Sunday, October 18, 2009

This post would be called Fear.

Yes, fear because I was afraid of the persons who had taken up the same course as me. I picked up when there were 5 seats remaining. Which means that there were nearly 30 people who had far superior cut-off to me and they should be more intelligent than me. So I should work really hard to compete with them.

I had never been industrious in my life except for my eleventh standard and brief period in twelfth standard.

Till tenth, I had never understood the Chemistry equations. What the principle was? Thanks to Chemistry teachers - Suresh Sir, Sekar Sir and Chandra Sekar Sir (It might be odd for you to refer so many persons as sir, but this is how I call them. Habits are hard to die!). I clearly understood the fundamentals of Chemistry in my eleventh and twelfth! Only when the fundamentals are strong, it serves the purpose of being industrious!

Well, there was a bit of selfishness from my side too. I learnt chemistry well because it could come handy for bio-chemistry in first-year if I pick medicine. But learning Chemistry was off no use except that it helped me fetch a seat in Computer Science and Engineering in Kumaraguru College of Technology.

Ok coming back to fear, I enquired to my family members and relatives on what College was about. They said that, I had to learn everything in advance and during lecture hours should get the essence of what the professor or lecturer teaches and get clarity by posing queries.

So, I planned to study the subjects in advance. I studied few chapters from a subject called Electronic Devices and Circuits because I already had that book borrowed from my uncle. My best friend Raj Kamal had joined Kumaraguru College too. He took up Mechatronics course. Since he joined under Management quota he had 3 weeks of bridge course. I enquired him what was taught and how the college was. He was giving positive reviews about the college. I was happy on picking the college.

My First day in College

It was August 31 2006, a Thursday. In the morning there was a meeting for the parents which I attended with my mother and grandfather. A person named Kavidasan gave a wonderful speech.
He told that, days when the proverb applied “Slow and steady wins the race” were bygone and gave a new proverb “Fast and perfect wins the race!” My mother and grandfather left the college after the lunch which was provided by college.

A new life was about to begin.

I was surprised by the fact that, all First years will be in a separate block called Science and Humanities and I Shall enter computer science department only in my second year. I entered the science and humanities block. I quickly skimmed through the notice board. I saw that my Physics teacher was my Class Advisor and his name was Sengodan. I had never heard that name in my life before. There was a teacher in my school called Senram, which was the closest name I could remember.

When I entered the class, the first person I met was a guy called Suresh.

In our lives we don’t like few persons from the first sight. This guy Suresh was one such person. I didn’t like him from the moment I saw him. He introduced to me another guy called Johnson. You know what? I had never been a first bencher in my entire school life, probably due to my height and my talkative nature. Staffs would not prefer to have me in the first bench during school. I was a standing a example to what people call “Chatter Box”. But I planned to take the first bench in College.

And there was a guy called Vanavan who came to the first bench because all other benches were pre-occupied. One major question which all staffs asked during the first class of theirs was, “how many of you are from biology major and how many of you are from computer science major?” My heart would start beating a little faster whenever I see the huge crowd of computer science students (they had computer science as their major in twelfth). I was afraid of them. I feared that they knew the programming languages like C, Java, Visual Basic, HTML etc., which I had seen my school mates studying. I knew nothing!

My dad arranged a person named Kamalakannan he was the nephew of my dad’s colleague.
He taught me looping, arrays and pointers. More than what he taught, I must thank him for introducing me to Yashwant Kanetkar’s book titled ‘LET US C’. I already had a book called ‘Projects Using C’ written by PVN. Varalakshmi. I read ‘LET US C’ like a story book. Tried out few programs and compared my logic with the one in Varalakshmi book. This was how I spent my first two weeks in College. Computer Programming was a paper for me in the first year. It was taught by Prof. Devaki. She was initially teaching the basic computer terms, generation of computers and such theories. Other staffs had entered into the syllabus as well.

