared for GATE…for 6-7 months after BE. Didn’t get through. It was disappointing. But I am thoroughly convinced that the decision to spend those months preparing for GATE was the best I have ever taken. I worked for almost an year and a half after that…it was a stop gap arrangement. But hey…it proved to be fun…all paid trip to Australia and all…well…okay…it was an official trip.
TATA took over Jaguar-Land Rover. Infosys was listed in Nasdaq. Pt Bhimsen Joshi was awarded Bharat Ratna. Dr. Abdul Kalam served as the President of India. India as a nation is oozing with confidence now…and the last ten years have been very significant.
My brother got married…was a wonderful moment. My friend got married…was a wonderful moment. My dad retired. The last two years have been very productive for me…both professionally and personally. I am much more motivated to do things now. Doing Masters in UK was a nice experience. Time away from family and friends is allowing me to get a clearer perspective of my priorities. I always told my friend…”I seem to be waiting for something to happen”…this probably was it. I now know what I would want to do in my life…but “HOW” is a completely different question…which I am working on.
Ten years is a lot of time if you ask me. I have grown older…wiser??? I would like to think so
Have a nice…adventurous…eventful…and peaceful new year you guys.