Friday, September 23, 2011

Death of a Friend

It was Tuesday night that I found out.

I could not move for 15 minutes. I could not believe what I was reading. It could not be possible. But after a while, it sunk in. He was no more. 

Bhavik, my friend from school, died in an accident on Tuesday morning. He was 21.

We had both gone to St. Kabir School together. Right from 1st to 10th grade. Those were the best times in my life. I guess, everyone will agree, school has a different charm to it. I used to drive my cycle to school from 5th grade onwards. Bhavik used to do the same. In 5 years, we had eaten at every possible place in between our home and the school multiple number of times. The ambodiya guy used to wait for us to come. The dabeli guy used to make special dabelis for us and we had a special deal with the cold coco guy. 

We played cricket together. Everyone called you Pointing after the Australian captain. You do look similar. :) I still remember your joke about "I can't field deep, I don't know how to swim. :P" and "Look look, they are opening their batting with tailenders." :D 

Vacations meant, getting together at a friends place at 10 in the morning and doing random things all throughout the day. It included, watching movies, playing cricket inside and outside the house, playing roadrash for 3 days straight, eating bhel as if it was going to be the last meal for us in the week, filling petrol worth Rs 10 just so that we could get to the sandwich place and crank calling random/desperate guys we used to 'seduce' on chat groups on rediff. Life could not have been better. 

We were in different school for the next two years but we used to meet often. We were far in physical distance but whenever the gang got together, it was as if we were still in the 7th grade. 

College began and we all grew apart. We took different streams and were in difference colleges. Meeting friends almost stopped. In the past 2 years, we did not meet. 

Suddenly, a few weeks back, we met at Mc'd, late in the night. It was a chance meeting but as we all know, time lost in between doesn't count when it comes to school friends. We met just for a couple of minutes but it was a happy meeting. I did not know that this would be our last meeting but as I write this now, I am glad it was a happy one!

Thankfully, it was not our last interaction. You met my dad on Sunday at a pan shop of all places. The conversation he had with you was something like this:

Dad: Aree bhavik, kaisa hai tu? Padhia theek chal rahi hai?
Bhavik: Namaste uncle. Sab theek. Apoorv kaisa hai?
Dad: Ekdum theek. 
Bhavik: Uncle mere best friend ke pappa hain, inse paise mat lena. Kitna bhi bole, mat lena.
Dad *smiling* (to the shopkeeper): Ye to mere bete jaisa hai, isse kaise paise le sakta hun. Aap paise le lo.
Bhavik: Uncle, beta ka to hak banta hai. Aapne mujhe itne salon baad bhi pehchan liya wohi mere liye bohot hai. 

That day my dad came home and could not stop smiling while narrating this to me. I even wrote about it on your Facebook wall. You replied to it. That was unfortunately our last interaction. Again, I am happy that it was a memory I will cherish all my life. 

I hope you are in a better place now. I am sure you are making everyone in heaven laugh out loud with your witty jokes and hilarious impressions. :)

We will all miss you. A lot :) 

Friend forever,
Apoorv :)

Losing a friend makes you realize a lot of things. It tells you that life is fickle. It can end anytime. There is no point in delaying things/decisions. You might not be able to do them. 

It also made me realise that you should never fight with anyone and walk away without solving the fight. You never know which is the last time you talk to that person. It might just be the last and I am sure you wouldn't want it to be a fight. 

Never delay things. Never postpone something which you can do now. If you decide that you will earn money now and serve the society later on in your life, also take into account that (god forbid), that later on might never come. Do it now. 

Live now. Never regret. Smile now. Stay happy, now.  Because (ending yet another post with a Shahrukh Khan dialogue) "Kya pata, Kal ho na ho?" :) 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things you should do in college!

