Theory Exams

Well, this one is for a dear friend with whom I have spent the most amazing 5 years while studying Architecture in Pune…. this is being written for him since he wanted me to refresh the memories of the ‘studies’ of the time when we studied together!! So Narya…this one is for you mate!!!

Architecture course is all about making drawings, working late nights on design submissions on tracing papers, making sketches, block models, study models, writing occasional journals with sketches again, going on study tours or site visits ,basically slogging a lot .. err..umm…this was the nature of the course way back till the turn of 1999 into 2000!!! later drawing boards rapidly changed into computer screens, pencils and rotrings changed into mouse and pointer devices, sketches transformed into apps like sketch up, 3d max….. but we were the last lucky few who completed the course in 5 years in the traditional fashion. In between came the fun part- the theory exams!!!! really…. don’t do a double take…seriously- the fun part was the period when we had our theory exams. Well let me explain,

To start with we had the ‘study leave’- basically that meant no NEW submissions(of course we had a few back logs of submissions but that was nothing compared to what usual submissions were!!!) So that meant a lot of free time to while time away. So that time was put to good use by hopping to the other ‘studious’ classmates homes to collect ‘notes’!!! Suddenly the backbenchers were backslapping with the front benchers!!! once those were obtained few hours passed trying to figure which notes went for what subjects!!!! A phone call (no mobile days-hard to imagine now) finally sorted out things and we could hear a few mutters while disconnecting the phones…

Now that we had our notes, Narya ( R Narayanan, a successful professional now, stays in Bangalore) my buddy, my pal used to shift his residence to my place for a few days. I was fortunate enough to have a room to my own at my residence and my parents were more affectionate towards Narya then they were to me!!!. Being a hostelite it wasn’t so difficult for him, probably the change was extremely good for both of us. Another friend of mine from junior college days, Ar.Arjun Nivasarkar, but from a different college too used to join us for this ‘break period’.

Armed with the ‘notes’ it was my responsibility to figure out what the whole stack of papers meant in the first place. Once understood I  used to explain the concepts in my own words in the most basic and simplest of language. That way it was a revision of sorts for me and it supposedly made sense fast to Arjun and Narya. Now don’t get the impression that we did this day and night throughout the study leave…NO way!! The schedule was such-

Start the morning studies after freshening up for an hour or two. That’s about till 11/11.30  am. Then watch some TV – ‘informative’ movies on Z cinema, Star Plus, or HBO. Soon it was lunch time. Have Lunch and then keeping good old Pune’s tradition intact have an afternoon siesta. Mum used to call form outside around 3/3.30 pm with a steaming cup of tea for ‘tired’ kids. Door closed and siesta time on the inside- door closed and study time on the outside. Post tea -brush up on the morning session of studies and head out 1t 5.30 pm for the tekdi- The ARAI tekdi behind MIT college- (Oh yes we were fit even back then!!)a quick session of frisbee on the tekdi and climb down. Those were splendour days. No my spellings and grammar is pretty okay, what I mean is we had Hero Honda splendours .So go to the local chat wala to have paani puri and wada paav…common we were climbing tekdis and playing frisbee, we used to be hungry!!! Back home after some ‘fresh air’ and then again get back to studying for another hour. Same routine- I used to go through the notes for that session (till then Arjun and Narya had some bromance time!!!), understand the concepts and then explain it to the other two in a way that it used to get understood and learnt. Soon it was dinner time..Arjun used to head back home for dinner only to return back by 11 Pm for some more studies. Dinner time at my place was with my folks where Narya used to talk to my parents more than me!!! Once Arjun was back again we were back to our system. Another hour and we were finished with the days plan!! Now used to be the most awaited part…. Either make tea/coffee at home and talk about ‘life’ or head out to the tapri for Coffee and ‘paw bahji’. Sleep time was 2.00 am after talking on the phone to my girlfriend (she is my wife now) since she too was in the same course and studying with her best friend but definitely not the way we were studying!!!!

Once we hit our beds jokes, teasing, laughter, mock fights, gossips….. we never realised when we would drift to our own dreamworlds only to be awakened by the alarm clock that Arjun used to get without fail daily to begin the same’ routine’ till the actual dates of theory exams started.

Looking back, those were really some awesome times spent which can never be brought back or relived again but the memories are still so fresh that I have a smile on my face while writing this and my eyes are a little moist. The friendships that were forged back then are really strong and even though we do not meet everyday, do not call each other daily ,I am sure these memories will never fade away from either of us.

