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My True Graduation…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jimy Shah @ 7:22 pm

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of school is backpacks. That also fully loaded with two-ton books, some cool gadgets to show off, compass box stuffed with equipments to shape our future, and most importantly those fancy multi-sectioned lunch boxes. Two full decades of school life just passes through my memories giving that nostalgic feeling and making me say “I wish those days were never over”. So here is my journey of those two decades:

Kinder Garden: My mom always jokes that during kinder garden I was being dressed up while I was asleep and was carefully dumped into school rickshaw.

Standard 1-5: I started getting ready while being wakeful (my first exposure to multitasking). I made friends, played antakshari in school rickshaw and started getting used to the ever growing monstrous homework.

Standard 5-8: Here comes the much awaited phase where I got promoted from half-pant to full pant in school uniform. Aaha… I also got to write with ballpoint pens graduating from the Natraj HB pencils. I got the opportunity to ditch my school bus and be a free bird by riding bicycle to school.

Standard 8-9: Here I got a bigger promotion. Trashed my bicycle and started take bajaj sunny
to school. Started going to tuition classes to get ahead in the education race. The routine was: go to tuition in morning, go to school in the afternoon, play cricket in evening, do homework, watch cricket or TV serials or play video game at night.

Standard 10-12: Here comes the so called crucial years of my career, the board exams. Separate tuition classes for each subject, cut-throat competition, daily tests in tuition classes and first bunks to school periods. Even today I believe those were the most hectic and demanding 3 years of my life. Peer pressure, family expectations and internal desire to do well in the board exams were the biggest drivers. The most common piece of advise from elders would be “This is the only year when you have to work hard, concentrate and you will be happy for your entire life.” That year never ended, not till today. I still remember the day before board exams when relatives and friends would come to wish me luck and bestow their blessings. It was a ritual which everyone followed during board exams to encourage the students.

Board results: Results of XII board exams are out and my parents have started speculating: “how much is the result this year, what was the cut-off for medical college last year, how much is the fees for Xyz College, what would be my ranking in the state boards and many more. As a tradition, on our way back from school where we were informed about my results, dad would stop the car at a local mithaiwala and get some sweets anticipating many friends and relatives would visit our place to congratulate us. And of course… I still remember that smile on my parents’ face each time they would announce my result to someone. Just because of that moment I always think all my efforts were completely justified.

Bachelors’ degree: This was the most fun part of schooling in India. Here I got to interact with many different students from different parts of the country. Enjoyed bunks, celebrated different day’s (govinda day, black&white day, V-day etc.), got ragged on the first day and continued that tradition when I became senior, proxy attendance, walked out from lectures using the back doors and enjoyed the delicious food in canteen. Then came the submission phase where people were found at all different places of campus, except classrooms, completing their journals. Next came the reading vacation where I spent 1 month at home. This month was filled by group studies, explaining concepts over the phone, running to the sincere students to get the IMP questions list which would have been shared by teachers during lectures. Then came the day of exams where I used to enter the campus with fully loaded brain and behaving like an MBA (Mane Baddhu Aavadeche) which translates to “I know everything”. On last day of semester exams we directly went for cricket, then movie and then used to dine out.

Aptitude tests: Now was the phase when I was about to graduate from college and was planning for further studies. I joined the coaching classes EEC
who claims to prepare students for GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS. I used to attend verbal and quantitative classes and then practice more in its library for the rest of my day. When bored, we used to get down across the streets where you get the world famous samosa sandwich and pav-vada (name of that place was Vishal sandwich, right across BHS school). Six tiring months of this effort and then came the time for GRE and TOEFL exams. I selected Ahmedabad center for the test which was proclaimed by some co-students as not a recommended center to score high. Disproving the myths I got back home with some satisfactory scores in these exams. Applied for Grad schools and waited and waited and waited for their approval.

Departure from India: It was an experience of mixed feelings and emotional environment. I arrive at the Ahmedabad airport in a mini-bus (32-seater), filled with family and friends who had come to see me off. I entered the airport and all the passengers of that bus wait till 3:00 am and left the airport arena after seeing my plane take off.

