True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget…

“True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

—Amanda Kunkle

The watchman opened the gate. I drove my car into the garage. While pressing the door bell, I saw my daughter was playing in the lawn with her friend. I smiled and walked into the home.

Rubina – Rohit! today is Sonia’s birthday. We are invited to attend her birthday party. Have you remembered or not?

Rohit – Yes, I remember.

Rubina – How can you be so much irresponsible! I have told you to come early. We had to go to the market to buy a birthday gift for her.

Rohit – Rubina, you know the work pressure! It was a last moment meeting.

Rubina – You always have such type of excuses. Anyways, get fresh quickly. We have to go to the market for her gift.

Rohit – Rubina, can you manage today’s party by yourself. I have to go somewhere.

Rubina – Are you mad or what. We are already late for the gift and you are saying you are not going to the party and going somewhere else. May I know where you are going?

Rohit – Nehru Park

Rubina – And to meet whom?

Rohit – Gaurav

Rubina snatched the car key from my hand and left the home. I called up the maid to look after my daughter. After the maid reached home, I started walking towards Nehru Park.

I was watching TV on that day. My mobile screen flashed with an unknown number. I picked up the call.

Rohit – Hello, Rohit speaking.

Gaurav – Hey Rohit, Gaurav here. Friend from NIT Rourkela.

Rohit – Hey Gaurav how are you? After a long time man!

Gaurav – I am fine. How are you?

Rohit – I am also fine. How is your mission going on?

Gaurav – Going good. I am coming to Delhi to discuss with an NGO on this regards.

Rohit – Great man. When are you coming? Surely meet me.

Gaurav – Date not decided yet. I would let you know.

That white WagonR horned me. My thought process broke. I stepped onto the footpath. With my moving foot steps towards Nehru Park, I looked behind. A college bus crossed me with high speed.

You may like to read Happy Teacher’s Day & Start A New Life – Every Minute

Why these college buses run so fast! Don’t they know the speed limit within the NIT premises? I looked towards Gaurav, smiled and told, now we have to walk fast otherwise Mahapatra Sir would not allow us to enter the class.

It was the fourth year. Campus placement was approaching. Everyone was busy preparing for interviews. Myself and Gaurav were roommates. We were also in the same race, spending many sleepless nights solving Shakuntala and R. S. Agarwal. I was an 8 pointer and was pretty sure about cracking an interview among the first five companies. Gaurav was a 6 pointer. He was scared that whether any company would allow him to sit in the placement. But he was trying his best. In reality, he was needing a job very badly to support the financial condition of his family.

I got through the third company visited our campus. But Gaurav was not getting a chance to sit in any interview process. Days were passing by and the chance of getting a job was getting dimmed for Gaurav. Towards the end of the session, our placement officer declared that a company would come which would allow everyone to appear for the interview and the people who are already place would not be allowed to sit for the same.

That night, Gaurav was not able to arrange a tie for the interview on the next day. I have given my tie to a friend staying outside the campus. I told him, you go through the probable questions, I would get the tie for you within an hour. I went to my friend’s home, to whom I have given the tie. He told me, he would drop me in the hostel. He was riding the bike, I was sitting behind him. Suddenly a car flashed his head light and our bike hit the divider.

I fractured my hand and got a neck injury. My friend was lying on the next bed in the hospital with a broken leg. Gaurav had to spend the whole night sitting near me. Next day I woke up around 10 am in the morning. I saw Gaurav was sitting next to my bed. I saw the time in the wall clock. I shouted at him “What are you doing here?”. You had your written at 9 am. He smiled and said, “This is not the only company in the world, but my only friend is lying on the hospital bed. You don’t worry, I would get into a better company”. I was speech less. At the same time I was feeling guilty and grateful.

Till the end of our engineering degree, no other company visited our campus who allowed the 6 pointers to sit in the interview process. Gaurav struggled for 2 more years appearing in different interviews and finally he got through ISRO.

Last to last year I came to know his parents expired. He did not get married and he left the job from ISRO. He has been teaching the unprivileged school kids for the last 3 years.

