The Revelation

It was a known fact that I was addicted to Orkut, after that fiasco with Aishwarya, the addiction kind of phased down, she even had removed from the friendlist. Few years later I found her on Facebook, she even had sent a friend request on the new social media, I had plainly rejected it. But I was addicted to browsing various things on net, philosophy and physics being the primary searches. I was, in a way was able to decipher the meaning “aham Brahmasmi” of Adi Shankara, using that as the foundation, I came up with my own theory of universe.

I assumed that the energy getting created, by an all pervading consciousness, of course defying the 1st law of thermodynamics, also the destruction of energy again defying, I assumed on the factor that the universe we dwell is designed only to convert energy received from the point which I called as the Brahmic point, to mass and other forms of energy. The Brahmic point was the point where energy gets created and destroyed, the point on the universe which receives the energy as the cosmic point. I assumed that the Brahmic point was a kind of thought that was beyond our perception of mass, space and time. I assumed that multiple universes gets created and destroyed simultaneously at the Brahmic point. I wrote the idea on a piece of paper and shared with my class teacher at his residence, he read it aloud mockingly and everyone laughed at it, I felt humiliated but stayed quiet. After the daily tuitions, our class teacher asked everyone except me to leave, I stayed, Darshan and Indrajith made a gesture saying that they would stay at the road corner.

Everyone left,  Lakshmisha Sir was alone that day, his wife and children had gone out to a family event, he said “are you upset?”, “No Sir” I responded, “Bhaskara, do not feel bad , your idea is just fantastic and something that’s beyond your age, I had to mock it because I had to stop you  from incepting these kind of ideas among your batch mates, few come low income families and if they clear 10th at least they may end with a government jobs, not everyone are born with privileges like you and not everyone are ambitious as you are, don’t give up these ideas either, when time is right you can use them” he said this affectionately and ruffled my hair, “thank you sir”  I replied and gave a faint smile, “go now and loaf around with that loafer friend of your’s” he said obviously referring to Darshan, I laughed hard and pedalled harder as soon as I left his gate.

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I am,what, I am!

December of 2005 was proceeding smoothly, Aishwarya would send me messages on Orkut, at one point of time she even called my landline, to good luck my brother answered and handed over the phone to me, we spoke about everything under the sun. She spoke about her dream of starting a charitable trust, educating the underprivileged, building homes for less fortunate, I wished her good luck, and she asked about my dream, I replied harvest greener and cleaner energy and utilize the same to power automobiles, she probed further, I said I would like to invent a new technique for the same and get it patented and make exorbitant amount of money and lead the life king-size, her voice suddenly changed argumentative, that was the first time I heard her like that, she said “it’s a sin to amass more than what’s required” , without losing my cool I responded “I live for myself and I have every right to live like I wish”, she added “just because you are privileged enough to get educated you do not have right to snatch other’s opportunities”, “okay, what do you suggest I do, in case I invent something awesome” I asked mockingly, “keep what’s required and donate to the society” was her response, “why?” I asked again, “there are people striving to get one single meal daily” she added , “how am I responsible to their fate?” , “You are Not, but you have a moral obligation to help them”, “I do not believe that philosophy, I believe in survival of the fittest” I further added, “capitalistist ass!” saying this , she disconnected. I pondered over her ideas, I concluded they are overly idealistic and impractical, but sent a “sorry, I hurt you” on her Orkut scrapbook, later that day, she responded immediately “that’s alright, tell me frankly are you really a materialistic humanbeing?” “Maybe, I love bikes, cars and watches” I typed, “so you do not care about society?” she asked, “I care about nature, if that’s what you mean?” I replied, to which “so you are least bothered about other people’s suffering?” She added, “I do, but I more concerned about environment and wildlife” I answered, “I thought you to be a sweet guy, but you are not, you are like everyone else” she added, I replied  “well, I am, what, I am”, that was the last I spoke with her.

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The electric shock.

November 2005 was an eventful month, I was struggling for few spare notes to go to a cyber cafe to chat with Aishwarya, also had spend time studying, attend tuitions and regular street cycle races. While things were never as beautiful.

