Transition from adolescence to adulthood- is the best time around. Getting freed from the tyrannical rule of your parents(?) and breathing freely in the open air under the sky, feeling first time the sense of responsibility, eating first time the forbidden fruit called love- all are just the defining moments of life. It is the college life. And if the college life is spent among a sprawling campus where there is no scrutinizing eye from your guardian-then how will you feel? Just imagine feeling like a wild horse running freely in the wilderness, nobody to put any restriction on its movements. ‘How did IT go’ by Prasun Chowdhury is the story of that unbound youth!
It tells the four year story of campus life of the writer in one of the most elite educational institutes in India-the I.I.T., Kharagpur. The curtain of the story is lifted in July, 1999, our very young narrator first time witnessing this prestigious institute with keen eyes. It was like a big fair-select a partner, get a room ,try to clean it desperately seeking outsider help, listen to very attentively(!) the last minute suggestion of the parents-all very intriguing and discussed with a splash of humour. Let me share with readers something from the book-“given a choice, I would have simply left my luggage in a corner, and take things out as and when required. I would have simply left my luggage in a corner and taken things out as and when required. I finally believed in the notion that things did not have a proper place of their own; they just adjusted and made their own space in due course. Sadly, all my thoughts of enjoying my freedom collapsed, when I realized that my Dad was going to administer all the arrangements for at least the next two days.”
The pep talk by the director of the institute did pump him, but that sudden rush of adrenaline didn’t last long-unfortunately. He soon found him at bay under the combined ferocious attack of all the subjects and soon discovered himself at the bottom of the list…
Some stories from the memoir can put you in all smiles! Power cut is a common matter in the hostel and in those blackout nights-first year students were like ‘slang spouting machine’ to seniors. They never paid attention to it, which in turn increases their courage-day by day. Until one night, the senior started to hit back. They came rushing to teach the culprits a lesson. The first year heroes immediately turned cowards and the comedy thus ended in a tragedy. As like any other boys of their age, they too had a burning desire of watching blow hot movies and did they finally succeed in their pursuit?
I loved the treasure hunt episode. In a treasure hunt contests, the participating teams had to go to the trail of a treasure-from the clues given at different locations. Things running well until they found the clue-“years of pain, gone in smoke.” the team consisted of the five gang members-Percy, Vivek, Elvis, Faheem and Srini and the decided to search out the old hanger used in the second world war in the Hijli jail. In the dark barrack Faheem discovered some terrifying thing. They came rushing to inform the guards and ultimately nothing came out of it. And no clue was found from that hunt too! And ‘Elvis did found out the actual answer to’ years of pain, gone in smoke’ from the other groups, while having aloo paratha at Deepak’s the next day. it was the model of a coal gasification plant ,located in the main building outside the TOAT. These engineering students, I tell you! We should have guessed the clue had nothing to do with history or patriotism.’ the train miss episode is also funny.
But Life never stands static. This dynamism makes our lives worth living. So felt they-when admitted to the institute. But relentless pressure compelled them to drift from academics and take refuge of fun and entertainment. Will their dreams of being a successful IITian will shatter? Or will there be a turnaround?
In this absorbing work of fiction –tragedy and happiness will take equal part. It is a story how life take its own course-from despair to hope. Let me allow quoting the concluding line from the story _”all I could do was appreciate the tower with a sense of gratitude for the 4 years.”
Sometimes scribbles here and there on the paper makes a beautiful picture. written in epistolary format the diary of our young narrator tells about his wonderful journey that have shaped his destiny-in joy and in tears, in ups and in downs, in belief and in disbelief!
A picture that tells a wonderful journey called life…..
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