I've lost count of how many times I've thought whether it's time I should put this chapter down in HOTC. I've often pondered whether 'some' happenings in S5 was a step back in our college career. But no, they were indeed the times we stepped back to ponder, to be better.
We shifted (college policy) into a new class, but this time around none of us were happy. The class is a wildlife sanctuary - no I'm not talkin about us. During our stay in it, we must've atleast seen 3 generations of Pravukal. Any love for pravu would be over after a year in it. They made nests in the roof ventilators, trained the little ones proffessionally over the ceiling fans and shit (pardon me for offensive language) on our already cramped benches. Nice situation to be in when you're bored by lectures and pondering whether anything's coming your way from the sky. Not much problem afterall, cuz we spent more hours outside than inside. :-D.
Moving onto the other species in the class: We made the most of what we had, sat on benches, jumped over them to move about and concentrated more on..not studies. Maveli arrived early in CET as usual (the real one, not our staff advisor). That years onam celebration didn't have the verve of previous year. Many had gone home and hence participation was less. That didn't dampen the spirits and we had a nice time walking around for onakazhchakal.
As soon as college resumed after onam vacation, planning started for next tour. All of us were really pumped up reminiscing the superb tour we had the year before. But from the beginning the tour was doomed. Two opposing parties came up vouching for the right to conduct the tour. Cold wars came up as both sides refused to let go. Uncertainty continued right up to two days before the tour and finally one side conditionally ceded.
Thus we started off on a tour crisscrossing South India. First to pondicherry, then Bangalore, Mysore, Goa and back to Trivandrum. The atmosphere was kinda subdued on the first night of journey. Pondicherry is a nice place and we had fun at the beach. But the accomodation left much to be debated, especially for gals. That was put up in discussion and discussions about such things during tour is not a good sign. As a group, we had fun throughout the tour. But elsewhere, things didn't improve going onto next place. Efforts were put into force and the tour seemed to be moving for the better. But the final few days proved otherwise. Controversies that would not be forgotten in our college life, that too involving some of my best friends.. I'd better stop at that.
It took a while for the atmosphere to calm down. We didn't have much time 'cuz Shaastra was coming up and this year we were determined to participate in the robotics event. The robo event we took up was Get a Grip. During the first few days of preparation, we understood that we'd hugely underestimated the magnitude of the problem. Finally after reading the problem statement properly, we got off to work on the robo. Aluminium sheets framed our days and dreams during night. Measurements went awry time after time. The whole thing was built and rebuilt and redesigned and rebuilt. I concentrated a huge amount of my time on a circuit which wasn't used ultimately. Few days and sleepless nights later, our robo was still incomplete [did i mention we had stuff and plan to build 2 robos?] - without even proper motors - before departing to IITM.
The Shaastra days still remains some of the most enjoyable days I've had. ur job on the bot wasn't over even after reaching IITM. The final touch took the whole night before the event. I was put in charge of controlling the bot and to my surprise it went smoothly. But tragedy struck in the form of our slightest misjudgement. The blocks we'd to load and unload got stuck onto the foam tape we attached on our gripping mechanism. We took the anticlimax in our stride and enjoyed the next few days to the fullest... Spencer Plaza, Tiffany's, CCD, chatting on hostel roof after 2 am, Ah I can't wait to go for next Shaastra.
We returned back to the boredom of classes and shut down our grey matters for the next few weeks. That year some of us went for IFFK - awesome movies. University exam came unanounced as usual and I don't remember having christmas celebrations. There was nothing much to do in class other than making fancy hairdos and waiting for the KU to postpone exams enough number times so that they get to schedule it right before the biggest hollywood release of the year.
Coming up: Ch 6 - Of Nothing Much At All..