My Autobiography: ‘Teaching’ my Teachers!!

I want to fast-forward my life to around 2-weeks back when I got a unique opportunity to ‘teach’ (some of) my school teachers. Actually it was a short presentation showing them how to do something but still I’d like to count it as a teaching experience. I went to the same auditorium where I spent many hours playing and acting and praying and . . .  🙂

Think about this: How many of us could ever hope to get an opportunity to teach our school teachers, even if only for 15 minutes? I guess I am extremely lucky that I got one!

As you can guess, most of them didn’t even recognize me until I told them my name and that I was their student. I feel happy that a few teachers recognized me.

I can’t believe that some teachers were looking exactly like how they looked so many years back. One of them even suggested that I die my hair to look younger, but I generally like to look older 😛

Destination Infinity

PS: I have taken up a temporary part-time position as an IT Manager in my school(s), in addition to managing my online publishing business. Feels good to do something back to the institution that gave me so much, including memories 🙂

My Autobiography: WWF

WWF stands for World Wrestling Federation. It’s also loosely used to indicate the ‘sport’ in which there are practically no rules. One person can hit another person however in any style they like and many of these ‘professional wrestling artists’ had their own style!

WWF was the rage when I was studying in 6th Std. or so. We were all awed by the lack of rules in the sport and the freestyle with which one contestant hit another. It was the meanest thing we had seen yet and at that age we were easily drawn towards the ‘sport’.

I still remember a few WWF contestants who were very popular – Hit Man, The Undertaker, Lex Luger, Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, etc. We even had cards with popular WWF sportspeople and there was a cult following among my friends for many of them.

Once, I remember someone telling me that WWF fights were not real. The young adventurous me, like many others of my age, KNEW they were for REAL. We just did not want it to be otherwise.

Whether they were for real or not, we had SUPER FUN watching the matches (fights). I remember watching a fight where 40 or so contestants were inside a single ring and people were hitting anyone and everyone around them. What a match that was!

Like our reality shows and mega serials nowadays, there was no shortage of theatricals. We liked all that back then.

But with age, like how I grew out of fantasy, I also grew out of WWF. Reality makes life a tad more uninteresting, don’t you agree 😛

Destination Infinity

PS: I remember WWF being called as WWE after a few years. Anyone knows what it’s called now or if this ‘sport’ even exists today?

PS-2: I just discovered a ‘wrestling’ video from Youtube. It’s super fun even now. Have a dekho 🙂

 

My Autobiography: When Life took a U-Turn in XI Std.

This is a difficult post for me to write. That’s because, my life took a U-Turn from the glories of Xth Std where I had finished second in my class and fourth in my school. In 6-8 months, I found my rank slip to 25+ in XIth Std., and even worse in XIIth Std.

I always took academics seriously and my results reflected that. One thing changed in XI – I shifted from CBSE to the *dreadful* Matric system where one had to memorize even Maths problems (Millions are forced to do just that in India).

I hated this new syllabus and this new board. When I hate something, I hate it with all my heart. I was sitting before books in the evenings, but was not able to study. I mean memorize. Maths, from being my favorite subject became my worst nightmare. Not that other subjects were faring any better. Computer Science was an exception though.

The more I tried to study, the more I ended up not studying. For someone who has always been focused on academics, this was a disaster.

I even remember when my Maths teacher from CBSE met my Maths teacher from Matric and I happened to pass by. The CBSE teacher said how good I was in Maths, and the Matric teacher was wondering why because I was (by then) put in a special coaching for slow learners!

My situation became that bad in such a short time. The worst thing was, I was helpless. The final results in XIIth were fine actually, but it was nowhere close to what I aimed and I did not get an admission into BITS Pilani – the primary reason why I shifted to Matric from CBSE.

***

In hindsight, I think, these difficult periods are very important in life. Nature has its own way of teaching life lessons and I learned a very important lesson: Academics is not the only thing in life!

This bad academic performance continued throughout the rest of my academic career. That meant only one thing – I couldn’t take up a traditional ‘techie’ career that most of my friends got into.

Thank God I didn’t.

That’s why the difficulties I went through this period were so important. They forced me to see that there is life beyond academics.

These difficult times were the foundation for all the risks that I would take later on.

Because, by then, I was used to failing. And I was no longer afraid of it.

Destination Infinity

My Autobiography: My College Friend

Me and my college batchmate!

College friendships are always special. We can easily remember our college friends over a long time, without much of an effort. The above photo was taken 4-5 months back, but our friendship goes back to seventeen long years – all the way back to 1999 when I joined college.