Arrival to the US of A: Landed at DFW airport around 11:45 pm on 10th January 2006. A student from Indian Student Association of UTA came to pick me up. Those first glimpses of IHOP, Taco bell and Denny’s across the freeway were mouth watering. I was dropped at BT 110, an on campus apartment, where an undergrad college friend of mine, Vivek, was a tempac. It was 12:30 am and I entered BT 110 to find Dhiraj sleeping in the living room suddenly waking up. I inquired about Vivek and I was escorted to another apartment where Vivek was enjoying the blazing fast internet on his newly owned laptop with some other guys. I later discovered: that apartment belonged to another good friend of mine, Darshit, who had gone to India at that time. So people were enjoying the internet and empty apartment during his absence. I was introduced to everyone, Kaushal, Sandeep (another tempac), Dhiraj, Manoj, Ashish and ofcourse Vivek (whom I already knew). I was feed khichdi, given access to India calling to inform my eager family that I had reached safely and showed the bed where I can crash. I will never forget what Dhiraj, Ashish, Kaushal and Hemal (residents of BT 110 where I was tempac for a week) had done for us. Soon, we (Me, Vivek, Sandeep and a Delhi dude Anshul) moved to a new apartment in the same community, very close to BT 110, ours was BT 118 and the fun started.

Graduate school: Things started falling in place. I got my first job (thanks to Hemal) and hence got my SSN. I received the first paycheck of my life, $58, for 3 days. Classes started, I got involved in research activity and also started working multiple jobs. I learned the most important lessons of my life during the first 6 months at UTA where I managed everything from laundry, cooking and cleaning to my own finances. Soon those hard working days were over and I got assistantship, then life was at its best. Made lots of Gujju friends and enjoyed many memorable days at taj-chat house, masala wok, fun asia, Arlington highlands, coldstone and many other places. We used to cook for 11 people at our apartment. My mom was shocked to hear that something (cooking for 11 people) which makes her nervous even today was being done daily by us. There was also cooking turns, cleaning sessions during apartment inspection, arrival of cops at our birthday parties, getting drunk which was followed by sessions of shayari and garba…. Oh my god… those moments are still alive in front of me. I can still see myself crossing that cooper street which was the only distance between my apartment and my research lab. I remember playing badminton on a tennis courts during our first week of tennis with Vivek.

Then came the hard time to move on and get started with our careers. Within the span of 6 months all of us (7 roommates in CC 211 and many other friends) moved to different places. Now there are no more wild birthday parties, no late night movies, no starbucks at 2:00 am and no sitting on the stairs of our apartment for hours. Everyone is busy in their own life (including me) and with many I haven’t talked since 6 months. Life has moved on, and moved on very fast but those moments are and will be always cherished by us forever. I am very sure that those were THE golden days of my life.

Here I am today, sitting alone on a rainy Saturday afternoon in my apartment and trying to recall the journey of my true graduation….

Do share the experience of reading this blog by leaving a comment to this post. It is the only way for me to improve.


-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!

Image courtesy: Wikipidea, http://www.hindustanpencils.com, sawme.files.wordpress.com, www.attemptednovelist.com, notebookreview.com, whatscooter.com, mapds.com



  1. Hey Jimy..

    Nice to read your blogs..you remind me college days and all fundays..
    Keep writing!!

    Comment by Megha Parikh(chokshi) — 08/29/2009 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Megha. Those days were really carefree and full of fun.

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 08/29/2009 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  2. Very nice emotional blog…you have written what i feel everyday thinking of those 2 years in UTA which passed away quickly leaving those beautiful moments in our mind.. I wish..we can go back in those days and have more fun & do things what we forgot to do..we all were really lucky to be together as we enjoyed each n every day at the fullest and i still remember those weekends when we used to enjoy in swimming pool of BT & you used to give reasons of having job n escaping from there..lolz..don’t want to write more or another blog will be created here….thanks for writing and sharing..we can write a book on our life in UTA…

    Comment by Dhiraj — 08/29/2009 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Dhiraj. I agree that we can for sure write a book about our experience at UTA.

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 08/29/2009 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

  3. good going JIMY…

    Comment by Malav — 08/29/2009 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  4. “khichdi” ???? Y the highlight???? ALso, graduate school para deserves a separate blog…

    Comment by kunaal — 08/29/2009 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

    • “Khichdi” is not highlighted, it is just given a hyperlink for those readers who don’t know what khichdi is. All the words in red color and underline are hyperlinks containing more info about that word. Its different from highlighting a word.

      Regarding a separate blog @ grad school, I agree with you. The only reason why I have it here is because I wanted to complete the entire school life narration. But I will surely make a note of coming up with a separate blog on UTA experiences or a book as Dhiraj said :P.

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 08/29/2009 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  5. Good going Jimmy. Really Enjoyed this one.. Keep it up.

    Comment by Samir Macwan — 08/29/2009 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

    • I am glad that you enjoyed it Samir. Thanks for your comments.

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 08/29/2009 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  6. Hi Jimmy,
    Nice work dude.

    Comment by Arshad — 08/30/2009 @ 4:13 am | Reply

  7. Nice one dude…!!!

    Keep up the good work…!!!