I reached near the gate of Nehru Park. Gaurav was waiting for me. I hugged him. We sat for two hours in the park, and re-winded all the beautiful memories of the college days. Then we walked out of the park and stepped towards the nearest metro station. I heard a car horn from behind. We looked back. She opened the door and told with a smile “Gauravji, Dinner is ready and waiting for you in home”.

I smiled and introduced Gaurav with Rubina…

This post is written to remind everyone that: Take out little free time, Sit alone, Think about your old best FRIEND, Dial his phone number and Talk with him/her to recall all those precious moments spent together.

That Journey Actually Worth a lot to ME

It was Holi vacation time. I had a well planned week long holidays ahead. I had booked my air ticket well before 3 months of the journey date. I checked the Flight Schedule. The scheduled departure time of my flight was 7:00 pm in the evening. It was a packed day in office. I had to finish up every thing quickly. After everything done in office, I took the half day leave and rushed back to home for my luggage. By the time I started from home It was 4:45 pm in the evening and I had to reach the Airport by 6:00 pm anyhow, as the last check-in time was 6:15 pm.

Delhi evening traffic that to before vacation, made my journey to the Airport worse than hell. Cab was running slow, I was getting impatient but my watch was running very fast. I lost all the hope of catching the flight when my wrist watch indicated 6:00 pm. The cab driver was putting his best to reach the airport as soon as possible. At exact 6:10 pm we finally reached the destination. I jumped out of the cab and started running towards the entrance gate.

I noticed the display board showing the flight departure schedule.

Indigo 6E-341: Delhi to Bhubaneswar: Delayed 3 hours”

I cross checked it thrice. Then sat down on a chair. The reason of delay was “unavailability of runway because of increased number of flights due to Holi vacation”. I was almost breathless to catch the flight and the flight is 3 hours late. Why don’t these idiot airlines inform the same well before time? I cross checked my mobile. Found an unseen message. The delay message was received just before 30 minutes. I wish it would have been received 2 hours before!

You might like to read Honesty… Ought To Be… Even If Not Demanded!!!

I took my boarding pass and completed the security check in. The whole airport was busy, I was getting bored and my watch was running very slow. I took out my laptop and started watching a movie. Could not watch it for more than an hour, so shut it down. Ordered a burger and had my snacks. It was around 8:00 pm, I found someone known sitting at the other end of the waiting hall. I surprisingly rushed to him.

Pranay was working as an cafe boy in our office canteen. I did not know much about him other than “he was from my state” and “he had a dream to be an actor”. He had completed the weekend theater class from Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, Delhi and trying to give a chance to his acting career.

Me – Pranay!

Pranay – Sir! Good evening!

Me – Very good evening. Are you going to home?

Pranay – No sir, I am going to Cuttack.

Me – Any relative in Cuttack?

Pranay – No, going to the Cuttack medical. My mother is admitted there. She faced an accident today. Condition is critical. One of my friend booked the flight ticket for me. I rushed to the airport. My bad luck, flight is late.

I was shocked by the news. Pranay was very calm and quite.

Me – Which flight?

Pranay – The Air India one, which was about to depart at 6:30 pm but now it would depart at 9:30 pm.

I ordered 2 Coke and sat near to him. 10 minutes of silence.

Me – What about your acting life?

Pranay – Nothing much. Got a waiter role in one of the serial recently (2 minutes appearance). 2 more small roles, one for 3 minutes and another 1 minute along with this waiter role in the whole last year. 3 minutes role was for a theater act.

Me – How do you manage all these?

Pranay – Day time office canteen and evening time searching for an acting role here and there. There is a crunch of money but by god grace every thing getting managed.

Me – How many times have you approached different directors?

Pranay – I have not remembered. But must be more than 100 times in last 2 years. At least 4 to 5 times to each one whom I know.

Me – Do you feel like there is any chance!

Pranay – Why not sir. This is the beginning only. Till the time I would not get a break, I would try.

You may like to read Together – A Different Experience

Me – How can you believe so strongly?

Pranay – Sir! Nothing is impossible if you would keep on trying. Result may come late but it would come definitely. I approached a director 5 times in last one week. As a result, tonight I had an audition for a supporting actor in a short movie. The role would be for around 12 minutes. This could have been a nice break through for me. But my bad luck!

