(Wearing our first batch TShirt in these final moments of our BTech got me thinking thus…)
What kind of a people are we?
If there is one defining characteristic of our batch, what is it?
We’re all reasonably good at studies. And we all like BCing and leg-pulling and basically chilling out and having clean, harmless fun. We’ve had some ups and downs, sweet moments and sour in the past three and a half years. When I try to look at my experiences and what I know of my batchmates’ from a bird’s eye view, one central theme becomes very visible to me, which I think defines our batch to a good extent. And that, I think, is our quality of endurance.
Flamboyant brilliance was never a part of our DNA. Unlike 2k2, we didn’t have six-foot giants mauling everyone on the sports fields. Or ultra-confident devil-may-cares capable of showing the middle finger to anyone. 2k3 undoubtedly had the best ever in almost every sport played in IIIT, and the best ever musicians ever to enter IIIT. 2k2 and 2k3, it is also said, had the toughest gamers ever. 2k4 were decent at most things, leadership included and got by far the highest number of awards I know of any batch. 2k3 and 4 also produced stud results in CAT and GRE. They got excellent placements in great companies. Our juniors are yet to show their full mettle, but even they have a fair sprinkling of individual geniuses in different fields.
So where does that leave us, the 2k5? When people from our and our neighbor batches remember us for our college life ten years from now, how many ’studs’ will they be able to recall?
There are definitely a few, but I’d argue that more than people who astonish the world with their brilliance, 2k5 is about people who started from behind and worked their way up, slowly and painstakingly without anyone knowing about it till it happened.
2k5 is about being a girl from a village and then coming to IIIT and getting a 1500+ score in GRE. It’s about not touching a computer till coming to IIIT, and then (not) sleeping in the labs for three years to become a world renowned coder, or a linux geek. It’s about giving an amused smile (and not showing the finger) to the world when it tells you to do something, and then putting your head down and writing an international level paper on your own. Or deciding to pursue a PhD in psychology after everyone has recognised you as a potential brilliant computer scientist. Or starting with it and soon making professional level designs and cartoons right here in IIIT.
It’s not about being a genius athlete from the start, but about starting with sports in the final year and playing for your batch and house and winning medals on the Sports Day. It’s about being from a village, listening to your first English song and touching the guitar after coming to IIIT, being ridiculed publicly by all and sundry for your accent, and then creating a rock band and performing a rock number on the Felicity stage.
Above all, it is about working day and night for the placements so that your batchmates get the best deal, despite yourself not having been placed. And still above, it’s about not letting a personal tragedy ruin you, but about channelizing those feelings to help those in need, and turning it into a mass movement.
There aren’t more than a few people in our batch whom others would gape at in astonishment. Less of the Sachins or Sehwags, that is. But in their place, a number of Kumbles and Dravids and Srinaths, who capture less attention, but end up achieving no less, and in some sense even more than their more noticed counterparts at the end of the day.
We have stood united (cliche? no, for this once, not just) and together we achieved a few things which might seem modest, but had actually been rejected as impossible in the beginning. 2k5 is about creating basketball and football teams from scratch by actually training the entire teams from scratch and then achieving balanced results against more experienced players. It’s about coming from behind and beating a team full of proper cricketers to lift the cricket trophy. In no small measure, it’s about starting writing and slowly developing into a batch of bloggers.
It’s about inheriting a huge load of expectations and still managing to take Felicity to the next level.
It’s about providing to the college an unpleasantness free Felicity and an unpleasantness-free inter house sports for once. It’s about standing together in desperate times, through fucked-up, frustrating placements, and still not allowing for cheating, or unpleasantness to happen.
At the end of the day, we didn’t get good placements or good results in CAT. If anyone says that collectively we have had a good start to life, he’s kidding you. We haven’t.
But then, we never did get good starts at anything, did we? And we always made good, didn’t we?
Sometimes I wonder why the tide had to turn the other way just when our turn came. But maybe it’s meant as an opportunity to bring the best out of us.
So let’s endure on, 2k5. Let’s not worry about what people say, and let’s just keep at it, like we always have. All will be well.