Stories

An Unusual First Day

Since the day I was allotted IIT Kharagpur, I was deliriously happy and impatient to be there right away. But my train ticket was heartbreakingly expressing it’s reluctance to take me early to the dream place of every other engineering aspirant.
Finally the day I was waiting for signed in, the morning newspaper said it was 24th July 2015. Tons of anticipations sang in my mind and I was exceedingly thanking God for the journey I was witnessing. I had my Papa and Jiju with me, their presence was exaggerating my cheerfulness and their contented articulation to see me becoming a part of the IIT Kharagpur community was brimming my charm. I had been seeing the beautiful piece of architecture which stood for the symbol of excellence and history, the main building of IIT Kharagpur, for years on my 2 inch Nokia phone and now witnessing it in it’s true dimension was a wonderful experience that would be the last thing I would ever forget in my life. Although I had come here once for the registration, the sense of belongingness was making this a different experience altogether as I was allotted a different IIT in the first round of JoSAA. Out of the emotions of years of dream eventually becoming a verity, I could not forget to capture that picturesque in my newly gifted phone.
Despite all those happiness and excitement, I must confess that there was some sort of deliberate apprehension scrolling down my mind although I had checked and rechecked my documents several times with proper reference to the checklist that I was provided and was convinced each time that I had done things smartly. Throughout my journey, I was exorbitantly asking the question to myself- “Have I indeed done things right?”, as carelessness has been my history.
Soon I had to be the part of the admission process and the hoarding containing the details of our venue of admission instructed us to go to the Vikramsila Classroom Complex. Since I went a little late and the number of students was substantial, it was late evening when I was finally submitting my documents for the scrutiny. An official took the documents and moments later, after interacting with his computer, gave a positive look pointing towards the institute brochure asking me to pick up one. I responded to him positively. As I was leaving the hall I was smiling at the silly anticipations that I was reluctantly so worried about.
As was the procedure, I had to move to my department and submit the print out of the registration copy for the digital signature that would mark the completion of my responsibility towards the registration for the first semester. As it had been very late evening by then, I was craving for something to fill my empty belly. I was in the department’s photocopy room, and it was my turn to enter the alphabets and numbers that would form my Roll No, Password and the Security Question. ‘Invalid Credentials,’ the system said. I thought I was fast enough to have placed my finger on the wrong keys. I tried it again. The really fast Internet took almost no time in declaring again- ‘Invalid Credentials.’ I took another try and then another until the count went beyond 10-12 but with each next attempt it was like the CPU was processing the information faster and incapacitating me with the same message, maybe shouting on me that my credentials were invalid. I was startled, still staring on that remorseless message of the system which declared my inputs to be incorrect although I had taken utmost care in entering my details reducing my typing speed each time to a bare minimum. I was a very nervous human being at that point in time and to engulf the reality felt like very catastrophic as I could see the students successfully logging in and clicking the print option. The person in the photocopy room was seeing all this and he too looked surprised. He tried to help me by typing for me but still, the CPU took no time to process and declare ‘invalid credentials.’ I got really frustrated as well as frightened as to what would happen now but the CPU did not change it’s decisions. He advised me to go back to the place where I had submitted the documents and inquire about the situation.
As I had arrived the entrance of V2 Hall, the Classroom where my registration was conducted, the vacant room sent a shiver down my spine. I was helpless to have done nothing apart from checking other Classrooms and finding anyone to ask about the issue. I soon found myself in the nearby V4 Hall, where the registration process was on the verge of conclusion. I happened to talk to one of the officials appointed to examine the documents. I wanted to know the possible reasons regarding the issue that had unexpectedly sprouted out and perhaps more interested in knowing if something could be done at that time so that I could relax. Contrary to my expectation what he did was made me more frustrated and irritated by saying that issue could only be dealt on Monday when the office would resume after the weekends break. ‘After 2 days,’ I murmured. “Two ‘stressful’ days would be like weeks and months,” I thought. I requested him but that was to no avail. He seemed least interested in my issue and I felt him being crueler than the computer that had declared my correct pieces of information ‘invalid’ several times. It felt like the astrological bodies had recently changed it’s position just to make me tensed and frustrated and perhaps make me feel like the unluckiest. It was more than 5:30 PM and the Hall was almost empty with the last of the students submitting their documents. Hopelessly, I was following his request which looked more like his instruction to leave now and come to the Academic (UG) Section on Monday. ‘Wait,’ he said as he and then I saw a person entering the Hall. I anticipated him to be an official as there was no student coming with him. I was right. The person who kind of instructed us to depart suddenly turned kind and was discussing my issue with the person who has just arrived. After a very brief discussion, the newly arrived official asked me if I had another set of photocopied-documents. Thanks to my deliberate apprehension that I had because of which I already had an extra set of photocopied-documents in case of an emergency. Readily and with increased hope, I answered- ‘Yes.’ With each click of the keyboard and mouse that he did on his computer, my relationship with the computer grew more amicable for it was helping me this time. As he pressed the final key on his keyboard, he turned towards me and in a gentlemen way told me, ‘it’s done, now you can open your ERP account’. I, still doubtful, nodded my head. As was obvious, I could have done nothing apart from believing in him.
With tons of apprehension in mind and hope for a positive outcome, I turned up to the photocopy room. Impatiently, I fired my fingers on the keys of the keyboard. As soon as I pressed Enter it took no time in taking me into the logged-in home page of the ERP displaying my name on the top-right side. Although I had logged in to confirm the registration and print the registration page, it appeared to me like a ‘stress releasing website.’ It seemed that my prayers had brought the astrological bodies into their correct place once again and now it was showering good lucks onto me. I was both cheerful and thankful to god but I will never forget that thrilling welcome of myself at IIT Kharagpur. Just the next day, I created my Facebook account and with lots of pride and thankfulness to God and the people around me who had helped me at odd times, I wrote about myself- “Studies at IIT Kharagpur.”
Interestingly, some days later I happened to meet the person, who messed things up, in the UG Section in the main building when I went there to receive the Institute Smart Card. I briefed him story of what had happened. He could not comprehend how it could happen. Anyways, I wanted to thank the person once again who saved me from living two stressful days just at the start of my IIT journey. Fortunately, I met him in the same office and thanked him one fine day. I had to remind him of the incident…

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