Times change, time doesn't

By Ninad Pundalik

Times change, time doesn't

 

Ok. That’s a pretty lame title, but I wanted to dedicate this click and post to the watch that has stayed with me through the past few years.

As far as I remember, I was gifted this watch some time in 2006. Life has come a long way since then.

Back in 2006, I was yet another kid aspiring to be an engineer. Like most of the other students around me, I also attended tuitions for IIT-JEE, and dreamt of being a mechanical engineer. Or, if that did not work out, go to an engineering college in Pune (like every second kid from Nashik), be a mechanical engineering student there, and dabble in the college drama competition scene. But, as it turned out, life had it’s own plans for me.

I had no clue that life would lift me, and throw me far, far away from everyone I knew. I got an admission to BITS, Pilani, which is in a town in Rajasthan. Although my degree was not an engineering one, I chose to go for it. It meant saying good bye to every friend I’d known from school and junior college (yeah, we in Maharashtra call 11th and 12th standard that). New friends were made, new hobbies were discovered, and an old hobby strengthened. I became a member of the Astronomy Club, and discovered that I was fairly decent at clicking photographs by being part of the Photography Club. Life was cool and fun for the next few years.

The years flew, and 2010 reared it’s head. The inevitable parting of friends occured, I headed off to Pune, and then Gurgaon for a semester each of my internships. This was also the summer where I worked double shift for my Google Summer of Code internship, along with the one at the Pune company. This period proved that my interest in computers wasn’t just about reading magazines and writing programs in QBASIC and Logo. I wrote a lot of PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript as well as some ABAP. And, it turns out that I wrote them all well enough that I could get somebody’s work done. I made full use of being in Pune, and caught up with quite a few friends from Nashik. But, those days ended way too soon. (I’m guessing that the 6 day/week, 9-5 internship had a part to play in that).

Come 2011, and I was staring at my first proper job. I started off at my current employer, and was happy to shift to Bangalore. Why wouldn’t I be? Most of my friends from college lived here. The new job and company also bought a lot of new friends along, and it was brilliant. I settled in to my job, and started to be a little more active in the Bangalore tech circles. I met the amazing people behind Barcamp Bangalore, and the friendship just kicked in. It was as if we’d known each other for years. (Yes Twitter, don’t nag me. You did have a big role to play in that).

Not surprisingly, time flew again, and some friends moved out of Bangalore. Some pursued higher studies, some looked for greener pastures. It was time for life to throw a spanner in the works. And, it did not disappoint. I’m going to be moving out of Bangalore for a 6 month fellowship at an institute in Germany. Although the fine print mentions that I will return to my current job posting after the fellowship ends, there’s no guarantee that life will not throw me around once again.

Over the years, I changed from a short tempered, fat, know-it-all chap into someone restless, (a little) creative, and a calm fellow with some bit of wisdom.

It is time to start making new friends, discovering new passions, testing new boundaries. It is time to get excited. But, I am also sad, and scared. Sad to say good bye to all the awesome friends I’ve made in the past few years. Sad that I will not be around to participate in the next Barcamp, or attend plays that my friends are a part of. Scared that I’ll be going to a foreign land, with an unknown language. Scared that there won’t be anyone around who knows me, and stop me from making the mistakes that are an integral part of me. Scared, for the first time in my life, that I’ve become really close to some people, and that I’m going to miss them a lot, with no way of easily meeting them.

Dear watch, thank you for being there with me, through all of this. And everyone else who has been a part of this journey, thank you for making it so good.