Me -Would they wait for you.

Pranay – No

Me – You are losing the chance of your first break through. You have been trying for last 2 years. And when the opportunity was knocking your door, you are forced to lose that. How the god can be so rude with someone!

Pranay – Sir, It’s learning of life. It makes me stronger to face more difficulties in life. You would see a day would come when i would live my dream.

Me – What would you do after coming back?

Pranay – I would keep trying!

“It’s the last call for the Air India flight AI-473 from Delhi to Bhubaneswar”

Pranay was walking away, leaving behind a lot of fundamentals of life. I was lifting my luggage to move towards the gate number 16.

I reached Bhubaneswar at 11:50 pm. Bhai asked me “how was the journey”?

I looked at him, smiled and told “This Journey Actually Worth a lot to ME”…

It was a Sunday…

It was a Sunday…

I just reached near the gate.

Guard stopped me. I showed him an appointment letter. He allowed me to get into the campus. Poor guy! Could not notice the appointment was for Monday.

Actually he was not poor, rather I was. I was feeling lonely and nostalgic. No one is here. All are busy in their life, even I am also. But on that Sunday I was lonely.

I called him. He came to me. We started climbing the stairs.

He told me ” Sir, let’s use the lift.”
I smiled and said “No”

He opened the lock of the door to the roof. I went to the edge of the roof. Looked towards “Sachin”. He smiled and asked “What happened”.

It was a Sunday...

I told to Sachin, we are standing at the edge of the roof of 6th floor of hostel building. Look around…

“Those days are gone. My Engineering days are gone. Look to that Lecture building, where we were bunking classes everyday. The play ground still reminds me the evening cricket matches. The canteen has still the broken windows. The garden smells exactly same as it was before twelve years. Director’s building has the same lush greenery. The library building, the lab buildings, the tennis court, the cafeteria, the rock garden… nothing has changed man. Everything looks same as my engineering days.”

“But something has changed.”
Sachin looked towards me to know what is that “Something”.

“People has changed Sachin. Can’t find much known faces. My friends are not here. Those happy days are no where. Bunking classes, Sitting in Rock garden, Late night movies, Group study, Fest activities… everything lost… Everyone is very busy in their life… Even I am… Today I am lonely… Tomorrow someone else would be… But the old togetherness would be in the dreams of past memories only…”

It started raining. Sachin ran to the staircase. I was still standing with the memories…

 #‎CollegeDays‬, ‪#‎OldMemories‬, ‪#‎EngineeringDaysNeverComeBack‬, ‪#‎OldFriends‬

Start A New Life – Every Minute

Those days we were having many visits to different historical monuments in India. We had to prepare a report on “Historical Monuments of India, Today and Tomorrow“. This was the part of our thesis work in our Master degree in History specialization.

I and Rohan were enjoying this part of our thesis work a lot. The excitement within us was always up. For the first time I was having fun with my work. Traveling taught us a lot and at the same time left us with many precious experiences. Beauty of Taj Mahal, Art of Konark Temple, Royalty of Hawa Mahal, Culture of Khajuraho Temple and many more left both of us speechless. Gradually we were discovering the rich culture of India in its historical statues.

We won the best university thesis for that year. We were graduated but decided not to stop traveling. Many famous as well as unnoticeable monuments were waiting to welcome us. Gradually motor vehicles became our home and historical places became our destiny. Visiting to a new place was always like “Starting a New Life“.

I and Rohan joined Ph.D in History to add value to our visits. We have seen many colors of India together. Rohan was a master in analyzing historical problems. It was a fun to observe his analytic discoveries. If Rohan was not there, then probably I would not be a traveler.

I was on a vacation for few days. On that afternoon I received a call from Rohan:

Rohan: I met an accident two days back. Can you come back tomorrow?

I: Is there anything serious? Are you alright?

Rohan: Nothing major.

I: OK. I will reach by tomorrow evening.

