Finally I graduated, well not technically yet, but conceptually.
What does that mean I will explain soon. A big day for me. Well, to some extent I had forgotten that I am close to graduation. I was too tired after all the hard work and the uncertainty that lies in the future. But today, once I was amongst the crowd and amongst the fellow graduates, I was suddenly cheerful. Suddenly a great excitement came in me. It was a great moment. A great moment which I had never thought would come so fast. Suddenly 2 years seems to have passed so fast. Everything seemed to have gone beside so fast. It seems time flied so fast. So many experiences and so many bad/good memories. When I take a look back now, things seem so different.
I was not so happy till I went to my department today. I mean I sadly was comparing myself with all the PhDs that were around me who were graduating with me. Who had struggled even harder than me. Who had spent more than 5 years doing research and great work. In front of them I was nothing. My accomplishments were so less. That is the sad part of being a Masters student, you always have PhD students to compare yourself with, professors compare you with Phd students. Professors give more time and attention to PhD students. Masters student though do equal work as Phd students for first 2 years, always get less recognition. So somewhere down the line, I had that thought lingering in my mind. I was thinking, what did I achieve? What great work I did? I was comparing myself with others. Clearly I was grossly wrong. But his is how somehow you feel when the atmosphere around you is like this. I am in a university where 95% students are Phd students. Well I really wanted to do a Phd and if God permits some day I will again be back to school and complete it. Lets not talk about it it now. The conditions at present are not supportive for that for me.
So slowly I recalled all the memories of my past, my struggle to understand this system. My struggle for doing research, my struggle for taking care of responsibilities of family and doing studies, my struggle to survive, my struggle from my days in Pune and the struggle I took to be here where I am at present, the struggle of my family, the struggle and support of my friends. And suddenly I felt so confident, suddenly I felt so accomplished,so deserving, so successful, so glad, all the bad memories went away, all the struggle seemed worth it. A look back filled me with a feeling of gratitude towards my family, towards my friends, towards my near and dear ones who helped me being where I am at present. Towards my critics, towards all the people who made me what I am today. It felt so great. It felt so worthy. There was a peace of mind. that was a great moment. It was a cherishing moment and a big smile appeared on my face.
Many people helped me in my struggle. Many people supported me in my hard work in different manner. I troubled many people in my immaturity and impatient nature during all these years. May people helped me understand what I am and what my problems are. I felt regretful of all the things that I did during all these years. I am deeply thankful to all these friends, family, closed people who made this day possible for me. Its a really big day. For a small village guy, who grew up in a village, with not enough resources for education, who was so immature till recently, who struggled with finances, who struggled for keeping his ambitions high, who struggled to keep a close family even though he grew up in a hostel since 5th standard and never witnessed what a family life is, what a home cooked meal is and what fun is, because he had to take lot of responsibilities so early in his life as early as a 5th standard kid. This is the day of the guy who constantly felt an innermost urge to help people understand the value of education in bringing prosperity in families and surroundings, bringing exposure to people so that they can think wisely, and who always thought of other people before himself and for whom an innermost satisfaction is the most important thing. This is a big day for me because I could see a great satisfaction in my parents eyes when my professor praised me by saying "he is a good responsible person and he will do good in life". Its a great day to see that happiness in my parents eyes of having their son achieve this feat. Managing 36lakh Rs as expense that went in my Masters, on my own is not a less big task without any loan. Somehow I managed to achieve it. Doing lot of experimentation that I did is not so easy. As another professor who spoke today during function said, well I will write it separately in a later paragraph. I came here when I knew nothing, when I was innocent as compared to other students around me and who did not know much things. I created and still commit lot of mistakes. But I grew up in the process and learned important lessons in my life. UCSC will have a great place in my heart. This was a nostalgic moment.
This is a big day for all these self claimed accomplishments. This is a day when I want to celebrate myself and pat myself on my back. This is a day which will stay special in my heart always. This is a day my parents will cherish always.
Professor's excerpt. "You are engineers. You are here because of all your hard work and struggle and the sacrifices. You are here to observe, question and analyze. You are here to break rules and form new paradigms and bring changes to our society. You are the ones who have the responsibility to see a better future. Learning should never stop. What UCSC has given you are the tools to learn. Your employer will never want you to learn, the society will never want you to learn. Its you, who should have that innermost desire to keep on learning, questioning and understanding. Its you who would really make the difference in your life. Its you who will commit lots of mistakes and who will fail. Its you who will get up and learn from the mistakes and move ahead in life. Making mistakes is good because that shows you tried doing something differently. Do things differently and do not regret the mistakes that you did. Learn from them and understand them. The more mistakes you do early in your life, better person you will become. Recessions will come and go. Its you who want to understand what you want to make out of your life and how you want to shape it. More challenges you have, more tough you should get. So be a better person and a better engineer.". It was touching and so relevant.
I am so happy today. Class of 2009, we did it. We are proud of ourselves. Hurray !!!!
Thanks God, for being there for me and helping me out in all my difficulties. Thanks my friends for being supportive and thanks my family for the sacrifices and pains and struggle you went through. It all seems worth now.
p.s. Technically I am not graduated yet as I have to yet submit my final thesis, on which I am working. So its a conceptual graduation.