Before the finer details of my journeys start bidding farewell to my memory, I presumed it would rather be a better option to pen them down. So, sorry to keep you all waiting, yes, that was a joke! And maybe I get enlightened to write in the months starting with either A or J, another August.
I was beginning to really like the place, my room, new friends and the lush green campus. In addition to practicals and tutorials, classes continued to remain a mystery. I wondered how things can be so perfectly ok, they never were. One fine afternoon after I returned from my engineering drawing lab, it began raining outside, may be it was intuition, but when I went outside hearing the some noises, the results of the next round of seat allocation were out, I was allotted NIT Patna. There was a storm inside me and outside me. I really cursed myself but I had no other option. I had five days to report. I was undergoing an emotional churning. I had to take a bus till Guwahati and then train to Patna. First two days passed by finishing the formalities at Silchar, the certificates and stuff. None of my friends had been allotted Patna, so, I had to travel alone this time. Bus was at 5 p.m. and due to many reasons I started from college well after 4 p.m. The depot was quite far away and I reached there around 5:15, sure that I had missed the bus. Running inside with my suitcases and bag, remember, trollies weren’t so famous at that time, stumbling quite a few times, I found that the bus was about to leave. The conductor let me in, I think he cursed me a thing or two for having made everyone wait, but I was in no condition to hear! The journey to Guwahati would almost take 12 hours and the route was through the hills, the worst possible combination for me. The smoke, zig- zag roads all make me throw up, mountain sickness. The journey started, I didn’t eat anything knowing that it would make me even sicker. It was quite a horrible experience, though I didn’t throw up, the sensations were killing me. A Korean movie was being played in the bus. I can say that the story was about some elephants from the few times I looked at the screen!! The road was not much wide, may be enough to accommodate two vehicles travelling in opposite directions. The driver was negotiating the blind turns with very high speed and the vehicles were travelling in the opposite direction with an equally high speed. I was freaking out inside. Around 4 a.m. I woke up feeling cold, the bus had reached Shillong. It was a bit foggy around. And finally at around 6 in the morning we reached Guwahati. The experience was such that, I have never suffered from mountain sickness till date!!
I headed straight to Guwahati Railway Station, and dosed off for an hour or two in the waiting room. While I was washing my face, I remember a gentleman, asking me not so gently what the use of doing engineering was. He asked me to tell an idea which would make one rich without studying so much. I told him that if would have discontinued my studies if I knew such a way and rushed away from there, strange people! I boarded the Brahmaputra Mail; policemen came and checked the identity cards of people. After some time the train started and it crossed the Brahmaputra, the river was raging and full to the brim. And so I leaned back and let thoughts engulf me, far too many things were happening. On the way, I remember a village, small huts, I assumed that it too was some backward place, and then I spotted a DTH dish on top of one of the huts. I realised that I was not in sync with reality! The train reached Patna the next afternoon. I had been to Patna once when in school, but I faintly remember anything.
With the few bucks I was carrying I took a room in nearby lodge, it was really bad. There was a small black and white set and even Doordarshan was not clear. I went to the college the next morning, Patna seemed quite ok till some distance. But then I had to take another auto to reach college. Generally colleges are situated far away from the city, so I was expecting the same but the place was getting denser with population as I went along. I was still hoping for the best, at least the college would be grand. I was just looking around from the auto for some huge gate or something. The auto guy stopped and asked me where I had to go, I told him and he said that we had passed the college before 10 minutes. My heart missed a beat or two. I got down and walked back, still hopeful that my eyes had tricked me and college would be grand. Then along the way, there was a lane and there was a board that showed the way to college. I walked past hostels and there was the gate, completely opposite of what I had expected. There was building of colonial architecture and the college extended almost 300 meters to the left and right from where I stood, and that was all. I was dumb fold! I had to pay my fee; I went to a bank to draw cash as I didn’t have an ATM card. I gave him a cheque. But the bank official told me that he couldn’t pay me the amount because my account was restricted, it was a new account. I almost cried because it was the last day to report and hardly 3 hours were remaining. I called dad and then he talked to the branch manager and they did something and I got the amount at around 4 p.m., unfortunately it started raining cats and dogs outside. Totally wet, evading knee deep water, saving the money from getting wet, I reached college and finally paid my fee at around 4:30, the last person to report. The person told me that if I had been late by even half an hour, I would have lost the seat! And I spent four years in Patna; let me keep that part for some other time.
I think it’s a good way to end. Hope you didn’t feel bored. June 2010 to August 2013, 3 years, 6 parts and it ends here. Thank you all for reading, do leave a comment on this final part or for all the parts together. So long till next time………