How many times have you felt the sensation of ‘knowing’ about an event about to happen, or probably saw something coming already? Am not even sure why I am writing about this today, but one such memory from my college life suddenly sprang to life today.
Reminiscing good old college days…..
When I delve into my past, more than my college life, it is the hostel life that makes me more nostalgic! Ask me, what I have learnt in college, and I have little to say. But if you ask me what I have learnt from my hostel life, the learnings that I can share with you are endless. And just not the learnings, but the joy I get even today by just remembering every incident of my hostel life, away from home is seamless. Nothing can beat the joys of hostel life! In times devoid of examania, our ways of life were somewhat serious on a jolly note 😉 Whether it was sipping hot adrak tea early in the morning at Sana Kaka’s tapri, eating away Guddu Bhai’s poha or eating the tasteless food at mess which usually had nothing better to offer than a staple potato sabji, kadak rotis and watery dal; whether it was studying ‘microprocessors’ as a group or attending everyday lectures ‘regularly’; whether it was walking to college hand in hand or completing journals the day before submission by the standard rule of ‘Copy/Paste’; whether it was eating the most unhygienic pani puris at road side or finishing off home made snacks of our neighbors by sneaking into their rooms and last but not the least, laughing, fighting, bitching, crying and patching up for old times sake are just some of the sharable anecdotes we were a part of in those good times! As I am sharing a few snippets from my hostel life, here, let me introduce my best friend Swati to you readers as she is one of those valuable witnesses to the incident about which this post is about to elaborate!
Events preceding the Deja-vu…..
The year was 2005 and I was in my third year of engineering, a time when I was getting a hang of what I would be doing with my life eventually. And the year was already half way through. The fourth semester was nearing an end, with a trail of projects, tests and vivas and journal submissions. It was definitely a time, when our regular activities that included indulging good food at the costliest restaurants, sound sleep after endless gossiping, leisure walks in the evening after having ‘tolerated’ boredom in lectures and gossiping on phone for endless hours was all cut down to a minimum, with the entire attention then garnered on completion of project and journal completion.
Usually our written exams were always scheduled before vivas. As the ‘written’ tension was over, we were busy cats hustling here and there, drowned in a cornucopia of project completions with four projects running simultaneously, 2 on electronics and microprocessors and the rest on C++ and Java. Since we were from Computers’ techo, me and Swati had little interest in Microprocessors. The subject itself was like too bitter a pill to take (no offence to microprocessor lovers! Just that the subject was not our cup of tea!). So we decided to share the work and complete the project and journals. It was mutually decided that Swati would concentrate on project completion and I would focus on journal completion. That night was one of those rare ones, when I worked hard enough to finish writing about all the experiments, consolidating readings, drawing conclusions (most difficult!) and representing with diagrams! Later, Swati gave me the details of the project which she had almost completed. I helped her with the journal completion. Being perpetual partners in projects or ‘crime’, we always found team work earned fruits, be it bitter or sweet! If it were sweet, we were happy and if it were bitter, we were still happy 😉 Nevertheless the learning of doing the ‘smart work’ continued from college days into the work life as well. And trust me, the statement – ‘Work should be done, not the hard way, but the smart way!’ rings true, irrespective of whatever circumstance should arise in life!
And so once we were done with the journal completion, we submitted our journals, the next day evening (the day prior to Microprocessors viva). Bijee Thomas was not just our bi spectacled, serious demeanor-ed hostel warden, but also one of the best lecturers of the EC department for microprocessors. A fine warden that she was, though we used to bring out the blues in her periodically, pertaining to our waggy tails that could never get straight, no matter how hard she tried! Still, I would say, she was sweet in her own way! After submission of our journals, Swati and I had gone for a leisure evening stroll which was longer than usual. On our way back, we enjoyed the most unhygienic yet lip smacking panipuris at the road side stall, dropped in the hostel premises sharp at roll call time: 7PM and headed towards the mess to stuff our already full stomachs with some rancid khichdi and sour curd!. That night passed peacefully, considering our biggest headache of the year: project cum journal submission for Microprocessor was done for good! As far as writing journals mattered, I detested it the most!
Something is amiss!
The next day, my alarm did not ring. I opened my eyes. It was 8 AM. Somehow, the moment I got up and even before I said my morning prayers, the first thought that fleeted across my mind was about my Microprocessor journal, I had submitted the previous evening. Why ‘that thought’ came at ‘that precise moment’, is something for which I have no answer at all, even today! For some reason, I was tempted to walk down to my college (as our hostel and college were in the same campus) and check if my journal was there. So I knocked Swati’s door at 8:15 AM. The door opened and three pairs of groggy eyes popped out of a thick sheath of blankets and blinked at me in confusion! As the written exams were over, the college was only open for project and journal submissions after 11 AM. It was too early for any of us to call it a morning, that too after busy days of hard work! Seeing me, the other 2 pairs nonchalantly went back to sleep, but this one pair was staring at me wide eyed, not with surprise but with a lot of irritation! I somehow coaxed Swati into accompanying me to college to check if my journal was there on the table for correction! After a lot of pretty persuasion she agreed to tag along! We reached college at 9 AM. As I entered the Electronics department, I saw Bijee madam just starting with her first round of corrections. I asked her, if she was done with mine to which she replied curtly that she was yet to! So I checked the stack of journals to find mine! And……………………………………………
…………………………………… I COULD NOT FIND MINE! I checked again, rummaged through every journal section in every corner of the EC department, but couldn’t find mine! Swati also helped me in the search. Although she was too shocked to say anything, she calmed me down saying, there was still half a day left for the final submissions and I could finish it all over again! The sound of the pendulum diverted me for a second and the time showed 9:45 AM. Those minutes of my life were minutes of extreme anxiety, utter disbelief and heightened gloom!
