When the official dates of Udaan’16 arrived, along with the request form for people who would like to give speeches, I was in double thoughts whether to take this opportunity or not. One side of mine felt that I had been at the forefront many times so why not take a back seat and enjoy what others had to say. The other side prompted as to utilize this day, the day of formal dinner of the graduating batch, and share my thoughts, nostalgia and experience. At the end of the tussle, I chose a middle path much to resolve the conflict that I was facing. I chose to jot down my speech but preferred not to use the stage to share it. I thought to send it to either Palantir or publish it on my Facebook as a note, or keep it as a personal memoir as it will be important not just for today but for years to come.
We all, the young boisterous lads of the class of 2016, today are caught amidst the nostalgia of the past and the excitement of the future. But amid all this IIT Gandhinagar stands immortal in our minds and hearts. As I look down the memory lane four years back, it seems as if all this happened just yesterday. The four years at the institute were so involving and interesting, were so hectic yet memorable, and were so diverse yet motivating, were so long yet so short that it seems everything happened in a flash of light. For each one of us, the story has been different filled with ups and downs, moments of joys and sorrows, with successes and failures, with ebbs and flows, but I hope each one of us would feel that “it was lovable, no matter what”, that “it would count in our life, no matter what”. I share the same with all of us.
I entered this place with my chosen room-mate. You may wonder why chosen? Coincidentally I met him in the train, in the coach and interestingly in the same compartment. He hails from Bihar, and I come from the city of Taj, but it still happened that we landed in the same train to Ahmedabad. Fortunately or unfortunately, we happened to be the only two room-mate pair in the random-allotment of hostels when everyone was either allotted in a group of six or three. Till this date, maybe fortunately or unfortunately, we happened to be room-mates, we happened to be a part of every single project team, whether academic or non-academic. I feel, indeed, it is quite a big achievement, if not unique and would like to thank and congratulate my friend as well as room-mate for showing such brotherly camaraderie.
This place provided immense nourishment for a nonchalant soul like me. From day one of the Foundation program till this date, every moment, whether good or bad has brought some kind of a lesson. I came as a person who thought that he knew many things, but then this place made me unlearn many of those as much as made me realize that there are so many things apart that one could learn. I made friends, or should I call – a friend or more precisely the best of the best friend that would last a lifetime, a friend that was not of my age, batch or gender (I hope you all got my reference). I was a reserve, introvert kind of guy when I entered, I’m much more open and extrovert when I’m about to graduate. In one phrase, this journey, which shall capture an important portion in me, was diverse and beyond expectations.
Frankly speaking, I always aspired for IIT Bombay for the fame it has, but truly speaking after four years I thank ALMIGHTY with all my heart that I got IIT Gandhinagar. I could not have imagined a life that IIT Gandhinagar provided. I would always owe this to my alma-mater.
Friends, as being part of the graduating class of 2016, I would also like to share one sort-of-anecdotal thought that recurs to my mind. I came from a school, although called a college, in Agra that boasts of its more than 160 years of history and of its alumni. It is perceived, and I believe it is, one of the best schools in the city. Many would agree to that proposition, many others do buy it, but there would be some who would disagree which is fine as we live in a democratic set-up. I believe those who believe in its greatness are the ones who would get the most out of it.
Many of us or may be some of us, would not buy the argument of the greatness of this place called IIT Gandhinagar. But I feel that it is not about having faith in the institution but most importantly about not having faith in one’s own self. Each one of us, is an, and will be, an integral part of this institution and it is our faith in it that would take the institute to heights that we aspire. If we were not to believe in this vision, how can we become a part of the vision? I’m not asking for blind veneration but I’m urging to believe in the idea. I’m not asking you to think IIT Gandhinagar is perfect and develop complacence, all I’m asking is to become part of its ambition and toil towards it. This I feel shall craft an illustrious trajectory for this institute and achieve what all its founding stones desired. For it is all of us, together who are a part of this dream, and it is with all that this dream shall be achieved.
These magnificent buildings, those which stand on and those that would be built in future, will get older with times and shall witness, multitudes of young boys and girls, young men and women entering each year and graduating each year. For these buildings might not remember each face it embraced, but what would make a difference is that each face that it held, had faith in it, remembered it and worked for it.
Friends, it is a moment of joy for all of us, as we prepare ourselves for the next flight, the next Udaan, however uncertain it may be, we hope that we get chances to meet again, celebrate again and even perhaps live this moment again.
Many congratulations to all the students who graduate this year, and many thanks to all the organizers, many thanks to all the professors who taught us and guided us, for this journey would have been incomplete without them. It is you who have given us the experience and learnings that we will not only cherish but use for our future mileages. Have fun everyone and enjoy this and every moment as it comes.
Thanks, thanks a lot!!