Why computer science and information technology?
But … Sir I always wanted to be a software engineer?
Let’s see what is left for you?
Are you willing to go to Gurdaspur?
Gurdaspur, almost Pakistan?
The place I know only ‘coz Vinod Khanna contested parliamentary elections from there and it was in media. Else, despite geography as my favorite in schools, I would have pondered over a political map of India with a hand lens searching Gurdaspur amidst fine prints. I was making my mind whether to say yes or no, before he said but there is a condition.
You will have to wait, there is still a guy with a better rank left, if he doesn’t opt for it, you will get it.
I turned back to look at my father sitting on a chair on the other side of hall meant for parents and guardians.
He wanted us siblings to study medicine but we choose to make a career in engineering instead. No, I am not taking it, only computer science and even if it is a private engineering College. We walked out, with my father trying to console me. Let’s explore other options. “Last year they said, someone got a good REC with your rank, do not worry let’s see.”
At that point little did I see, what I left in far north was calling me from far-east. Silchar, is not a famous town, and that to in Sikkim where people are more satiated and prosperous, leave alone moving out of the state, they do not even think of it.
Growing up in Sikkim in late 1990s and early 2000s had its own advantages. You began to think that anything faster than the slow motion love making scenes in Bollywood movies is hell of a hectic life, that man is born to wear branded clothes, drive car, and drink and if conscience allows pray and bask in sun. You grow accustomed to living with quotas; quotas in REC. while other state students competed in different entrance test to get into it, a boy from Sikkim will enter the engineering college with just 60% marks. Still it was a wonder why the number of students passing mathematics in 12th standard is less than the number of seats in quotas the state had in engineering colleges across India. We even had a separate quota for berths in different trains from New Jalpaiguri to different cities in India. It was one of those quotas that secured us a RAC seat. NJP to Guwahati, and we were joined by likes of us, aspiring engineering students from all over the state. Groups were formed on what part of country you belonged to, Bengalis coalesced; Sardars collided with Northies while the lonely Keralite felt left out, whereas Bihar and UP walas had reason to celebrate with a majority in this democratic country and with better ranks of their kids they had reasons to be boastful.
It was the rumors at railway station and stories in the newsprints that if not cancelled the trains will be late. Flood was playing havoc in parts of the Gangetic plains and Assam, but it was not the flood that concerned us, it was landslide, we already braved a couple till this point. But the talks were of massive slide and the war scale mobilization and rescue operation by Indian Army. We didn’t know anything for sure; only thing we hoped was of a safe journey to Silchar and back.
As expected the train was late and we reached Guwahati. With no rail journey possible due to flooding, we had no time to waste but to start for the day the journey to Silchar.
There is a stand beside railway station where buses and tourist cars ply to different of a virtually different country called the north east of India. Although it was exorbitant prices they were charging (hardly they knew that their passengers had paid prices in Sikkim, they do not bargain it is offensive and anything outside Sikkim is cheap and good deal for them), the deal was done, if the road is clear, they will drop us to Silchar, if not to the landmark landslide, it was also guaranteed that they will wait till it was verified that it is possible to cross, in case we needed a return passage at least to Shillong.
Twelve of us, stuffed ourselves in a two vehicle and started for Silchar.
(When I commented on Debajyoti’s blog post that I will elaborate my journey to Silchar in a separate post, I knew it is going to be long. But, somewhere in the previous posts I made a promise to restrict length of my posts between short and long. It is already a long post, so do wait for next…. We are yet to arrive at Silchar.)