Mr.Krishnamurthy would never explain anything, he would read out the paragraph heading as a question and dictate the entire para as an answer, I clearly remember this answer, the question was “what is resurrection?”, the answer he made us write was ” when Jesus Christ passed away on the  cross, 3 days later his body was not found in the cross, he was resurrected and he travelled east to spread Christianity “, the answer he made us write was for spread of Christianity. 
One day during Mr.Krishnamurthy Sir’s class, we started tapping the ground making huge noises, we knew he would get irritated, “who is that third rated loafer!??” , he would swear at slightest hissing noise. Mahesh the class clown started to tap the ground, the canvas shoes made unpleasant noise and everyone picked up the rhythm and started making that noise. “Eat shit you bastards” he swore again, we stopped for a second and started hissing, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM??! I AM LORD ANGRY NARASIMHA, I WILL SUCK RAW BLOOD OUT OF YOUR VEINS”, he thundered, we couldn’t control our laughter adding further to his irritation. He noticed that one seat in the desk behind my desk was empty, he came and sat next to guy named Monish, he appeared innocent but he was an absolute “criminal”, one person named Divakar in the middle row threw a toy towards Monish, which would give mild electric shock, it had an appearance like a Wrigley’s chewing gum, which caught Krishnamurthy Sir’s attention, he snatched it from Monish as  expected and asked what it was, Monish promptly replied chewing gum, Krishnamurthy sir said “I will take one” and pulled it, which gave him a shock and he hissed, also entire class which was eagerly watching this burst out laughing, he got so psyched that day, “Fuckin pigs, Bastards, will you do the same to your father” he screamed. We were unable stop laughing, he rushed towards the exit saying he will bring our class teacher, while he was near the exit door, we in chorus hissed again. He in anger roared ” SHAMELESS BASTARDS!”.

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The Crush.

Ever since I got to know of Orkut, I was hooked on to it. Aishwarya would enter messages on my scrapbook, we would end up chatting on it, after chatting and when it was time for us to get back to books, we would make sure we deleted all the things we chatted. Orkut lacked that privacy feature, slowly my friend list started increasing, I didn’t want them to know I had a friend from one of the top schools of Bangalore, so I took extra care not leave any “dangerous looking scrap” on my scrapbook. Darshan became my friend and he became a “fan” a feature of Orkut. He noticed few of my fan lis t which were mostly my cousins and Aishwarya’s name grasped his attention, he noticed that she was from Baldwin’s, next day he came and demanded an explanation, then I had explain him everything that  happened on the interschool quiz day. He gave a wide grin and looked at me like he was going kill me slyly.

It so happened, we both became very close. One day she had typed “wassuup baby??”, owing to cash crunch I was finding it hard to visit cyber cafe, Darshan wanted to post some nonsense on my scrapbook and he noticed it. He pedalled all the way to my home to ask about this particular scrap, using the pretext of collecting notes and he started speaking weirdly, when I could no longer bear his non sense, I demanded an actual reason for his behavior, he started laughing hard mentioned about the scrap, I was happy and scared at the same time, as was the case of Schrödinger’s cat, which was dead and alive simultaneously. I begged my mother to part me with 10 rupees to go to cyber cafe, she finally budged in and gave what I wanted, I ran to the slow cyber cafe behind my street, I logged in and found that scrap, I was mad with joy, I typed hi on her scrapbook, all under the  supervision of Darshan, she responded “my loafer finally found time to chat with me”, Darshan started giggling. I typed ” hey let’s not talk to each other like this” was about to send but Darshan stopped me from doing it. I just responded “wat r u doin?” And started chatting for more than an hour. Shopkeeper came and reminded us that I had extended by half an hour and the cost was 20 rupees, I bargained with him and promised him that I will give him over the weekend. 

No she wasn’t my first crush, in fact I never had any such nonsense towards her, she was just a friend who was different yet similar to me. But Darshan assumed I had a crush on her and started teasing me with her in public, so unofficially she was considered my first crush.

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What is Orkut?

“What is Orkut?” I asked Arun, he looked at me mockingly and asked, “is it her?”. Kavana just giggled, I looked at his face intently hoping for an answer, he finally budged in and said ” its an online platform, wherein you can add new friends and be in touch with your current friends” , I impatiently asked “how do I do that?”, ” with your gmail ID” he said, “can’t I do it with my yahoo account?” I probed, he started laughing and said “no” and gently pressed my shoulder and added “create one”, “hmmm” I responded. Bus was scheduled to drop us near the school which was in Basavanagudi and in order to reach Basavanagudi he took an interior road to avoid the busy Kanakpura road traffic at peak hour and had to go past Devegowda petrol bunk, I requested the driver to drop me off there and he obliged.