This is an letter that the admission officer in Massachusetts wrote to the freshers. I am sure all of us can relate to it. :)

Stolen from a friend's facebook profile. :P 

Dear Class of 2010,
This will be my last entry written specifically for you; beginning with the launch of our new site in early September, I'll begin focusing on the future class of 2011. I hope that you guys won't be strangers; stay in touch either in person (come visit us!) or online (please drop by the blogs from time to time and say hi).
As you begin your college experience, and I prepare for my 10-year college reunion, I thought I'd leave you with the things that, in retrospect, I think are important as you navigate the next four years. I hope that some of them are helpful.
Here it goes...
  1. Your friends will change a lot over the next four years. Let them.
  2. Call someone you love back home a few times a week, even if just for a few minutes.
  3. In college more than ever before, songs will attach themselves to memories. Every month or two, make a mix cd, mp3 folder, whatever - just make sure you keep copies of these songs. Ten years out, they'll be as effective as a journal in taking you back to your favorite moments.
  4. Take naps in the middle of the afternoon with reckless abandon.
  5. Adjust your schedule around when you are most productive and creative. If you're nocturnal and do your best work late at night, embrace that. It may be the only time in your life when you can.
  6. If you write your best papers the night before they are due, don't let people tell you that you "should be more organized" or that you "should plan better." Different things work for different people. Personally, I worked best under pressure - so I always procrastinated... and always kicked ass (which annoyed my friends to no end). ;-) Use the freedom that comes with not having grades first semester to experiment and see what works best for you.
  7. At least a few times in your college career, do something fun and irresponsible when you should be studying. The night before my freshman year psych final, my roommate somehow scored front row seats to the Indigo Girls at a venue 2 hours away. I didn't do so well on the final, but I haven't thought about psych since 1993. I've thought about the experience of going to that show (with the guy who is now my son's godfather) at least once a month ever since.
  8. Become friends with your favorite professors. Recognize that they can learn from you too - in fact, that's part of the reason they chose to be professors.
  9. Carve out an hour every single day to be alone. (Sleeping doesn't count.)
  10. Go on dates. Don't feel like every date has to turn into a relationship.
  11. Don't date someone your roommate has been in a relationship with.
  12. When your friends' parents visit, include them. You'll get free food, etc., and you'll help them to feel like they're cool, hangin' with the hip college kids.
  13. In the first month of college, send a hand-written letter to someone who made college possible for you and describe your adventures thus far. It will mean a lot to him/her now, and it will mean a lot to you in ten years when he/she shows it to you.
  14. Embrace the differences between you and your classmates. Always be asking yourself, "what can I learn from this person?" More of your education will come from this than from any classroom.
  15. All-nighters are entirely overrated.
  16. For those of you who have come to college in a long-distance relationship with someone from high school: despite what many will tell you, it can work. The key is to not let your relationship interfere with your college experience. If you don't want to date anyone else, that's totally fine! What's not fine, however, is missing out on a lot of defining experiences because you're on the phone with your boyfriend/girlfriend for three hours every day.
  17. Working things out between friends is best done in person, not over email. (IM does not count as "in person.") Often someone's facial expressions will tell you more than his/her words.
  18. Take risks.
  19. Don't be afraid of (or excited by) the co-ed bathrooms. The thrill is over in about 2 seconds.
  20. Wednesday is the middle of the week; therefore on wednesday night the week is more than half over. You should celebrate accordingly. (It makes thursday and friday a lot more fun.)
  21. Welcome failure into your lives. It's how we grow. What matters is not that you failed, but that you recovered.
  22. Take some classes that have nothing to do with your major(s), purely for the fun of it.
  23. It's important to think about the future, but it's more important to be present in the now. You won't get the most out of college if you think of it as a stepping stone.
  24. When you're living on a college campus with 400 things going on every second of every day, watching TV is pretty much a waste of your time and a waste of your parents' money. If you're going to watch, watch with friends so at least you can call it a "valuable social experience."
  25. Don't be afraid to fall in love. When it happens, don't take it for granted. Celebrate it, but don't let it define your college experience.
  26. Much of the time you once had for pleasure reading is going to disappear. Keep a list of the books you would have read had you had the time, so that you can start reading them when you graduate.
  27. Things that seem like the end of the world really do become funny with a little time and distance. Knowing this, forget the embarassment and skip to the good part.
  28. Every once in awhile, there will come an especially powerful moment when you can actually feel that an experience has changed who you are. Embrace these, even if they are painful.
  29. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, be open-minded. You're going to be challenged over the next four years in ways you can't imagine, across all fronts. You can't learn if you're closed off.
  30. If you need to get a job, find something that you actually enjoy. Just because it's work doesn't mean it has to suck.
  31. Don't always lead. It's good to follow sometimes.
  32. Take a lot of pictures. One of my major regrets in life is that I didn't take more pictures in college. My excuse was the cost of film and processing. Digital cameras are cheap and you have plenty of hard drive space, so you have no excuse.
  33. Your health and safety are more important than anything.
  34. Ask for help. Often.
  35. Half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at any given moment. Way more than half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at some point in the next four years. Get used to it.
  36. In ten years very few of you will look as good as you do right now, so secretly revel in how hot you are before it's too late.
  37. In the long run, where you go to college doesn't matter as much as what you do with the opportunities you're given there. The MIT name on your resume won't mean much if that's theonly thing on your resume. As a student here, you will have access to a variety of unique opportunities that no one else will ever have - don't waste them.
  38. On the flip side, don't try to do everything. Balance = well-being.
  39. Make perspective a priority. If you're too close to something to have good perspective, rely on your friends to help you.
  40. Eat badly sometimes. It's the last time in your life when you can do this without feeling guilty about it.
  41. Make a complete ass of yourself at least once, preferably more. It builds character.
  42. Wash your sheets more than once a year. Trust me on this one.
  43. If you are in a relationship and none of your friends want to hang out with you and your significant other, pay attention. They usually know better than you do.
  44. Don't be afraid of the weird pizza topping combinations that your new friend from across the country loves. Some of the truly awful ones actually taste pretty good. Expand your horizons.
  45. Explore the campus thoroughly. Don't get caught.
  46. Life is too short to stick with a course of study that you're no longer excited about. Switch, even if it complicates things.
  47. Tattoos are permanent. Be very certain.
  48. Don't make fun of prefrosh. That was you like 2 hours ago.
  49. Enjoy every second of the next four years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass.
  50. This is the only time in your lives when your only real responsibility is to learn. Try to remember how lucky you are every day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Law student and the Art of Juggling!

