Reviewed by Shahaan
The weekend was full of thanking people. I was too bored of hearing ‘Congrats’, ‘Good Luck’, ‘All the best’ etc etc. By Sunday night I explained for the nth time about the rounds in Google recruitment. I was also bored of telling people I had no idea about contacting CII or applying for a business loan.
I was amazed by the number of girls who were aspired by the thought of being entrepreneurs. None in my friends circle had any idea of starting their own ventures. All they cared about was settling soon.
I had heard girls talking about CAT and MBA, but even most of them talked about average salary in the placements of good B-schools. Only then I realized the entrepreneur zeal had spread well amongst girls. I mused whether the era of equality has bloomed, where people wouldn’t stop a girl from something just because ‘She is a Girl.’
With Google and the excitement that followed I had almost forgotten our FYP. We had our final review that week, and our final semester exams the week after. I was least bothered about the semester exams, but the half finished FYP was bone chilling.
That was not the case with Shantanu. His software was the highlight of his CII presentation. He helped us out with our project. He hated such purely academic projects. He repeated “Engineering is the art of the application of science, and not to do something for the heck of it.”
But it was obvious that projects that were done 'for the heck of it' were only valued as great by our panel rather than the ones that were innovative application oriented. I do believe only such academic research oriented projects are good for a renowned technological institute like ours.
On the day of the review our project didn’t work as expected, but it did do something proving that the 100s of lines of our code does have life. We explained with jargons with presentation charms and created a scene like we have invented something big.
The panel seemed to understand the efforts we had taken, and they nodded their agreement. They pointed out that if our project really worked perfectly well we would have got an ‘S’. Just as they had said later in the notice board we had an ‘A’ next to our names.
Shantanu right from the beginning had a bad time managing Dr.Sekar without much support from Prof.AP and Prof.Rani. He kept saying, “They can’t fail me. I would at least get an ‘E’ and that’s good enough for me. I know mine is worth a loan of 25Laks.”
But to everyone’s surprise he got an ‘A’. In the review Dr.Sekar had commented his project as ‘people’s project’, and felt sorry that they couldn’t award an ‘S’ as it was not a research oriented project. The panel congratulated him on his loan, and promised all help in patenting his software, and any future help they could do with his venture.
People were bugging me asking for ‘treat’, and a really big one. I badly wished I treat them in Barbique Nation as I felt very crest fallen the other day when Microsoft people treated there. But people were bored of that restaurant, and they couldn’t afford to cut classes in the afternoon for lunch in the last few working days of college.
Finally we zeroed in on a Chettinad Restaurant. People enjoyed themselves as barbarians. Shantanu was counting the number of species he had. I was enjoying the site of people feasting. I just had some noodles, and had ice creams over and over again just for the sake of not sitting idle.
Shantanu and Anu sitting opposite to me were teasing me, teaching animal anatomy with every dish. Till that day I only knew Chinese people had so many species to eat. That day I was enlightened to the fact that South Indians had more than a dozen different vertebrates in their menu, and had dozens of ways to cook them.
We had the entire first floor booked for us with not less than 50 people. Preparing the guest list in itself had been as hectic as preparing our 0th review project proposal. Finally every guest followed Anu and Drank for the colorful future of the hosts Thanu, Shantanu and I.
We were done with our FYPs and the only thing that was left with college was our 8th semester exams. We had less than 2 weeks of college left. We enjoyed ourselves, and slam books were flying across the classroom. People wrote essays for each other, as many people preferred blank slam books to pre-formatted ones.
On the evening of our last working day we had our farewell, and thanks giving to our faculty. Our juniors had arranged a smaller auditorium in our campus for the event. They were enthusiastic about the event, and gave cues that we have surprises.
On the evening of the farewell, we were all enthusiastically assembled in the hall. A few members of the faculty were early and occupied the front seats. In sometime almost every teacher from our dept who handled classes for us assembled in the hall. It really would have been bit of a scary thing, but we felt something the opposite, though we had 4 more exams, and as always our fates still in their hands.
Initially we had a few cultural events by our juniors. A few professors whistled at a dance performance by junior girls like they were in a cinema theater. In course of time we had mingled ourselves with the faculty.
A few gutful 4th years had called for events for Faculty participation. The first one was Anthakshari where there were two teams both fully comprised of professors and lecturers. We never knew our teachers could sing so well.
The next one was a bit more than just fantasy, when a few professors danced on stage including our HOD. It was a blissful site. The most feared and respected Prof.AP did take a few steps for her part.
It was time for the last event of the day arranged by our juniors. They called the names of popular pairs in the 4th years. First one was Krishna and Sundari. Sundari hid herself amongst the girls, but could not keep herself hidden when professors themselves called her on stage.
Both of them blushed wide and Krishna “We were just good friends nothing more”. At least he said that, while Sundari was lost for words. Finally she managed to call Krishna as “bro” with a big ‘O’ response from everyone.
Next one was Preethi and Vijay followed by Raja and Revathi. They too blushed and managed a few fuzzy words. I was now practically shivering because there was no doubt the next one would be us. I was wondering whether Shantanu could be found at least in a 100meters range of the auditorium.
But to my great surprise he walked confidently to the stage when our names were called. The MC commented as “The best pair in the history of our college.” I was in a dilemma whether to walk up the dais or to run away.
Adding to my nervousness they played the song ‘Teri Ore’ in the background. I was suspicious whether Shantanu had a part in that plot. Amidst all my classmates, juniors and faculty I walked up the stage throwing sideways glances at Shantanu reading his expressions.
I was shivering. Shantanu briskly got hold of the cordless microphone. “I am happy that all of you are here to witness this important moment of my life.”
I always stayed cool when someone stared at us when we walked together. But this was entirely different. Every word of him echoed inside my empty heart as all blood was drained out of it.