I took and 1 ruppee coin and dialed my  brother’s number and requested him to pick me near the petrol bunk, he came there after few minutes on his Kinetic Honda, I asked him “do you have any work in BDA complex?”, he replied “no, why?”, I further requested “can you help me create a gmail ID?” “Ok, come let’s go” he replied and turned his moped towards BDA complex. We both entered a small shop which was the fastest cyber cafe in the locality back then but now it has been turned into a tailor shop. We both sat inside a cabin, which offered considerable privacy, he typed Orkut.com and signed in, the purple screen popped up, there was something called as scraps, he had added a photo, few had commented on it, he had about 80 friends and he was part of few communities, mostly metal music communities. I asked  “I want an account like this”, “its for 18 and above” he replied and added “anyways you have been corrupted more than an 18year old” however he helped me create a gmail account, I felt yahoo was much simpler back then, but now not using yahoo and completely dependent on google for everything. He helped me create an Orkut account by entering my year of birth as 1987, 4 years prior to my actual account, after that he taught me how to add friends and join communities and few other features that social networking site provided. He accepted my friend request and he made me send friend requests to few other people whom we both knew in common. I did find few of my classmates, to my shock found Darshan and Indrajith, also they even had a community of our class and one more of our school as a whole. After this we both left the cafe and went home. 

Next morning, Arun was carrying the memento and certificates, which I wasn’t present to collect on the dias as I was lost in conversation with Aishwarya. Our headmaster announced it on the stage and everyone cheered, it was the first time I was stage for a good reason and not for getting punished. I had managed to save about 20 rupees out of 50 rupees which my mother had given me previous day just in case to buy food at the competition. After school I headed to a shanty cyber cafe in one of the interior most streets of Gandhi bazaar, I opened my Orkut account and found there were quite some visitors and few had sent friend requests, which I accepted and few to whom I had sent had accepted mine. I searched for her name “Aishwarya Rao” in Baldwin Girl’s High School group and found her account , she was using her photo as the display picture, I sent her a friend request and started browsing on alternate window, after roughly  5 minutes, I got a notification saying she had accepted my friend request and she had typed “Hi Bhaskar” on my scrapbook and I responded back and we chatted for close to an hour and the cyber cafe guy came and reminded me that my duration was over and I had logout, I quickly typed that I had to leave and logged out. Well I learnt what was Orkut.

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The Interschool Quiz

As explained previously, I was selected for the school quiz team. One guy from 10th grade name Arun and one girl from 10th grade named Kavana were my team mates, as instructed by our headmaster we were required to wear our blazers, so as to carry out a dignified look while representing our school, he gave a skeptical look to me when he mentioned the word “dignified”. He wished us good luck and left.

The quiz was scheduled the next day, the college organizing that quiz had arranged a bus for us to take to their location, which was on the outskirts of Bangalore, off Kanakpura road. While passing on Kanakpura road I glanced at one engineering college whose building looked like a government school building in a remote village, without any compound wall but with a bushy fence, wondered how can an engineering college be so pathetic, 3 and half years later I was a student of that college.

We finally arrived at the location, it was completly amidst green fields, which at present is the hub of villament projects. On the preliminary round we were given a paper with a set of questions, which we managed to clear as a team. Yes, it was not a traditional quiz, it was more of a science fair, second round we were to construct a bridge using  broomstick strands and rubber bands such that it had to withstand a load of 500grams, I was artistically inclined and worked on a way to build it using minimum number of strands. On the third we were asked to build a two way circuit which was beyond our scope at that point of time. So that was the end of our journey in that science fair, we managed to secure third place.

The fair was not just science and nerd stuff, there was music and dance, which the students from few of the so called cool schools danced and made merry. Our team sat silently in one corner, I noticed a girl from a Baldwin’s girls high school sitting quietly scribbling something in her note pad and she was using a fountain pen, damn she was pretty. Arun observed her too and said, who uses fountain pen these days , I replied I do and showed him my “Parker”, which now is replaced by a “Waterman”. He said she’s cute and he said he wanted to ask her out, but he didn’t have the guts, I found her attractive too, I went close to her and said ” Bhaskar” and stretched my hand, she took my said her name was “Aishwarya”, I said “strange you still use a fountain pen” , she smiled and replied “there’s a certain feel which cannot be expressed in words”, I replied “did I trigger a poetess in you”, she laughed hard and I further asked “where’s your team?” She said pointing towards her team “over there,  dancing” , my next question was ” you don’t dance?” She laughed further and said “I enjoy my alone time and hate the crowd, how about you?”, I laughed hard and shrugged a no, to continue the conversation further I asked “if I may ask, what are you writing?”, she said “oh! Its just some poetry, do you want to take a look?”, obviously I said yes and read through few pages, I was impressed by her language and of course her handwriting, which was beautiful in contrast to mine, She asked  if I read any literature, I said I did read philosophy. “shall we have coffee? ” I asked,  “sure” she said and we went near the free coffee counter set up to cater to the participants.