I had eight theory subjects:

1. Computer Programming
2. Engineering Physics
3. Engineering Chemistry
4. Engineering Maths
5. Engineering Drawing
6. Electronic Devices and Circuits
7. Electrical Engineering
8. Technical English

Couple of practical subjects

1. Basic Engineering Lab
2. Physics & Chemistry Lab

I had two more labs viz., Electronic Devices and Circuits Lab and Computer Programming lab. But there were no exams for that lab!

Couple of weeks passed. As I hated Suresh at the first look, I liked Shiva Guru at the first look. Since, I was travelling to College by bus, I made few friends in the bus. Shiva Guru, Sriram Ayyapan, Arshad and Prahadeesh.

I used to go to Mechatronics class for lunch with Raj Kamal. So I was not maintaining a great rapport with the day scholars of my class. In fact, my term with both day scholars and hostellers was very bad mainly because of Electronic Devices and Circuits class. Since I had already prepared for that class, I would be able to follow what Sasikala Ma’am teaches. But none in the class except me and Johnson would follow that class completely. Johnson and Vanavan were my only pals in the class. In my Electronic Devices and Circuits Lab, my batchmates were Dinesh and Divya. Though they were not as close as calling pals, atleast they did not stare at me as the other classmates. Raj Kamal introduced to me a guy called Arun who was Raj Kamal’s entrance classmate. When that introduction took place, a guy passed a scorning look at me. I acknowledged it with another scornful look. I later learnt that his name was Karthikeyan.

So far I had spoken to only 5 to 6 odd persons in class. By now, I had known every person in the class by name mainly because of the attendance that is taken once every hour in college. In my school it was one-time attendance in morning and one-time in noon. Every hour attendance was pretty strange for me and it took some time to get used to it.

One day, there was an ellipse drawing exercise in engineering drawing class. I had completed that drawing. During break couple of girls, introduced themselves as Priyadarshini and Ramapriya and asked few doubts on drawing the ellipse. I had been wondering, whenever any person spoke to me, either Johnson or Suresh, it was for asking doubts to me. There was no discussion on movies or Harry Potter or any other book to which I was used to in school.

During bus travel, I used to read some book. So my bus mates that thought I was a nerd :-(. A misconception, most people tend to get when they see me.

The same day, after lunch there was a computer programming class. Devaki Ma’am asked a question on a simple assembly language program. My brain was working slowly; listening to a computer programming class after lunch was daunting task. Arun answered it, before I could get hold of what the question was. I was surprised, but fear factor was more than the surprise factor. There were people in the class who had better knowledge in computer than me.

And a week passed. Devaki Ma’am sent us an alternate in the form of Mr. Sivan Arul Selvan (he looked a perfect person to be cast as Uncle Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter), who did not teach us anything but questioned us on the computer configuration. Karthikeyan was called on to the stage and questioned on that. He said, he had a computer at home but did not know about configuration since he was a biology student.

There is a scene in Tamil film Vaali where the younger brother Shiva explains that his brother Deva is a deaf and mute person. But he hides that he is a dumb person by chewing a bubble gum. And since he can lip-read, nobody would detect that he his disabled.

Same applies to me as well. I was never proud of calling myself as a biology student in my class. Now that I have picked computer science, I like to address myself as a computer science student. I felt bad whenever biology was used as an escape route just as few Tamil medium students take that as an escape route in English classes.

I admired Sivan sir for the lively way in which he took the class. And two more weeks passed away, Internal exams were about to begin. Now I was feared of performing well in the exams.

Fear of losing makes you win. Fear of winning makes you lose! This was the lesson I learnt during this phase of college life!

Journey will continue...


Karthikeyan said...

We both were introduced long back, guess second or third day of the college, not as u have mentioned here .. may be u didnt notice me then ..

When sivan sir asked i said i was a biology student, but i m a computer science student nu sollave ille ...

Deepak said...

no da, I dint get to know you ppl properly till raj kamal introduced!

Karthikeyan said...

machi intha gap le thaan .. class pooja happened .. we missed it ..