    Cheers and Best Wishes,

    Comment by Vaibhav Naik — 08/30/2009 @ 6:33 am | Reply

  8. I might have been amongst the first few to read your blog entries but have been a bit lazy to comment. Loved this one… the way you retrospect at your past..
    Those were good times for sure…
    I do realize one more thing … I am missing in almost all group snaps anyone posts 😦
    Perhaps that’s because I have taken the most snaps for everyone including this one (as far as I remember).. maybe people can remember me for that 🙂
    Keep up the good work !

    Comment by Sandeep — 08/30/2009 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  9. Making an addition to your blog… with some retrospection from my side…Do you remember these.. ?

    – We almost got a notice the very first night in BT118 when Anshul went berzerk laughing his @ss off..

    – Darshit making Garlic bread for us every now and then in that cute little grill-oven which used to ring when the timer expired 🙂

    – Dhiraj used to bring Indian food from Taste of India 🙂

    – Vivek used to bring pizza’s and garlic bread from Aramark which we used to devour like hungry chicks waiting in the nest… me n Kaushal specially just before we used to go to the 1:50 PM Web Databases class in GACB.. Dr. Fegaras’s class as kikkik would recall 😀

    – Dhiraj sitting in between the two closet collapsible doors at late nights smiling and chatting.. with only his teeth visible in the laptop light

    – Ansul and Hemal’s “affair” and their sleeping together in the same bed…We made Anshul propose to Hemal and kiss his hands.. Mandar bhai was shocked when he saw them sleeping together 😀

    – My b’day.. man that was some experience.. I am sure nobody ever landed in ice cold water (fountains froze that night) like I did… (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV9obQAsBME&fmt=18)

    – Our move to CC211 .. it was great to move to a duplex.. pretty important from our career point of view as well… you would understand what I mean..

    – Satyanarayan Katha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBFunXfbv_E&fmt=18

    – Saurabh and Hemal’s catfight !! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cUFlbJOHOs&fmt=18

    – Skit “India se aaya” in “Sangam”.. I can never forget the moment when Darshit flew his cap towards the end of the skit and it flew 15 rows to hit my camera while I was filming it.. that’s a classic case of low probability !!

    many more…………

    I’m sure you would have many more memories with other than I could share (for various reasons) 🙂

    Comment by Sandeep — 08/30/2009 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the addition Sandeep, all these incidents will be very well remembered by BT110/118 members at all time. The comments about Anshul and Hemal’s “affair” can create a bit of “lively” controversy :). To be honest I almost forgot about it and when I read about it I was rofl….
      Definitely there are many more such incidents which could be cherished… now I strongly buy Dhiraj’s and Kunaal’s idea that it deserves a separate blog or even a BOOK 😉

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 08/31/2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  10. Hey Jimmy, nice blog,, but i m afraid I have to let this world know 2 things which I disagree from your bachelor’s degree section.

    1. You may be not serious/studious students like Pinko, but you were one of the sincere students of our class. So I would doubt the fact that you were going for any IMP questions to anyone.

    2. And another thing, you did not mention any single thing about “THE HOSTELITES”. Remember in one semester we bunked the class and hired a Mahindra Jeep and went to see a movie in vadodara.


    Comment by Harshal — 08/31/2009 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Harshal. Let me first talk about your point # 2. That was a really nice incident which I truly forgot to capture.. but I am planning to write a blog on experiences at SVIT and UTA separately, I will surely capture it in that.. But to be honest, bunking the class and going to Dwarkesh (I forgot the other hostel’s name)to play cricket was really nice.
      Coming to point # 1. If Jigarbhai or Unnati or Pinkesh would have read this blog they would have second my views because they were the “sincere” students whom we used to approach for “IMP” questions…. I have spend hours at Xerox copy stores for copying their notes.. believe me…

      It was really very pleasant to get your comment… thanks once again..

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 09/01/2009 @ 12:33 am | Reply

  11. “Bachelors’ degree: ….. and enjoyed the delicious food in canteen…..”

    Delicious food in SVIT canteen? I longed it for 4 years but couldn’t find it..:)


    Comment by Brijesh — 09/08/2009 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  12. Hey Jimy…thanks for refreshing our memories….But where am I in the entire blog? hmmmmm????????

    Comment by KOMAL PATEL — 02/17/2010 @ 1:02 am | Reply

    • You are included in the following statement: “Made lots of Gujju friends and enjoyed many memorable days at taj-chat house, masala wok, fun asia, Arlington highlands, coldstone and many other places.” and many other statements…
      Next blog ave tara upar lakhish… completely dedicated to you 😉 Ok?

      Comment by Jimy Shah — 02/17/2010 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

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