Back to College Days?

One of the best things about the memories of college life was the freedom to try out many things and constantly stay connected with friends, going out together, having fun talking with each other day in and day out.That kind of networking is hardly possible while working, as your mind constantly keeps chaperoning you to get back to the work table to keep peering into the 15 inch monitor to code for a living. I do still manage a trip or 2 in a year with my college mates, and just to get that extra rustic and adventurous feel of college life, I make sure we travel in 2nd class sleeper and have one unreserved leg of the journey, that makes us rewind back to the good times back then, when each of us had limited cash. Now making these trips seems slightly difficult as every body becomes busy in spurts, and can never predict the possibility of taking prior leave. Most of my college friends, are in that part of the career graph that takes off, and off course in an average Indian in the IT Industry, the Onsite trips are the manna from heaven that most slog for. The last time, I contacted the guys for a trip was in September when we wee to hit Goa during New Year. Out of the initial 18, only 6 turned up.The others were hardly even thinking of making a trip, as a few more hours and a few more days of work, was what they were betting on to make the appraissal presentation better.

I dont blame them, but it's true that the bonhomie of college relationship becomes loose as one moves on in life. I happened to chance across this picture on my friends orkut profile. I miss those simple days of engineering, when meeting each other was a priority. This picture was taken 8 months after passing out, in our first major outing after college life at Munnar.

The 12 who made it to the trip, are now in different phases of life

L.G.Ganesh- Comfortably settled at Honeywell Bangalore and waiting to get married to his classmate Bhavna. The Munnar trip was the last time, I spent hours chatting with him. Life has changed after that. Today its a rarity, if he picks up your call, and even rarer he calls back.I do speak to him, once or twice in a year, but the spontaneity of college days are gone.

B.K.Sudhir- In TCS Chicago. Worked here for 15 hours a day to go onsite and ends up working even more there. He has settled with a new Toyota Camry, and is getting used to the Chicago culture. He is the only guy, who accepts that work sucks and he is in to all this becuase of a certain economic family requirement.

Vinu Shankar- Started with a job in Goa (Indian Molasses Corporation) and found it too boring and ended up in CTS, and after a couple of projects and benchdom, is thinking of exploring the entrepreunerial route. Vinu... is one of those folks who has time for life. Vinu is more of a orthodox guy, who still has that childish way of speaking and playing the jester.

Dinesh Mallemala- After HCL and a start up, now in TCS. Just settled into a tough project. He underwent hell for the past few years and has managed to comeout unscathed.

Santosh- Initially unlucky to have not got a job within a few months but proved his mettle with EDS and is again busy most of the times. Though he says he is game for a tour, havent seen him for a tour after 2005 Munnar, though have met him during our sunday triplicane treats.

Achut- Life for him is all about playing Mottamadi cricket at Triplicane on sundays and slogging out the next 6 days at Infosys. A dedicated worker who suprisingly has changed, as he gets around organizing tours, that ultimately never happen. He is working all the more hard in Pune now, trying to go abroad for what he calls a "paid holiday".

Hari- After he made it to Verizon, a couple of months after this photo, he has hardly been seen. He complains that work sucks and life sucks, but which IT worker doesnt complain :-) ? Life is all about Java and Dot Net and I havent seen him in ages.

Prasad- Slogged hard at CTS, and got an Onsite trip for his rewards. He is slowly settling into his job at New Jersey,constantly believing that his project will stabilise and he will one day get the time to do sightseeing in the US.

Prasana Kumar- I guess, he is one of the more organised guys in the batch. He earns pretty well, and has gone on to buying a house. His hobby is to code on Sundays at office, but a pretty open guy, who has not changed much from college. I remember just calling him for a lunch, for a meet up at Egmore and the guy turned up immideately.Guy with great attitude...but just that work keeps him too busy.

Anand- The guy is one of the most lazist souls I have met. He will think twice to walk across his street, but is open to biking a 100 km's a day to code. One of the most brilliant technical guys in my batch and HCL too has invested a lot of faith in his abilities. Amidst work, Anand has managed to come for most of the outstation trips from college days and after college.

So thats about most of the guys....we hardly get time to meet. The memories of college days are like the scent of sweet aroma while travel.It doesnt last too long and my bet is that unless we guys meet up, this aroma is going to evaporate into thin air. Right now, most of us are in diferent work locations and once we are into marriage, the probable time, once can spend with friends significantly comes down.

I have probably lost one chunk of college life memories, because of certain friends who are lackadaisical, but not this time around. Now life in a college at an MBA, wil hopefully bring back sweeter memories a few years down the line and will not be evaporated, as an MBA is all about networking.

So ask yourself, when was the last time you spent TIME with close friends for a week, just as it was in college days, and not a couple of days over a close by weekend destination?


Anonymous said...

hi karthik,
forget spending time with our friends for a week!!!just try inviting them/yourself for just a cup of coffee, and see how many times it get cancelled and rescheduled... guess life just moves on, even when we attempt to relive the past, atleast for a half hour huh??
anyway, good write up...thanks to u i am going back to my melacholy mood again;))

Kartik Kannan said...

Thanks for your comments Vaidehi.

Its so true....even coffee sessions dont happen properly :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Karthik!!!

Still i cant forget those cherishing & wonderful days....

Surely, we will paln for a joint trip very shortly....It was ages since we all met....

- Santosh

Anonymous said...

hi kk, nice one da........well it did stir up the old memories!
it wud have been great if u could have penned down the tour details as well!
The thing u mentioned abt onsite "as a paid holiday" - well this part did raise ire from my OC (onsite Coordinator!)

mesmerized said...

Hey Karthik,

I just recently graduated, so im not to sure i feel lost on the college memories yet. But i do see signs of all the above mentioned happening soon, with most often that not plans being canned.

:) i liked your interview with Nautanki.... couldnt view it all blame it hopeless so called BROADband connections :P

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