Friday, July 07, 2006

Rains: in the Insti and elsewhere

Actually, this is my recent post on our IITM group blogspot. With just a week left to finish my intern, my enthusiasm to post has subsided considerably, overtaken by a small fear that had been lurking somewhere, about the presentation. I had had a bad time in the mid term presentation, and I have already posted my feelings here. But the feeling of dissatisfaction that comes when you don’t receive (m)any comments, but for one friend Shankie, who refused to give up posting comments, drove me to re-market my post. Though I have had electrifying experiences and slightly sensational stuff to share, I can’t unfortunately advertise my posts now, putting them up as my yahoo messenger/ g talk status, at least till I get back to the Insti. So, I have copied my post from another address and pasted it here, anticipating at least a few more comments.

{It took me more than two months two comeback to the promised post. Seeing that no contributions have come since “years”, [years: Lingo for anything referring to long intervals of time. Years may actually be days or hours too.] I decided to take the initiative and start posting something. I promise that this will be as good as those articles you find on my blog, if you ever get to read that.}

As all of us agree upon (all: not the readers but the contributors :P) the fact that our Insti is one of the most beautiful and lovely places we ever got to live in. Its majesty or charm, I don’t know what to call it exactly, increases many a fold in rains. I fell for the charm of this place during my second year. Since then, when ever it rains and wherever I am, I long for one place-my Insti. It will not be an exaggeration to say that I prefer my Insti to my home.

I am in Surat, presently, doing my Intern at Reliance Industries. And you would have realised why I am writing this post! It’s raining here. And the more it rains, the more I want to be back in Chennai.

In my first year, I was almost indifferent. My hostel was Sarayu, where we had had very less social life. It was new, the first year in the Insti. Most of us were not so well acquainted and all I had to do was to stare at the rain in the forest outside my hostel compound. I had a corner room with a breathtaking view of the forest, those bamboos and an assortment of other trees with deer sprawling around. Whenever it rained, I would open my portico door, place my chair there and drop down to admire the view. Thoughts would wander, and I would compare how various places looked in rains. Sorry to say, but I felt Hyderabad was the most gloomy place in rains. I had been there for two years and have seen enough rains, that I certify this with a bit of confidence.

It was in my second year, when I moved out to Tapti, that I realised how beautiful it was to take a stroll in rain. Of course there are a host of other factors also, which I refrain from mentioning that made me enjoy rains in the Insti. By second year, we were a good gumball of friends, with similar interests and tastes. Whenever it rained, we would assemble in one of our rooms or in the corridor and start, what we IITians call “farting”. It is one of those infinitely long sessions of discussions, about nothing in particular and everything in general. We discuss almost everything under the “rain” ranging from courses and Profs to movies and events. It is here that we get to know more about others better. But for a rain and an associated power cut, all of us would be locked in our rooms, staring at the lifeless monitors.

It was also then that I started enjoying the music of rain. If people were not very ready to “fart” I would take my umbrella and walk out into rain. Walking beside OAT, listening to the sound of water droplets trickling from leaf tips would transport me to an other world. If Gurunath was open, a coffee in rain had nothing to beat it. Sometimes I would meet somebody on the road and we would stand there, talking, talking and ignoring the showers.

Another favourite activity was “baddy” with Raghava, the only other fellow who is willing to soak himself in rain, just for the fun of it. While all others would stay indoors and watch, we used to keep playing baddy for hours together. Of course, the cold and fever next day are to be taken with the same spirit. As they say, there is no free lunch in this world.

By third year, we were able to gain access to the roof of Tapti, thanks to our friends in security. All the gumball would go to the roof, sit and talk, looking at Chennai skyline, dulled with over hanging rains clouds. And that habit has not left us still.

Sometimes, we would abandon our bicycles and march to classes. Many would laugh at my desperation to go to class in such a rain, and I would coax Sriram to walk with me to the class. I remember one particular day, when we walked right from Tapti to MSB, getting wet in howling wind and heavy showers, to attend the only class of that “afti”. (Afti: afternoon) And it was a pleasant surprise to discover that that the class had been cancelled. None of us regretted for having walked all the way. It was so refreshing and I came back to my room, drenched.

It was more titillating after we started visiting Durgapeeliamman koil. (Of course, life’s little ironies made us staunch devotees too : P) On one festival day Ahak, Sriram and me walked to the temple in what can be surely called a storm. The day was normal and we decided to visit the temple in the evening. By evening it started raining monkeys and deer. (Monkeys and deer are to IITM what cats and dogs are to others.) Of course, it took a bit of persuasion before every one would agree. That day we saw that channel/canal before the temple gushing, full with water for the first time in our three-year stay. I stood there for a long time, watching the water rush, and flu-mech (flu-mech: fluid mechanics) fundaes came raining in. Vortices and turbulence I saw, along with leaves and twigs that were being carried into our lake downstream.

Now here I am, stranded in a lonely place, with all the exhausts of a petrochemical complex coming down mercilessly with rain. I can’t help that desperate feeling of deprivation. Once I finish this intern, I will get back to my Insti with all haste, to enjoy one final session with rain. This is my final year and by the next rainy season, I would be away from my Insti, slogging for my career, don’t know where. And before I leave, I want to make the most of it.

Thank you, dear Insti.

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