I am amazed, as well as embarrassed, that it has been almost a year since I last wrote a post for this blog. There are reasons aplenty for this inactivity - a spurt in weekend activities that go beyond watching Karan Johar movie marathons, a new outlet for creative expression where the audience can not hit the close button (read Toastmasters), increasing work pressures (as an IT professional, it is my duty to blame work for everything), quarter-life cynicism towards most issues, the fear of an over-sensitive social media population, and some good old procrastination. What has spurred me into action though, is the place that taught me the art of taking lite, something I have evidently applied with this blog.
On 5th August 2016, thousands of people around the world woke up with a rush of nostalgia, and the mission to splash it all over social media. In a fairly recent and unique tradition, students and alumni of BITS-Pilani celebrate their alma mater on the first Friday of August by posting snapshots and snippets of their college memories on social media, donning the once-oversized-now-taut BITSian T-shirts to office, and meeting up with other alumni in the city, much to the amusement and slight annoyance of new friends, bosses, spouses and children.
If you think about it, college life is the most special period for almost everyone, BITSian or otherwise. It was the time when they felt most lively, loved most passionately, had most fun and were their fittest. Each college has its own lingo, its own legends. And almost everyone, BITSian or otherwise, has faced the impact of distance on friendships that were to be forever. And for a split second everyday, we all wish to relive those days again.
But the success of BITSians Day lies in its concerted execution, thanks to the alumni cell BITSAA. There is something heartwarming about generations of BITS-Pilani products sharing stories from what might be the defining era of their lives. And nothing can beat the pride of seeing just how widely we are spread, and how many companies we drive, as pictures of BITSians posing next to the logos of their current institutions come up on Facebook. It is also fun to find out where your senior has landed up, which batchmate started his own company, which junior has taken an unconventional path, which BITSian couple actually got together. Even if they are not attending open-for-all get-togethers, people make it a point to meet or Skype with their friends, to relive and retell their experiences and misadventures. This event provides an annual update on the people who saw you grow, ensuring that the promise to stay connected is fulfilled, despite the distances.
I remember my first BITSians Day two years ago - fresh out of college, I was happy to find so many BITSians in my city, but was very casual about it. Cut to the next year, I was spamming social media crazily, having realised that the fanciness of corporate life is no match for the simple joys I experienced in the quaint and isolated town called Pilani, and that it is much harder to find people with your own wavelength. It wasn't as frenzied a celebration this year, and I believe that with each passing year, BITSians' Day will be less about being vocal, and more about revisiting the innocence and marvelling at our familiarity with BITSians we don't know - something I experienced when calls for a selfie were replaced with calls for DoPY. It will be about being nostalgic, and being introspective of how BITS has affected us.
At times when I, like apparently everyone else, face bouts of quarter-life crisis, I tend to wonder if my choices turned out well. The one thing that I never wonder about, is going to BITS-Pilani. And that's the crux of BITSians' Day.