Roots and Wings!

Unfortunately, my first contribution to my blog site comes after my last day in Xavier’s!
3rd July, 2000- my first day of what would turn out to be my four long years (it would rather be more appropriate to say four ‘short’ years) of college life in Xavier’s. I remember at around one in the afternoon just about 20 minutes both sides of the break outside classroom 20B, I was staring into what I thought was the VSNL building. I get this tap on my shoulder. I turn around and looking at the person in front of me, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that I would indeed be one of the shorter guys in college. “Hi, I’m Bijoy” he followed it up with a question, “FYJC?” Although taken aback a bit I reply “Yes. Hi, I’m Blessen.” Thus, I found my first friend in Xavier’s that in his own words ‘lasted right till now’. A week later, on the 10th of July 2000, I found my second friend, Merwyn, again outside 20B. It was only the following year that I realized it also happened to be his birthday! He was the one who was right there with me through my JC right till SYBA.
I got close to Carl, which eventually became the ‘best thing that I did in Xavier’s’, only in SYJC, when I promoted myself from a middle to a first bencher. I think my friends- Pratiksha and Bianca would testify to the fact that I was a very laid back shy kind of guy in my junior college. It was only late in the SYJC that I began to open up and find my true self! It still amazes me when I think it took almost a year and a half for me to settle into Xavier’s.
It was however, only in my senior college that I actually started to enjoy college life.
It was here where I made new friends giving me newer and better experiences.
It was here that I got closer to Carlo and Jasmine (my mamma in college).
It was here when I became 18 and on that very day made a new friend in the ever smiling Pearl (Pearlogirley).
It was here where the ‘legacy’ of MAX (Mallu Association of Xavier’s) and after a little while AMOX (Against Mallus Of Xavier’s) took roots. Yours truly being the founder-President of the former and Carlo of the latter. This is perhaps one thing that both Carlo and me would love to continue post-Xavier’s. A few years hence some would perhaps be privileged to see our grandchildren continuing with the tradition of MAX v/s AMOX in Xavier’s itself. For all we know, my grandson would have become a member of AMOX and vice versa. Let the ‘legacy’ continue!
It was here where I captained my best ever cricket team- The B A Studs! Although we played together only in the box cricket tourney of which we reached the finals the two times that we participated, the rapport in the team and the support I received were just amazing. Carlo, Merwyn, Bijoy, Anish and Ashwin were all there beside me when their skipper broke down sitting in one corner of the basket ball court after conceding 21 runs off the final over in the finals leading to our second consecutive finals defeat!
It was only in my second last academic month in SYBA that I decided to major in History in TY. MY TY began on a worst ever note when I had to miss my first week of college due to a torn ligament. This pretty much set the tone for how the rest of the year was going to be. This year wasn’t particularly one of my best in college, but was definitely the busiest. Although many a times I have felt that the work I had done had been a bit over-thanked and over-rated.
As for my sports, I had to opt out of the Badminton tournament because of my ligament. later I had to ‘walk out’ of the Cricket team despite getting selected in the probables when I realised the post selection speech given was aimed at me. More disappointment was to follow when we lost the Rink-Football tournament in the second round (although this wasn’t something new) and later on learnt that our Box Cricket tournament has also been cancelled. But all this disappointment went to the dumps when I got a chance in umpiring the inter-college Cricket for the Blind between St. Xavier’s and Ruia. Although there was satisfaction deep within as Xavier’s led by Jatin and Co. won a really closely contested match, the real joy was to be a part of it all! It was indeed an experience one can’t fathom.
The ‘historic’ trip to Kerala was the best and the most refreshing part about the year. The best part about the trip however, was not the beauty of my ancestral land (I consider Mumbai as home even if I live on the outskirts); it was the time that I got to spend with my friends. The Seminar at Khandala was a great dessert and the farewell organized by the FYs and SYs on the 27th of Jan 2005 was the icing on the cake.
One other experience was Aitihasik– the Journal of the History Dept of which I was one of the editors considering History of Sport was the theme! It would never have come out this year if it wasn’t for the efforts of Sneha. Running from person to person for articles and printer to printer to find the right publisher- she was doing it all eventually coming all the way to my little ‘village’ (as Carlo calls it) in Dombivli to get the printing done. It finally got released on the 29th of Jan 2005 and got sold out too!!!
It would be a cardinal sin if I don’t mention the names of Carlo bugger, Jasmine (Mamma), Gayle (RC), Kim MDSV, Alisha, Nancy (Chackochi), Lavina (Teachere), M’am Fleur and of course Sneha– ‘the best thing about the year’. Without these wonderful people, the year would have been a real drag. The last name really needs a special mention! While mamma is the one of the most caring person I have come across, Sneha is one of the sweetest and most helpful! These guys were the final few pieces of my jigsaw puzzle that helped me make it into a complete picture. However, the saddest part about the final few days in college life is that everyone’s real tensed and busy preparing for their exams and cannot really afford to enjoy and cherish the moments. The only thing other than reference work that people were doing were filling up autograph books!!
But I agree with my Rajput friend Bharat when he said raising his hands to the few in the class “I will never forget you guys.” I will never forget Classroom 37 because it is where it all happened and it is where it all ends!
True to the song, Xavier’s gave me roots and wings! But I agree with one of my ex-Xavierite friend that the roots are so firmly stuck to the ground that I find it hard to use my wings. But the most precious thing that Xavier’s gave me cannot be compared with anything else- MY FRIENDS!

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