Second Year at college: Still I rise!

So ’twas second year already and I had lost grip of all my close friends. It was then when I decided to remain neutral with all my classmates. Greeted everybody cheerfully, helped when asked for and kept my nose out of grouping.

Then, a disaster happened one day.

“I.D. 58”

“Present sir!”

“I.D. 59”

“Present sir!”

“I.D. 60”

“Present sir”

The prof looked up.

Now, I must remind you that I’m 13BTBIOT060, i.e. I.D. 60.

“Come to my cabin after the class gets over” – the prof glared at me.

The class ended and I went to the cabin. I was lashed a lot verbally and was dismissed.

(In the backstage: Our batch had a Whatsapp group – Bioteckians. It initiated as a zone for information exchange related to holidays, cancelled classes and notes. As we grew familiar, it became a hub of important discussions like planned bunks and copied assignments. Then, when the level of ease really rose, we criticized our university together, our teachers, classes we hated etc. And when we had just began to feel the unity of the classroom dance in our veins which comes mostly from shared criticism, I was invited to the cabin.)

Apparently somebody had shown the prof the messages in which I had condemned our H.o.D. in the group. So I was the villain now. Though everybody condemned the H.o.D. all the time, I obviously couldn’t explain this to him and that’s how I became the victim of judgement. (The prof hates me now. He tries to bear with me though.)

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This belongs to a conference at our department.

Anyway, this is how the second year began. The prof gave me a golden advice though, after he was done scolding: “Do not trust people too much going vulnerable in front of them. Anybody could do anything and your life’d be fucked up in a second.” (He didn’t say “fucked up”, but that is what I remember hearing!) I swear by sabudana that this has become one of the fundamental principles of my life now and I distrust almost everybody and am always skeptical.

It was almost a month from then that the idea of reinventing the Literary Club SHIATS was born. September – when a bunch of my seniors called me and we founded the LCS at The banyan tree. It has been budding up beautifully since then and to watch people working to take it to another level is just more than amazing.

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One of the first Literary club sessions when things were still moulding. 🙂

2014 was probably the saddest year for me ever. I lost my grandfather. The man who was a collective essence of my whole life. The man who taught me Hindi, English, Sanskrit and the little Math I know. The man who took me to school on the very first day. The man who’d taught me some of the most beautiful things about life. He started on this totally different journey. We saw him suffer a lot. We prayed. We cried. We ran across hospitals. But suddenly one terrible night, we were looking at the earthen-ed body of the man we’d have laid our own lives for. However, since the truth was inevitable, the necessary was done and the void phase began. That day was my birthday. Everybody called. There were messages and Facebook posts.

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Reunited with her after 6 long years (With – Jaya Neelanshi Seth)

In December, we went to Lucknow for a 15 days training which was my escape ticket from the mess I had been; it helped little. I ended up screwing a couple of things more, smoked a bit, met my best friend who I’d not seen for 6 years and roamed around a lot. I came back after the new year, and was still a mess.

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From the right: Sonali Tiwari, I’m not answering this, Monika Gubrele @Paraag, Lucknow

Life got better by March when I began taking delight in little things again. Kitchen experiments, the club, school friends I’d reunited with and dressing up. I tried to better my exams this time and I actually could do well. The semester ended in May and by the 1st of June, we landed in Delhi for another training. By now, I’m convinced that training is my escape ticket so I should better keep control and not go training again since I seem to detest labs. I sang in the lab all the time though and there was a good amount of echo that helped.

So back to Allahabad and it is the third year. I have another set of close people now – Anshika, Anup, Gaurav, Sonali, Anshika, Archana, Chiranjeev, Utkarsh and Harshita. You pet me the best and by your side, there has never been a sad day for me.

Literary Club’s gonna rock. 2015 is a life changing year. A lot good is awaited. Stay tuned and cheers,

Ashmi

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