Home 2017 Rendezvous

Rendezvous

written by Devanshu Narang April 27, 2017

“Hey man, it’s such a long time!”

“Twenty-seven years. Wow!”

“You have not changed a bit. Ditto IIT looks. And you, you are now bald and have, err, gained weight. And you! What happened to your specs? Oh, contact lenses! Hey come in…….”

In many such rendezvous of old IIT friends, the introductions are similar. We get engrossed in our lives, lose touch and then we meet years, decades, nay life time after and feel excited as if we are living those magical IIT days again.
And then the drinks pour and as the second one starts going in, the stories start pouring out.

Some of success, joy and happiness as only an over achiever throughout life could describe.

Some of mediocrity, of lives lived well never crossing a crescendo and getting tamed in between.

Some of depth and despair of a dream gone sour and of a man who knows that he lost his plot somewhere years back. Alas they would not speak out directly but one has to sense them and empathize with them. Perhaps they took the most risk among us and not everyone can strike gold!

Some follow the same path trod by the Janta. Some try and break free and make their own way. Most get lost doing the latter while only a miniscule become path finders.

In this particular get together there were a few of us, an eclectic mix of ex-IITians. ( according to me, we are all IITians and there is nothing “ex-” about it )

Some of depth and despair of a dream gone sour and of a man who knows that he lost his plot somewhere years back.

Kewal had gone from IIT to pursue his masters in US, settled in a great job there and now is a high flyer, very close to the peak of his career. He is well settled with three children and yes, one happy wife too!

Suresh had gone from IIT to pursue a course in business management, settled in a great job and has only risen in life. He now heads a multinational in North India, is well settled with two children and of course a trophy wife to boot. (Please forgive the sexist remark in the end and yet most IITians are sexists and many remain so even after decades. Only a few have the courage to break free and come out of their mental closets.)

Ganesh had gone from IIT to pursue his masters in US, settled in a great job but got bored a decade later, broke free, joined a non-profit serving a social cause while also doing investing part time. Decades later he is a globe-trotting activist and also full of life. He has stayed independent and enjoys the freedom that he derives from it.

Some follow the same path trod by the Janta. Some try and break free and make their own way. Most get lost doing the latter while only a miniscule become path finders.

Lakshman had gone from IIT to pursue a course in business management, settled in a great job, worked for decades and then one day decided to leave all to be completely free to spend time for his hobbies. He makes money by investing and reaping the benefits of the money earned earlier and now spends time reading, back packing and living the life of a free gypsy.

Sunil had fallen in love with the independence that IIT provided, decided to pursue a career in arts thereafter, experimented a bit with the Bombay arts scene and getting bored of the mediocrity on display, moved to various countries including USA to pursue a career in the performing arts. He now lives independently, sometimes lonely, sometimes happy and shuttles across various countries pursuing creativity in his own way.

Suresh has moved from metallurgy to software and content generation. Shweta has moved from Aeronautical to being a full time dedicated monk, Joga is untraceable, Anjan is a Director in a multinational.  Jignesh has his own successful company while Brijesh has just started his company which is in nascent stage after living a successful corporate life, Rajesh………

Stories abound. All true and real. They will continue to be written and added to in decades to come. Of generations before us, or with us, or the ones to follow. Or even perhaps of the present IITian.

Of unending ambitions. Of success. Of luxury and a high life. Many of mediocrity. Some of failure too!

Such is life! We all started from the same block and go so far as our ambition, drive and will, decide!

And in these varying tales, a few common threads emerge!

While we forgot all that we learnt in those unending lectures, we have kept our analytical thinking alive, used it in our lives and taken risks of varying proportions.

While we forgot all that we learnt in those unending lectures, we have kept our analytical thinking alive, used it in our lives and taken risks of varying proportions.

While we have drifted apart physically, socially and even in our thought process with some taking extreme left or right positions, yet we still value those strong bonds that we had. Immensely!

Money, religion, class, caste, creed, never came in between these bonds then when we were in IIT. They still have no place amongst us after decades.

Also, there is this urge to do something more, something different, that has remained with us. There is a degree of restlessness, of getting up, packing and starting a new journey which I can see in most of us. And the confidence that we can do it! Yet again. And that we should not stop. Not yet!

Rendezvous, yes, such rendezvous should continue. Will continue.

My fellow IITian, my friend, my brother, even if we no longer remain being an Indian, nor stay in touch with any institute nor use technology in the life beyond the campus, yet those IIT welded joints are too strong to crack or break!

Dasvidaniya! Insah Allah, we will meet again!

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