Yes, that's what all law students need to learn. Juggling!!

We have to juggle lots of things if we want to do something meaningful with our life.

To list a few of the things we need to juggle with: Books, CGPA, Research Papers, Making contacts, Moots, Debates, Sports, Travelling, Hobbies, Internships, Committees, Journals, Organizing team and Attendance.

List of a few things you should not juggle: Friends (most important), Relationships, Health, Values, Passion for something, Ethics,  Morals, Integrity and Trust.

If you can remember just this much, I am sure you will be happier than you were before. :)

This list might only be something law students can relate to but I guess the 'should not juggle' list is pretty much applicable to everyone.

It doesn't matter what you juggle, it matters what you don't juggle.

P.S. - I might sound like a preacher, but I'm not the only one. :)

Go Juggle!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The obsession with being Awesome!

We all want to be awesome, don't we?

Awesome in everything we do. It's become so bad that now sometimes if we don't think we have lived up to our awesomeness level, we are not happy with our performance. It's a good thing to try to keep improving and also trying to be the best but I don't think its healthy to lament over the fact that someone is more awesome than you are. It is unhealthy competition.

A few years ago it used to be who gets more marks, who gets a higher rank, who talks to most girls/guys, who got selected for the debate team, who had the coolest watch or the coolest cycle or even compass box. Life used to be simple.

Now we have people who are desperate for 'likes' on their status messages and their profile pictures. We have people who want you to RT their tweet. We have people who judge you by the number of friends you have. We even have people who think that they will become waaay more cooler if they say something funny/silly/witty on your serious post and get a few likes. Even when we are in a classroom. Saying something cheeky is almost a rule now. If you are not funny, you are not interesting.

We have all become wannabe awesome. I don't know if this post makes sense to you. I am not able to put it down properly. I hope you get what I am trying to say.

I personally find all this very disturbing. I know I know. I might also being doing it but we all know that humans don't judge themselves, that's why we have our so called friends. :)

Why would I want to be that cool witty kid? Why can't I be that quite but smart guy? Why do I have to live up to the expectation that stupid and fake people have for me? Why can't I just be myself and not have to explain myself to every tom dick harry and jane?

We are all wearing a mask. It is okay sometimes but the situation right now is going south. We don't want to remove this mask. We want to 'act' like we are awesome.

I know that as soon as we hear the word Awesome, the first person and the first quote that comes to our mind is this:

But my question to you is, why can't we just be normal? Be who we are without any regrets or reservations.

I have a t-shirt which says 'Fake Plastic People'. I wear it a lot. It's what I think the people of the world have become.

P.S. - I am not exactly sure if I have been able to put my point across to you properly. Maybe its because there are a lot of things going on in my mind right now or maybe I am just lousy at writing on such topics. :P

Anyways, do let me know what you think about it. :)

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