OF course this same thing continued during the actual theory exam days too. Arjun used to call up as soon as the paper was over for 2 things- 1 . Gadya- pass aahe ha paper and 2. Mi yetoy lunch karun tujhyakade abhyasala!!!

An advantage that we had over Arjun, being in the same class was that we used to time our watches and we used to meet up at the exact same time in the toilet( a trick imparted to us by our great seniors) and we could help revise each other if either of us was stuck on some answer …Go back to the exam hall and complete the paper and of course we passed our theory papers quite well!!!!!

Our ‘Group’ in class…its been 20 years now but all of us have remained pretty close friends
My ROOM and Naryas place!!!

Cycling Diaries_02

The hercules rodeo at the meeting point in Chandani Chowk
The Canondale- upgrade borrowed from Bro in law

So here’s how it all ‘re’ started… I was happy playing tennis with a bunch of really cool guys who have become the closest of friends since then. Nobody was cycling to the tennis court when we started when suddenly one fine day we all realised that we all have cycles parked at our homes which are excellent as an additional clothes drying rack!!!

So the oldest guys in our group, once, out of the blue, just like that , posted a photo to our Whatsapp group(early days of whatsapp , let me tell you!!)  which had the two of them atop the Manas resort ghat along with a caption that said ‘ feeling awesome'( a typical facebook status!!)

and so it began…Sundays were reserved was cycle rides from Chandani Chowk to University (SPPU to be precise) and those 12/15 kms were really feeling awesome… Soon we challenged ourselves to slightly longer rides ..Pirangut ghat was the first of them…and man..Was the climb tough!!! We were climbing the ghat in a single file and every guy after the first one had decided right at the start of the climb that once the guy n front of me stops I am getting down..this is not happening!!! But thanks to the first guy nobody stopped and we finally made it to the top of Pirangut ghat….of course a roadie  (that’s a type of a cycle BTW)easily overtook all of us and the rider even gave us the thumbs up sign as he sailed past …we gave him the middle finger in our minds!!!!

I had a hercules Rodeo back then which was a pretty fancy cycle MTB with rear shock absorbers…Wow!!!??? No not at all..realised it much later that shock absorbers tire you out more!!! But those were early days hence it can be termed as a rookie mistake. I was borrowing a high end cycle form my ever generous Bro in law(he has really offered me a lot of my firsts- my first beer, my first digital watch, my first high end cycle , my first ever pattaya trip!! ok..that’s enough details) Soon the Sunday rituals turned into fun rides with longer distances and closer friendships.

And that’s when a sort of a turning point came which really made me into a cycle enthusiast. The Panshet Parikrama!!! That particular ride of 175 odd kms over a period of 2 days convinced me to take up cycling as a enjoyable exercise!!

Cycling Diaries_01

Childhood memories…Learning to cycle in Mumbai in summer vacations… renting out a cycle at a mere 50paise per hour..(yes I am that old!!!!) riding a cousins cycle in Dombivali, getting a cycle as a gift from a cousin, showing it off to everyone(those were early MTB days!!!) making sure that it moved along with the movers and packers truck when we shifted to Pune, going practically everywhere on the ride in Pune with classmates, upgrading it to the latest model in Junior College with a lot of ‘fights ‘ over it with parents(basically they were convinced that I didn’t need an upgrade and I was convinced exactly the other way round!!!) getting a curved handle fit at extra cost so could pass it off as a ‘racer’ bike and finally the ride getting obscured and forgotten with the introduction of a motorbike (again after those fights at home) and saying that ‘who’s going to cycle now ever’!!!

Wowww!!! And now I am back to cycling, reading up stuff on it , setting newer targets, upgrading cycles!!!

Hope to pedal a lot more miles and definitely keep blogging about the journeys!!!

My first blog!!!

Have been following quite a few bloggers and reading up a lot of blogs… About time that I started blogging too!!! Have been thinking of doing this since a long time. 

I had this habit of writing down random stuff but somewhere that habit kind of lost… Revival of old habits is sometimes exciting….hence this!!! 

Lots of random thoughts, fun moments, memories get made by the minute and get uploaded on fb and whatsapp but I guess blogs are a better media to save those moments really… Don’t know for sure but here’s an attempt to do that….

So hoping that this habit stays for a while!!! Cheers.