We went to a quite corner to chat further, we discussed about our interests. Time was literally flying away, All of a sudden she asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” It was a hard question, I mumbled “an engineer, maybe an automobile engineer”, she asked ” why automobile? ” I said what came to my mind then “to build a car that runs using minimum fuel”, ” hmm, nice” she responded, I asked “what about you?”, ” a journalist “, she said and gave toothy grin, “amazing!” I responded and did not react further, “why what’s wrong?” She probed further, “nothing, its just that its the first time I have  heard someone who wanted to do something other than engineering or medical” I replied, she blushed and she felt appreciated.

I realized it was getting dark and our buses would leave soon and everyone were aligning with their teams, she asked my phone number so we could stay in touch , I gave my landline number without thinking  about the consequences, of course I did not have a cell back then. She asked me to note down her mobile number and her email ID, so I took out my fountain pen to make a note of it, she smiled and said “so we both are weird”, I blushed , “okay I gotta go, you can add me on Orkut and do stay in touch” she added and gave a lovely smile, she looked damn cute with her short hair, “for sure” I responded, but with one question on my mind, which I asked Arun later in the bus “what is Orkut?”

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The quiz

The 9th grade was proceeding smoothly, my inclination towards science, physics in particular was identified by my class teacher Mr. Lakshmisha, I am not sure if it was his teaching style or my inner self that got me hooked on the subject. He was also well versed in  Sanskrit, while he taught he would every now and then quote philosophy.Philosophy and physics, combination of both turned to form heady thought cocktail, which in a way was responsible for my social anxiety and awkwardness in years to come. Philosophy of advaita and theory of relativity changed the way I perceived things, not that am not materialistic, I loved and still love expensive stuffs but I stopped caring about what people thought about me or spoke about me.

During November 2005, I do not recollect exact date, all the toppers from all the 3 grades were called to the library to take up a surprise quiz, a decisive test to determine whom to send to a interschool quiz competition held by a  emerging science pre-university college, which  is now established as the premier IIT foundation institute. As usual Sashwat, Vaidehi and another girl named Ashwini went to the library after receiving the memo, I was fooling around in the classroom making hissing noises in chorus to annoy Mr.Krishnamurthy. After few minutes, attender came and called out, “who the hell is Holla, Lakshmisha Sir is calling?” , he called me using rustic Mandya Kannada, the gist of which cannot be reproduced in English. Krishnamurthy Sir looked at me triumphantly, expecting that I would be punished as always. As I left the calssroom, the class hissed in unison again annoying Krishnamurthy sir further, I heard him swear at the class.

I asked  attender where I had to go, he mentioned that Lakshmisha Sir wanted me in the library, as I entered the library I was handed over a paper containing questions and asked to answer them. The paper had about 50 objective question divided equally across all branches of science, Sashwat gave me a dirty look also I was perplexed, and thought, why me?

I answered all the questions 20 minutes before everyone and walked out, there was still 20 minutes left before the completion of a class before the lunch hour, I didn’t want to get inside the class, I noticed 9th F class was having PE class, so they were playing in the ground, I had few friends in that class and noticed that PE teacher was nowhere to be seen, he probably was drunk somewhere this giving me a chance to hangout for the next 20 minutes. That was officially the first time I bunked a class, which later became a habit.

To my bad luck, my class teacher went looking for me to my class, when he got to know I had bunked, he was angry but to counter that he got to know, I had scored 46 out of 50 in that surprise quiz, officially the topper and first selection for the school quiz team, which was a 3 member team, other 2 were from 10th standard. He didn’t look out for me further, for he knew he will catch me at his residence few hours later.

Later that day, I entered tuition hall of Lakshmisha Sir’s residence with Darshan and Indrajith, 15 minutes late as usual. Lakshmisha Sir made me stand while Darshan and Indrajith sat, he asked where I had been before lunch, he was in a good mood, he asked jokingly, I stood still smiling, he then announced that I  was selected for the interschool quiz competition and I had topped the surprise quiz held earlier, everyone clapped, my eyes scanned the hall and met the eyes which always wanted to meet, Spandana. Our eyes met, she gave an admiring look and gave wide grin.

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