The next day I reached the hospital where Rohan was admitted. I could not believe that Rohan was no more able to walk. Both of his legs were fractured. And the doctor had told that he would spend rest of his life on wheel chair.  I could not understand how to handle the situation. Rohan was silent and I too.

He was shifted to his home town so that his parents could take care of him. I continued my Ph.D and more importantly my travel but Rohan could not. 

I traveled and traveled without Rohan. Many parts of India and the world got captured in my camera and got described in my diary. Though I never found a company like Rohan but managed to make friends in many of my tours to avoid the loneliness.

Occasionally I look back and ask to God, “Why did he do this with Rohan?“. We together had a dream to visit every corner of the world. Why God left me without company and Rohan without legs?

After 5 years of my lonely travel life, I decided to meet Rohan.

I entered Rohan’s living room. It was a mini library. I was looking around the room.

Rohan: How is your life going on?

I: Good but lonely.

Rohan: You never came to meet me in last five years. It was painful.

I: I am very sorry, but could not collect the courage to face you… Anyways, Have you read all these books?

Rohan: Not all but most of them.

I: So, you have started a new life then “From a traveler to a reader”

Rohan: For me, “Starting of New Life” is a repeating incidence. When I read a new book, it happens; when I change my clothes in the morning, it happens; when I dream, it happens; when I try to stand by myself, it happens… Actually I fell in love with Starting a New Life everyday and every moment. It encourages me to continue my life…

I have already published this experience story @ digitravellers. As igniteengineers is a sister blog site of digitravellers, I thought of republishing the story at this platform with a belief that it would inspire the youth…

Together – A Different Experience

Those days I was working as a faculty in an engineering college in Odisha. I was preparing for my Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) along with my lectureship job. Exam preparation along with being in a job was really a tough task but I strongly decided to do so. I was very much determined not to take financial help from my parents during my preparation period. This was encouraging me to study hard and also being in a teaching job was helping me to be in touch with my subjects.

But it’s true that always the plan and the reality may not run parallely. The institute where I was teaching was established in the same year and it was facing serious financial breakdown. To my bad luck, the owner of the college was in real estate profession. His prime intention in starting the college was to make money and not to bother about quality education.

This post is the sequel of DARE to live your DREAM. This story tells how I struggled after my WIPRO days.

At the starting of the academic year, the owner forcefully involved us in marketing job. We had to move to different corners of the state to convince students to take admission in the college. I was not happy with all those but as a part of the institute I was playing my role also.

Once the admission was over, the classes started. But the management was not paying our salary. For two months they kept on saying us that “Let the admission finish, then we would pay you”, but they did not. After several conflicts between the management and the faculty members they released our salary. But this was the situation in all upcoming months. I was very much disturbed and was not able to concentrate on my study.

Before my GATE exam I asked for 20 days leave, which they denied to approve. And this was the case when I had not received my two months salary. I had to take the leave without permission. I prepared hard for those twenty days but that was not enough probably. I qualified the exam but not with a good score. The result was that none of the IIT and NIT were calling me for interview.

Gradually the conflict with the management increased and I had to leave the organization in an informal way. Unluckily I was facing some health issues during that period. I was very frustrated internally. It was like I had no job, not in a good health condition and no clear future goal. Only the clear thing was, I knew I would not get admission in any good university for that year and I would have to find a new job to survive the next year.

I did not know with whom I would share my problems. The instability inside me left me with few sleepless nights. In one fine evening I decided to go to nearby temple to relax my stress. I reached the Jagannatha temple at the time of Evening Arati. I sat on the floor of the temple and closed my eyes. Then I started sharing my problems such that Lord Jagannatha would solve all those. The evening prayer and the loud temple instruments helped me to relax myself. For sometime I was able to ignore the disturbance inside me. That togetherness with God made me calm and stable. When I opened my eyes, everything was as before except my mental state. I was feeling much lighter than earlier. Then I stood up and started walking out of the temple.

Next day I got a call from my father: “I received one of your interview call letter today, come and collect the same”.

I have already published this experience story @ digitravellers. As igniteengineers is a sister blog site of digitravellers, I thought of republishing the story at this platform as a sequel of DARE to live your DREAM.