X is a representative of the number 10, an allegory for Generation X, also an emblem for danger and a symbol for dissatisfaction. The manifold effect that 'X' can generate can either increase or diminish an entity, it could push someone up the skies or thrust someone into sheer oblivion. It could also actually inspire somebody to rest in peace, for ever.
X gave me books. From those about Michel Angelo and the Sistine chapel, to those about the philosophies of the East and the West, were the good things that I found again. Dr. Nandini Nilakantan, thank you for rejuvenating my interest in books as well as in Algebraic Topology. I could relive the days when I was “intelligent”, while I audited your course. Thank you as well for giving me a patient hearing on my research area and problems associated with geometry. I also made friends with Dr. Naren Naik, from the Department of Electrical Engineering, and we had a brief tête-a- tête on our research areas.
X, in the midway, came up with the SPIC-MACAY's national convention organised at IIT Kanpur. Learning “Naad Yoga” from Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar sahab from Four to Seven o'clock in the morning, for three days, is one of the proud and privileged memories that I would cherish for my life. The sitar by Ustad Shahid Parvez, Koodiyattam by Shri Margi Madhu, Mohan Veena by Pandita Vishwa Mohan Bhatt were mesmerising. Apart from that coming close to people like Nilesh Khaitan, Vivek Agarwal, Gunjan, Hemangini, Surbhi, Sarayu, Chandana and Tavishi was a wonderful experience.
X saw Srinath defend his thesis and Bhavna happily graduate from this institute. The sheer happiness that bore in their faces were lights of hope that I might just have in the future.
X helped me reunite with a few schoolmates of mine on the happier note, while on the other hand and on the sorrowful side a dear schoolmate and class fellow Nigel Eric Wills passed away in Australia. He was a genuinely good soul and he would surely be missed by our classmates and all his friends. A similar unfortunate incident at IIT Kanpur rocked the student community during the examinations.
X should be really thanked in the end. I couldn't be doing justice without mentioning it. It reminded me of the famous John McEnroe outburst “You can't be serious!” Over the last six years, I hadn't seen myself with so much of bitter emotions compared to that of the last few months. The lab which hustled and bustled with laughter and gaiety two years earlier, now wears a deserted look today, because people had to walk out of the lab and work in the library to pacify their exasperation.
X wasn't represented as a thesis in this document. It's merely a perspective on how 'X' treated me over the last 12 months. On the last day of the year, I am wondering as to whether I should mull over the good things that happened or the “evil-that-men-do” sorts. This could be also on how lessons were learned from events and occurrences, those which I am so naïve to ignore every time. I wonder how it is back to square one for me again and each time, where “square one” represents the principles and ethics that my parents chose to inculcate in me. This isn't a thesis on “square one” either, because it seems to effortlessly vanish in thin air once we talk about it, because the sheer mention of it brings scornful looks, contempt and disappointment. This isn't a thesis on “make-your-presence-felt”, because over the past few months it was felt that this phrase meant asking repetitive foolhardy questions that people CAN answer and not asking questions that make people think. This document is a reminder to people that I do not copy or lift, but write in my own words.
Wish you a happy new year.