It’s official now, travelling in Goa just puts some wonderful things into my head. So here I am, sharing one more of mt experiences with you all.
I dropped an year after school to prepare for Engineering entrance exams. Now, during that period, there was an intense pressure on me, not created by anybody else, but my own mind. The only thing on my mind was getting into a good engineering college. Those days, my friends who had already got into college after school, used to visit me during their holidays. One of them was Sambhav who had gotten into IIT-Kanpur, one of the premiere institutes of engineering not only in India, but the world as well. As aspirants, me and those preparing with me used to dream about getting there or any one of the seven IITs which existed at that time. I remember getting stressed by all the work it took, and I also remember asking Smabhav once , “Hey yaar…. Is this all worth IT?” And he answered, “It sure is.” That and things similar to it used to motivate me and I used to put in more hard work. The time for the entrance exams came. I slipped a bit in IIT-JEE, wrong strategy got me. I got selected in the Merit list, but my rank was not good enough to secure me a seat in any of the seven IITs. I was depressed. When alone, I used to ask this question to god all the time, “God… have you got no respect for my hard work or the sacrifices my parents have made in order to make my future brighter, why didn’t you just let the right things strike me during those six hours of examination” Of course, I didn’t know then, god had other plans for me, and as always, his plans are flawless. Then came BITSAT, the admission test to BITS Pilani university. Now growing up in Rajasthan, I knew only one thing could match IIT toe to toe, and it was BITS Pilani. So it was a sort of last chance for me, to get to a college which I knew I deserved. I gave the online entrance test. My scored flashed on the screen: 304. I was a tad disappointed, because I knew I could not get my desired branch- Computer Science at this score. Neither was I likely to get admission to the Pilani campus, the oldest and most reputed of the three campuses BITS has at in India the moment- Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad. But when I told my parents my score, they were happy for me. Seeing the smiles on their faces, I too got happy. “Chalo, Pilani nahin to Goa hi sahi.” I was having quite mixed feelings going to Goa at that moment. Again, I knew nothing of God’s perfect plans then.
I came here, to Goa, found the culture and people in stark contrast to what I was used to living in the northern country. My doubts began to rise again, “Ye kahaan aa gaya hoon main, ghar se itni door, alag log, alag atmosphere….” Time passed. I was in no way at the top of my academic game as I used to be. I used to think to myself, “Was my decision to come here the correct one?” At that moment god must have smiled and thought, “You’ll know child…. One day you’ll know.”
Fast forwarding three years. I’m in my third year now. My seventeenth set of examinations here in college just ended yesterday. Yesterday I saw India beat Pakistan in the world cup semifinals with as many as fifty people in my hostel’s common room, cheering for every run India got together, giving high-fives to each other on every Pakistani wicket that fell. We all had bonded in the past three years. And then I thought, it was moments like these which would make me nostalgic twenty years from now. Today, I went to collect the suit I had ordered to be made in a shop at Panjim for my college farewell. Yes, my farewell. I realized today- College was going to end in an year from now. While travelling to Panjimin a taxi with aroud fourteen of my friends, with headphone tucked into my ears, my favorite songs playing, I looked out into the sunset out of the taxi window. The cool Goan breeze blew on my face. My friends were laughing and chatting around me. I was smiling too. It was then that it dawned upon me “This could have not been more perfect. This was the way it was supposed to be. This was as happy as I could be anywhere in the world !” Yes indeed, God knows what is best for me. And Sambhav Karnawat, it was in every way WORTH IT! It took me three years to say this, but I want to end this note with this :
“I am in love with Goa, my college, my friends, my family, my LIFE!”