“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones” : William Shakespeare.
A fictional piece intended to raise raw emotions in a mob inclined on forgetting the treachery enacted in the corridors of power of Rome. Like everything written by Shakespeare, you can interpret these exhibits of superhuman wizardry over words to suit you needs. I too indulged in the same. There are moments in our life that make us inexplicably happy, makes us want to scream in joy loud enough to snap our vocal chords so that those joyous screams get mortalized as the last sound vibe emanating from out mundane existence.
As i enact those moments in my conscious and sub conscious minds, i cannot fail to appreciate the single thread that binds those moments together is the element of surprise. There is no such thing as a pleasant surprise.
The earliest such surprise that my Alzheimer free brain can think of dates back to the early nineties- 1994 to be precise- I was in class three. Had not achieved much till then. was a mediocre at school who somehow managed to get a double promotion. Was the opposite of being an athlete. My only claim to fame probably was that I was the cutest person in the co-ed school. We had a 10 minutes break after two classes. My cheeks used to ache after that. In fact one of my teacher remarked that i am only fair guy in my class much to the displeasure of a few of my classmates. So coming to the pleasant surprise. I was asked by one of our neighbours to go and watch a quiz competition. The quiz was open to students up to class 8. So, I went. I thing led to another and I found myself participating in a team with another guy from class five. The quiz was a written one. So, the results were not declared immediately. Guess what we were third by getting five out of 30 questions right :D. The winner had around 20 questions right. But boy my joy knew no bounds !!!That certificate remains the most wrinkled piece of paper I still treasure. I got many a certificates after that but that one remains special.
Next surprise fast forwards my life to 2002. I was in Assam then- upper Assam. I just heard of IIT a year back and wanted to get in. But nobody I knew any of the interiors of any of the IITs. I had a row with my best friend that year. So, had spent the better part of the year trying to find out how to get into IIT. For a reality check, I though I should give NTSE exam. I was a student of the state board and the scholastic part of the NTSE was from CBSE board. And like JEE, nobody I knew had cleared NTSE. Anyways I gave the exam. I had no faith in the way our answer scripts were going to be corrected in class 10th boards. This lack of faith was vindicated when my entire school was awarded 66 in English. I gave NTSE so that I can back my claim that my state board sux in evaluation. On the day I was leaving for Delhi to apply for schools, I read the paper. The paper had my name. I was fourth in the state. prelim of NTSE So, I left for Delhi armed with evidence that my state board sux. Moreover, our state had a reputation for declaring results late rather late.
My life in kgp revolved around extra acads- kshitj, tech gc ,placement committee work and alumni cell- necessarily in that order :D. When I joined kshitj or ktj as we affectionately call it. It was not so big as it is today. I was primarily involved in events in Ktj but the biggest surprise came in spons. Me and chuha went to Delhi for our DP trip. DP as in Durga Puja– this trip is the time when we go out with a begging bowl to organize the fest that has become a phenomenon now. The year before the entire member team had collected around 20 k. Not even a single penny came from Delhi. Me and chuha were given target of 20 k from Delhi. By that time our entire member team had collected 2k from one months worth of calling. With modest hopes, I landed in Delhi and within an hr of my reaching Delhi, i started cannibalizing SF(:D)- the cult fest our bigger brother back then. By afternoon I had 8 k. Chuha had arrived by then, we then decided to meet one alum who was not so inclined on giving us money. I don’t know what struck me but i started talking to him about an ad. Chuha was getting frustrated by my side thinking we lost the money – why will someone sponsor us after hearing the nonsense i was blubbering. But I was in the midst of a Midas touch then and he backed me adding a few more nonsensical sentences.When I had finished, we got a cheque of 15 k. We had achieved our trips target in one day. We somehow held our nerves for a few moments and once beyond the visible range of Mr. Subhash Kalia – we indulged in mad celebrations. We got many more sponsorship deals – probably bigger in volume but first time surprise tastes sweet.