The Engineering Degree

When i finished my 12th and had to decide what to do next, i thought i would study like an arts degree. This seemed simpler and the easy to do. I pitched the idea to my parents. Obviously they told me to fuck off. My dad in the meantime had found an engineering college for me. I had gotten about forty four percent and there was no way i could land an engineering seat. Turns out that fortune does favor the brave. My dad asked them and they agreed. I was surprised. Before i could even agree he paid the fee and enrolled me into college. The icing on the cake was that i hadn’t seen college and i didn’t know the name till he payed up and came back home.

The first day of college was interesting. I quickly found a chai shop to have a smoke and made a few friends. My dad had paid for a college bus and came back home like a child in the bus. This was something i hadn’t done since 3rd grade. As the days went by i started to get along with people. I discovered that there would be test every month and marks from that added to your actual score at the end of the year. I struggled to study, for the first time i put in some effort and managed to pass. What i discovered was that if I had a chat with the teacher i would find out what type of questions were usually asked. I started doing that. I managed to get through my first year of college. I did fail in one subject and discovered that if I put it for reevaluation i may pass. I did that and passed. My mum wasn’t really thrilled because she thought engineering would be different than the times i spent in PU.

One of the most interesting parts of the first year was during a math exam. I tried and study the previous night but that didn’t help. I could not understand anything in the book. I figured i would fail in the exam but as usual decided to go to college and try and write the exam. On my way to college i had this thought about what if the exam would get postponed. To my luck it did. It was brilliant. Another time when i went out to smoke during a break i found the gate open. I discovered that they would not keep the gate open during breaks and we had to stay inside college for till 1. As usual my nicotine withdrawals kicked in. I had to find a way. A friend and I met the principal and built a story on how we got addicted to nicotine due to peer pressure and it was hard for us to stop suddenly. He bought the story and instructed the watchman to let us go out during breaks. So anyone who smoked could go out but anyone wanting a photocopy etc had to wait till lunch.

The 2nd year of college we discovered a place where we could chill. This was outside college about 10m away. I spent many a happy day sitting there doing nothing. I had a bunch of internal test which i managed to pass but the exams were a whole different ball game. It was so hard to focus. I get distracted really quickly so i failed a about 3 subjects. Put  a few of them on revaluation and managed to pass one. The next semester I had 8 subjects and had to pass 6 to move on. There was this one subject in particular which i had no idea about. Focussed on getting through that but again failed 4. This time applied to reval and managed to clear 2. Since i had about 5 subjects pending i was forced to sit out a year till i could bring down the tally to 4.  I started to work and study at the same time. This time i managed to pass about 4 with field theory the only one that was pending. I think i spent far more time writing that particular exam than actually studying for it. I remember one instance when they handed out the question paper. One quick look at it and i knew i had no idea what was happening on the paper. I asked a friend if he knew anything and he was blank too. We left in about 10 mins of the exam starting. Both of us knew nothing and had no idea how to fill the sheets. Anyways this seemed like the toughest subject in engineering. An old friend told me stories about people dropping out of college since they were not able to pass this subject.

I wrote the field theory exam for the 5th time and failed. This meant i had to repeat the year again. This time i applied for an option where my paper will be corrected in detail by someone else. It costed a lot more but it was worth it. The result was annouced and I had passed. It was a miracle.  I distinctly remember that day. I was at the office and in a meeting when mum sent me a text. The only thing it read was ” Results are announced”.  The moment i read it my heart started to race. Said a quick prayer before i called and she told me I had passed. It has sheer grace that I had passed.

The next 4 semesters were simpler. Since i did not have that knife hanging on top of my head i managed to pass. I have no idea how I did it. I don’t remember any of that. I just remember that i went for some exams and somehow managed to pass. The final thing left was a project. My dad set me up with it. He helped setup a project at his organisation. That was interesting. Surprisingly i liked the practical aspect of the project. I had team mates and they had clear instructions that during the Q & A about the project they had to shut up and follow my lead.

Finally just by divine intervention i managed to pass my exams. It was finally over. The degree certificate came. That was one hell of a ride. Obviously even though i have the degree and can sign as an engineer at no time should i ever try and fix transformers. Like never.


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