Sometimes, it hurts! It hurts pretty bad, when all proof of your hard work disappears just like that, without a rhyme or reason! I clutched Swati’s hands! I was not able to stand for a while…..
The moment of truth!
My hands jerked! My toes tweaked! I could feel my eyebrows knitting. My eyelids felt heavy. As I opened my eyes, the ceiling fan of my room that was spinning faster than usual stared into my face! The day had already dawned with Sana Kaka’s tapri chai having arrived at the stairs of our hostel. The sun rays now entered my room right into my eyes. I was dazed for a few minutes! And then suddenly my mobile screamed! It was my alarm and the time showed 8 AM!
Something jolted me like a thunderbolt! I got up, brushed my teeth, freshened up and rushed to Swati’s room. I almost banged on the door. Shweta (one of the roommates and also my group mate) opened the door and returned back to bed, but not before having given me the dirtiest stare! All the Room no 3 inmates were huddled inside their blankets slumbering away to glory! It took my muscles some efforts to pull out a sleeping Swati out of her bed and took me extraordinary patience to make her listen to me! For at that moment, there was nothing on my mind, except going to the college and checking if my journal was there or not on table. Swati agreed to accompany me after a lot of cajoling, but not without making me promise her a free treat of pani puris, should the journal be there on the table! I obliged! At that moment, if she had asked me for a treat at the costliest restaurant of Anand district – The Flavors, i would have obliged without a complaint, only if my journal were there on the table! We reached college at 9 AM sharp. I saw Bijee Mam starting her day with the first journal on the table! There, it came! The feeling of ‘knowing’ – déjà vu! Trust me people, the feeling is not just creepy, but it is even more dreadful when that moment of ‘knowing’ follows suit! And I was going through that moment then! I asked her if she had seen my journal, to which she curtly replied, I could check! And Swati and I started the hunt!………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………….AND I COULD NOT FIND MY JOURNAL! I clasped my hands on my head and sat on a chair. At that very moment, the pendulum struck and the clock showed 9:45 AM!
Events to follow…..
Swati was confused. Bijee Madam was appalled and I was too numb to speak! Each of us had different reasons for our reactions to the situation! Even if I had doubted my own actions for a second, Swati and Bijee Madam were witness to my journal submission the evening before! Madam suspected foul play. And even if there were one, it did not bother me as much as the ‘dream of few minutes’, ‘the feeling of knowing’ that I had moments before actually leaving for college to check for my journal. The feeling was so different, so unique, so strange and yet so terrifying! Swati seeing my state, tried to boost up my morale by suggesting me to write the journal again, for which she would help me, considering we had time till evening. At that moment, however insane that idea sounded, I knew there was no other way too!
Thankfully, with my best friend around me, I was able to re submit my journal before evening. Although I chose to ignore that incident (even tried forgetting it), the incident remained fresh at the back of my mind, still questioning the unexplored unknown facets of human mind. That incident somewhere strengthened my belief in events that we cannot control. It somehow convinced me of a fact that every event has a reason to happen. And for every event to happen, there are visible signs around. Only that we fail to identify them. In my case, I failed to see the signs but the result which may or may not have been avoidable. Well, I was happy that day for a fact that I got to do a resubmission on time even though ‘again’, just because of that premonition of few minutes!
The learning dawns!
I have never questioned self, as to why on that day, at that time, I was destined to experience a déjà vu! Well, the question was not important. Because, sometimes certain unexplained phenomena lead you to a point, where you learn to identify yourself, the environment and people around, events that happen around and the chain of actions and reactions that govern them! Am not sure how many of us believe in premonitions! But everyone, or say, most people at some time in their life may have come across a feeling of knowing, a feeling that has been there with them since long, a feeling that drives them to see something coming already, which they may not have been aware of at all! I am no atheist, am no agnostic either and am no follower of scientology! But I believe that a supreme power works along with destiny to control the world, by following the rules of Karma!
Belief/Faith is an unavoidable aspect of human nature! Every person, however much he feigns atheism or being a non believer, may actually have an unparalleled faith in something, that something which is beyond their reach or understanding. And if you ask me, I started to believe in premonitions ever since that incident happened with me. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have not had any similar experiences since then. But that incident in my life helped me comprehend a little bit about the mysterious ways of the unknown supreme power that governs us, through its thought provoking concept of ‘interpretation of dreams’!
P.S: I had written this post a few days back and due to blogger maintenance issues, this article I posted was removed! But I would like to repost this again….Just sharing a snippet from my college diaries. 🙂
Also my hostel memoirs can be revisited at: