Friday, October 25, 2013

My Valedictorian Speech.

Following is the speech I had prepared to deliver at my Convocation on the 19th of Oct '13. Unfortunately NaMo, currently Guj-CM, was running short of time, and the ceremony had to be cut short, curtailing the 3 speeches, one each from SPM, SLS and SPT. Here is the one that would have been SPT's 'Last speech of Graduation'

Formal pleasantries.

Congratulations Graduates.

A week ago, I got a call from the Director of the School himself, asking if I would be interested in sharing my experience at PDPU during the Convocation. I was, frankly speaking, in a fix. The director wanted me, an average student of the batch, to share my experiences. So I did exactly what our Generation would do. What our YouTube generation would do. I saw a few YouTube videos. Steve Jobs, Randy Paush, Bono, Michael Dell, Ellen Degeneres, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Page, and all this time, I kept wondering just one thing. These are big people, who have made it very big in their lives. I am no Gates, I am a normal guy.
Also, half of the above dropped out of college, so that train is long gone for me.

But seriously, what have I been asked to do here? I know today is supposed to be the day we celebrate our graduation from PDPU. However today, I would also like all of us to celebrate the people who made us into what we are today. The people. Our friends, our good friends, our not so good friends, our Professors, and our families.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are the people who shaped us. From the father who constantly pestered you for your expenses and cut short your pocket money, to the one who flew in, within a day’s notice, leaving behind all his work, because he was summoned by the Disciplinary committee for your misdeeds.

From the Professors, who threw you out of class because every day you attended his class just to look at the girl with those brown eyes and the beauty spot on her nape, sitting in the corner, to the one who gave you those extra 3 marks, without you even asking, just so that you could appear for the interview, next day.

And the friends, oh those idiots. Borrowing cash from you to buy a gift for your B’day. Keeping up all night before the end terms “to study”…and ending up discussing the SLS Chicks all night long.
Friendship became a completely new phenomenon in college. “Maggi and chai at 3 in the morning at Ashoks Galla”, would take up a Hundred-page chapter in all our lives. And damn those, who cleared Transport Phenomena in the first attempt. The ones who did not, are a fraternity, till death do us apart, I swear to God.  
Bhui Sir’s Bread & BAAttar, TP Singh Sir’s know-it-all smirk (Forgive me, Prof.), Ashish Sarkar Sir’s football stories and imagining him with this same bushy beard, even in his youth, Nigam Sir’s searious yet inPHORmative one-to-one sessions, Karmakar Sir’s Aeyi Porag, these have stories behind them that deserve to be told to the entire world.
Flare, Soul Pepper, SPE, DisCo, Internships, B.Tech Thesis, Placements, all just flashed by.

So what have I earned in the 4 years at PDPU apart from a piece of paper that happens to be my Graduation Degree and will most probably feed me for the rest of my life, and maybe even make my parents proud in the entire society?
Well, I have earned the blessings of the Professor, who used to scold me every time he saw me, whether on the lawns, or by mistake in the class, and now when I go to see him, he greets me as if I was his long-lost son.
I have earned the trust of those few, who I can depend on with my life, who I can call up at 2 in the morning to fish me out of a sticky situation in the opposite end of the world, not even having talked to him for over a year.

And above all, I have earned a life. An attitude. A pride. One that I was alien to before I came to this place. One that has become my way of life, one that I am known by, in the big bad world out there, the very world I survive in just because of what I became here.

From 08BT01062, I became Abhimanyu Manna.

This...Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, PDPU, is an amazing place. To me, it's Magical.

God Bless you all. God Bless PDPU.

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