I got up in the middle of the night and could not sleeep. For some reason I picked up my diary and started reading it. I found this entry and felt like sharing it. It is presented in toto.
JUNE 21, 2012
One evening I was just fiddling with Facebook. I got a call from an acquaintance. [He was Mr Ravish a physics professor in CMRIT, Bangalore. I used to discuss physics with him when he visited Tumkur] He asked me whether I wanted to listen to Dr. Abdul Kalam ‘s speech live. I said yes. Out of random altruistic motives I inquired if I could get another pass. I called up Sandeep and requested him to accompany me.My fickle mindedness prompted me to quit the unwanted program from my itinerary. But still, I thought of giving it a try.
Next day , I was slightly excited. I had no troubles in leaving my intern ( at the office of CETD Chief Engineer of Thermal Designs , KPCL ) a bit early. Sandeep kept me guessing about his location and willingness to attend the program. Wait ! I forgot to mention that the occasion was the convocation of a batch of students there.
Around 700-800 students of their previous batch were receiving their degree.I took the 503E bus to ITPL park area and had my lunch while travelling itself. The fare was more than that of B’lore Tumkur journey on a KSRTC bus. Damn BMTC’s Volvos. I saw lots of stuff outside. The customary window seat ! Haha. We passed the Army Public School,. NAL, HAL and a good number of malls.The journey took about two hours.
I reached the place half an hour early i.e 2.30. Mr.Ravish had told me that the gates would be closed by 3 PM sharp due to security reasons. So I pushed Sandeep to reach the place as soon as possible. But still he managed to reach the venue at 3:15. Hmm ! We live in India. The former President, Bharat Ratna , A.P.J.Abdul Kalam also didn’t reach the place on time. An hour before that, I went and took a seat in the invitees area. Apparently it was for “special” invitees. [Ah ! the coded language].
There were a good number of north Indian “babes” managing the show at the venue. They were supposed to “escort” the guests of the evening. Sandeep led me to an uncomfortable place ( right next to the loudspeaker). He made the customary philosophical statement about the excessive number of students opting for engineering and termed such colleges as factories. Like an icing on the cake , he added that he wanted to do something else in his life. ( Me : Bitch please !!) But I agreed silently that I too had such a thought in mind but had opted for this god damned course out of certain compulsions and external factors.
However I have opportunity to correct myself at any point of time. Then we had the American accented lady on the stage who introduced the people on stage in an unpleasant tone. She was on a high I guess. I would call it pompous and jingoistic tone. The principal looked like a gangster who accidentally got a PhD. CMRIT was a pucca gult organisation and family business. I felt like laughing my ass off when they were talking about getting a deemed university status.
The only speech worth remembering was that of Dr.Kalam’s. He began by some of philosophically loaded poems that lacked poetic beauty or literary creativity. They were just oaths cut into some verses and renamed as a poem. He must give up that bad stuff as soon as possible.He spoke about PURAs (Providing Urban Facilities in Rural Areas), one of his brain child projects. He was at his best when he spoke about science and engineering. He spoke about system integration and system design and the project he did in college. He reasoned as to how good research and good teaching could complement each other.
Finally he concluded about how every individual needed to distinguish oneself through achievements and contribute to India.We ran off from that place as soon as the speech concluded.I boasted about my experience with my family and relatives. But did not share the same with friends. However I rate this experience as one of the top 10 events in my life.