I am sure, most of the engineers; especially the ones from NIT Rourkela would agree with me that most happening and most unforgettable time at our alma mater was the first year and the final year.
First year was mostly dedicated to the ragging time, ragging fundae, third button, seniors and just going to the college and coming back. Some of the unforgettable memories! The friends that you made during the ragging period are some of your best friends for life! And why not, you spend time together learning and practicing the ragging fundae, being together facing the ‘monster’ called senior. Also, there would be time, where you would see some of the fortunate ones who have been able to understand it, making an honest effort to teach you ‘Power Series’. I still remember, Ashish used to teach us during our first semester, when certain topics would bewilder us, as if they were from a different world! There would be some other times, when a certain friend of yours had spent the whole night taking care of you and teaching you, even when, he knows that there is an exam the next morning and even he needs time to learn some and brush up some!! All thanks to NIT Rourkela that we have been fortunate to get such fellas and friends.
Getting ragging free by the second year seniors was a scene in itself. Can there be something as “official ragging free” when by law ragging was banned in India? But, we were!! J Seniors would ask us “when is your official ragging free??” and would advice, “you can wear jeans after official ragging free, but don’t wear very tight jeans, etc” J Wow!! How can we all forget this? I know, we all remember this well. The official ragging evening was in itself something, no less than a grand culmination to some big event. As if, the Organizing Committee chairman would declare the Olympics closed!! Second year seniors would come and Cultural Secretaries would come with their cohorts and shout “Aaj se tum log ragging free ho”!!
Final Year was another story altogether. Last year’s good campus placement was a good reason to be optimistic of our good fortunes with the placements. And with the economy scorching ahead at a brisk pace after that bust of 2000-01, we left the shores of third year and moved ahead towards final year at NIT Rourkela with a huge sense of optimism. The urgency shown by large companies which came calling even before we officially started our college after the summer vacations of 2004, it seemed everything was rosy for us! And it started with a bang (though we all expected a lot more J), with Infosys placing 47 from the batch and rang the campus placements bell for our batch. With others lined up and gulping fast before one would get space to breathe, it was festival mood everywhere in the campus!
I close my eyes, and the scene, when Arun Rai shouted from the first floor gallery of Placement Deptt. “Gandhi tera ho gaya hai” and came running down with Nishant is still vivid. And both shouting “bumps do”, “maaro Gandhi ko”, “mote tera bhi ho gaya hai”, “bumps do dono ko”. I swear, no one can ever forget such moments the whole of his life. Till then, we were only bystanders to such scenes, but suddenly, we were a part of such celebrations, and in fact we were the protagonists. Imagine, you studied the whole of your life till then, and suddenly you have moved into a different space, where you don’t have to study (like we used toJ) and what more, you are being paid for your efforts or no efforts, sometimesJ). I remember, I and Vijayendra got through Infosys from the whole gang and rest were all shouting party, party! And what other place to go to party for a Rengolian, than the Radhika Hotel and we quickly rushed.
Many more such parties followed over the next few months and no one was left! No wonder, with a job in hand, there were parties all day and night during the final year. No wonder Final year is one of the best times at NIT Rourkela!!