Shalom!

Parting is not easy. And when you have spent four glorious years of your life in a safe, secure environment with your dearest friends and acquaintances, sentiments surge up into the nerves and compel you to stay back forever. Giving words to such emotions and summing up these four years within minutes is what has been attempted in the farewell speech that Archit Jain delivered. We give it a place in Ping! so that those words can be carried along forever as an epilogue of the remarkable journey that the passing-out batch has been through.

Dear faculty members, batch-mates, seniors, juniors and friends

I wish you all “Shalom”. Call it my incompetence or inability but I for one could not decide whether to say goodbye to an old life or welcome a new one. Shalom is a Hebrew word and is used idiomatically to mean both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’— a beautiful and apt word to capture our sentiments and dilemma. The word becomes more relevant as it also means peace, completeness, and welfare of all beings.

Today marks an important milestone in our long journey to step out of darkness and ignorance. We celebrate this day mindful of the fact that the future beckons us to do better— it expects of us to uphold the values and teachings of our professors and parents and enjoins us to share the fruit of knowledge with those around us.

I wish to speak on two topics today, what I learnt in the college and what can we together do to improve the student life at IIIT-H.

Beginning with the first one, I learnt that college life allow you to fail. Those who avail themselves of that rare opportunity grow by leaps and bounds and the rest degenerate into oblivion. Your speaker today wanted to learn basketball but made no serious attempt at it for the fear of failure. Today, I see around me great players who did not know ‘B’ of basketball when they came in first year but some of them are now playing for the institute team. It is the power of such incidents which help you appreciate when JK Rowling, in her famous Commencement address at Harvard talked about the “fringe-benefits of failure” and how they help turn a stone to sculpture. It is in that spirit that I urge all of you to do things you have never done before during your college life.

College life taught me not to support people but support a cause for people represent and fight for a cause. I had the pleasure and joy of interacting with various shades of people. This has enriched me as a person and it is in this spirit I urge you all to take some time out and talk to people around you, both friends and strangers.

College life has taught me the value of small things at life. I realized in college the importance of my mother waking me up every morning for here I had to do this on my own, I realized the importance of home-made food, I realized how tough it was to clean your own room when your friends would dirty it after birthday celebrations. These and many other small things make you value people around you and appreciate the efforts they put in to make your life easy, It is in this spirit I urge all of you to talk to the housekeeping staff, guards and even the newspaper boy, acknowledge their jobs and listen to their stories for it is then you will see how rich life is and how blessed are we all.

College life gave me the courage and belief to opt for things that were tough to do. Whenever I had to choose a project/course I would choose the one which was the toughest for I believed it will help me to learn the most. It taught me not be complacent which can come in if you compete but keep pushing your boundaries which happens when you want to excel. It showed me a glimpse of the arduous journey that entails when one wishes to fulfill his/her desire to excel. In words of Kennedy, “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because this challenge will measure the best of our energies and skills, because this challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win”. It is in this spirit I urge all my juniors to take up tasks that are tough, take up tasks that are challenging and take up tasks that will make you burn midnight oil.

I now come to the second topic I wish to speak on that is what can we do together to improve student life at IIIT-H.
Before I begin, I would like to answer a question that most people ask me- why should I do this as I will not get anything tangible out of it. This is a pertinent question and I wish to answer it in words of Hillel, who talks why we should work not only for ourselves but also for others. He says “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am only for myself, what am ‘I’?” And if not now, when?”

It is my belief that Students Parliament and other student groups are a vital organ for an effective student governance and improving faculty student relationships. It has to play a proactive role in student life with the spirit of cooperation and not opposition. Today the student life is plagued by 3 problems and to solve this we need 3 people. I call this 3P for 3P. The three problems are proxies in class, plagiarism and addiction to poisons viz alcohol, drugs and what not. The three people viz professors, parents and most importantly peers have to work together in a concerted manner to fight this menace. This will take time but we have started the process this year and I hope we will see positive results soon.
It is my belief that we need to produce students who are good coders, dancers, players and what have you. This can be done if we give students a platform and some time to themselves to work on something they are interested. We need more clubs contributing substantially and actively over the year to the student life. I was one of the members of Ping! This October we will finish three years in publication and still going strong. We have our own history and story now and I see an untold story in every club waiting to be narrated. My own association with Ping! has been very rewarding and this has led to Prof. Govindrajulu nickname me as Ping! Jain.

Lastly, it was a pleasure to be a class representative of my batch. Prof. Kamal in his message to the batch wrote that this is “possibly the most promising batch to join the institute to not only do well but also guide juniors”. There can be no greater compliment than this one. We studied hard, partied harder, were obedient but also firm when we felt something was wrong. It was an honour to serve such marvellous people.

To conclude I would like to say

To the faculty members We will miss the “Pardon” of Prof. Jawahar, tremor when Prof. Biswas would come and stand over your head in electronics lab, insightful lectures of Prof. Kannan where he could relate anything to everything and nothing to anything, Prof. Kamal’s one liners “hard luck, “ok”, “sure”, Prof. Govindrajulu’s anecdotes on married fellows and his enthusiasm to teach, Kaul sir’s “is that ok?”, Appaji’s “What can I do? Talk to the Dean!” and many more such people who have made an indelible impact on our lives. I see this as an opportune moment for us to endeavour that our bonds and affinity do not diminish or weaken over time. Dear Sirs and Ma’ams, we hope that you will continue to guide us and inspire us in the many journeys of life still left.

To my fellow juniors, college life is like a Baskin Robbins shop. Do have a scoop of every ice cream present. Then choose one or more (subject to the money you have or in my analogy the time you can devote to each activity) and relish it. Let your farewell speech read out that there was nothing in college I did not try my hand on, including having or an attempt to have a girlfriend.

To my fellow batch-mates I dedicate a small poem that each one of you would want to read out to the guy sitting next to you

College mein aaye the yeh sochkar,
dost bnaeyenge hum khoj khoj kar |
tanha tanha din kateein,
jaane kahan hum tumse milein |

dost toh hain kahen
par tumsa koi hai he nahin |
diya hai tumne har waqt saath,
galti hone par bhi chodha nahi hai haath |

dosti, yaari ka matlab tumne sikhaya,
har pal humne hi tumhe sataya |
har aadat the bure humari,
phir bhi tumne har baat nihari |

bhule nahi hum woh pehle mulakat,
jab tumne ki thi haskar pehle baat |
bhule nahi hain hum woh tumhara aana ,
jis din hona tha hume ravana |

kya mange tumse aur,
bita hua har pal ban gya hai ek daur.|
agar kahen aawaz aayi ya hua kahin koi shor,
toh aankhein dhundenge tumhe usi ore|

bus sankshipt mein hai tumse kehna ,
ise yaad rakhe rehna.|
chota sa paigam hai ,
humare zindagi mein aapka bhi ek naam hai…||

To all of IIIT-H … I read out the words of Shelley with a longing that they come true.
“Meeting and parting are the ways of life, but parting and meeting is the wish of my life.”
I wish you all once again Shalom!

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