This friend, Prasad, sat one bench behind me almost throughout the four years we studied Engineering. There was one more factor that quickly brought us close – along with another friend called Praveen, the three of us were batchmates during most of the Practical classes in those *wretched* electronics labs.

This guy – Prasad (now working as a scientist in Finland) was the nerd among the three of us. That meant he used to complete the lab sessions, he used to write the observation notes, and he used to write the record books. The remaining two of us will just copy from him! It’s important that every batch has one nerd, I tell you 🙂

Frankly, I was also a nerd until my Xth Standard. After that, somehow, I lost my touch and became an average academician, if I can use that word 😛 Prasad was also not a topper, but he knew what he was studying and what he was doing in the lab.

He had a good practical knowledge of the subject and he was generous about sharing his knowledge and notes. There are a very few people who teach others what they know. Prasad was one such guy whom anyone could approach even if they were not his close friend.

There was another common thread between us – similarities in our tastes in music. Prasad introduced me to some wonderful songs and he has a great taste in music. In fact, I still listen to a few songs that were referred by him all those years back!

He had a computer back then and I had only a Music CD Player. That meant I went to his house for recording most of my Music CDs. I still remember a few (musical) discussions we had during those days. Even now, when I listen to a few songs introduced to me by him, I can visualize our discussion on a particular song all those years back!

His father was an electronics engineer too, and I remember how I tensed both of them by asking silly and stupid questions about basic electronic concepts that I never managed to grasp. My friend used to plead with me not to talk about technical concepts when his father was around, but I wouldn’t listen. I used to continue, mostly to embarrass him 😛

Once, when our fourth semester was going on, our third semester results had been announced. Since Prasad had a computer with Internet, he checked all our results. I approached him nervously and just raised an eyebrow. He nodded in affirmation.

That meant ALL SUBJECTS CLEARED. I still remember the celebration that followed 🙂

I am glad that I am in touch with a few good friends even now, and that includes him also. I hope our friendship will continue in spite of the boundaries that separate us now 🙂

BTW, Zee TV has come up with a talk show called Yaaron Ki Baraat that celebrates friendships amongst Bollywood stars. This show will be telecast every weekend for 10 weeks, starting from Oct. 8, 9 (this Sat & Sun), at 8 P.M. Don’t forget to catch the first episode featuring Amitabh Bachchan & Shatrughan Sinha. 

Destination Infinity

Do share any college friend tales you might have, in the comments section.

My Autobiography: My Bad Luck in Sports Continues in Xth too…

Nca

I have written earlier about how my dream of wearing a purple jersey and representing my school for inter-school sports event was tarnished during my 6th Std. Now, I will write how another dream of mine — someone hanging a medal around my neck for winning a sports event was tarnished during my 10th Std.

I have received medals, as early as 3rd Std., but those were for cultural activities. Inspired by Olympic prize distribution ceremony, I wanted a medal for sports. When I won the 2nd prize for long jump during 6th Std. the school officials gave cups, not medals! Continue reading “My Autobiography: My Bad Luck in Sports Continues in Xth too…”

My Autobiography: When we believed in Hoaxes!

I remember two instances during my childhood when people in my area believed in religious hoaxes and they got spread quickly.

One was Lord Ganesha drinking milk. I returned from school one day to find everyone in my apartments talking about Lord Ganesha drinking milk. Believing it, I too went to the nearby Vinayagar Temple (along with my friends) to check it out.  Continue reading “My Autobiography: When we believed in Hoaxes!”

My Autobiography: My Most Memorable Day #together

As far as I remember, the day I got my Tenth Standard board exam results has been the most memorable day in my life, until now. Not that I value it as much as I remember it in the frenzy of those youthful days, but if I have to pick one memorable day in my life it will be that day.

In most middle class families, especially in Chennai, there is no achievement bigger than academic achievement. At that age, although it feels strange now, I too believed in that *all encompassing* mantra – Academic Excellence. Continue reading “My Autobiography: My Most Memorable Day #together”

My Autobiography: A Risk Worth Taking!

Exams!!

Photo by Anto475 (Own work) [CC BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

I didn’t have a special connection or passion for English (subject) until my ninth standard. Until then, I treated it as one more subject to memorize and score marks.

But in 9th Standard, two things happened: NCERT (CBSE)  changed the English syllabus and evaluation in a good way where we didn’t have to memorize anything anymore, and I started reading Enid Blyton books. (Yes I know that was late, but better late than never!). Continue reading “My Autobiography: A Risk Worth Taking!”