Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Rescue: Kshitij

The first cracks I saw in the gigantic wall before me came from something I had never heard of before. In first year, we believed that the official IITR literary magazine was Lion, but here, I discovered something else.

An intro talk was arranged for the freshers, but since out knowledge was only marginally above that of a fresher in term of extra-curriculars, we attended it. It was nice, although the LitSec presentation was pathetic. I noted down the timings for certain groups that I was interested in. And I met Dancing King, English Ed-in-Chief at Kshitij. I had no idea what that was but there was a huge crowd around WONA so I avoided it.

And then began a harrowing tale of rejection that made me understand the CulSoc was really just a big hangout - the place where couples are made. But it was either that or three empty years of studying for me. I found some help from my classmates and this new BT kid and after giving an interview (which was a lot of fun) I managed to get into the English Ed at Kj. This marked the beginning of a new chapter for me.

The reception to the news was mixed. Chinki admonished my choice of Kj and told me that WONA is where the 'phokey' guys go. The SRE people were supportive in general. Z probably expected White Boy to be the one who got selected, not me (and that was pretty obvious from his face). But the first meeting of Kj told me that it didn't matter - I was home.

It wasn't a path of roses. Actually, it was - with the thorns to give your intro in second year to second yearites is a terrible thing to do, but there was no choice. The lowest point was when the first year Dork confused me for a first year and asked me how my Freshers was... that was terrible. But in the Spring Sem, it got much better. There is one clear differentiator between a first year and a second year: focus. First years are hardly ever focused because they don't need to be: they are still discovering themselves after two years of coaching destroyed whatever they knew. Second years on the other hand, know whee their interests lie. They might not be very committed but their area of focus is much narrower.

And that was what made all the difference. The last piece in the puzzle was to get some advice on editing - and a retired 4th year guy from my own branch was the perfect choice (and I also got a glass of chai and a free Hydrology textbook to boot!). With that, the time had come to get some work out of the first years, who had done mostly nothing so far. The process was long (much longer than I had expected) and one first year decided to exit the group, but we managed to get the stories of of them at last. For all my trouble, I was promoted to Exec Ed along with Z and WSWAK. In fact, I was pretty flattered by a phone call from Dancing King, telling (lying, probably) me that I was considered for Jt. Secy but because I was in SRE in first year, I lost out. Well, I had no issues (honestly) - I knew where my handicaps were.

And so ended a long tale of how a college magazine put me on the path to rebuilding my world. But I was wholly dependent on Kj for my extra-curricular activities and I needed to diversify. And along came LitSec...

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