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Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Rendezvous with Me

On 1st August, 1988, in a small colony called HindMotor on the outskirts of Kolkata, a family was distributing Raj Bhogs. Why? Because a son was born. The first son of the eldest son of the family, naturally, demanded some sort of extra celebration. The mother, when asked about what name should be written on the birth certificate immediately replied “Rohit”; and that’s how I was born.

First of all something about my name: “Rohit” means the sun, and “Jhunjhunwala” means a person from “jhunjhunu” which is a place in Rajasthan.

My journey has been anything but normal right from the first day of my life...How?

Well to begin with, I was born with eyes the colour of which was grey-green. Everyone who had a first look at me, was mesmerized by them(or so my mother tells me). This resulted everyone in calling me “Cat eyes” and even now they have a surprising effect on many people(its a bit sad that I wear glasses that hides them a bit) 

During my childhood I was a very pampered kid. My grandma used to spoil me and my mom was always against me. Mom said-“You, get up and go to school”. I used to act as if I was in a deep sleep and wouldn’t wake up. Seeing this,my grandma would say “Let the kid sleep. Don’t spoil his sleep”.
But you know what my mom would do? She would drag me up, carry me, brush my teeth, and dunk me down in the bath tub, after which it was impossible to fake a sleep.

Life went on and we then shifted to Kolkata for me and my 2 sisters’ education. I studied till 9th standard at South Point High School.
As a kid I was not very interested in the normal outdoor activities as any kid of my age would have been. I preferred to stay at home, watch tv all day long, read comics, and my biggest passion – Video Games. I was attracted to anything sci-fi or fictitious. This was probably when I developed my preference to science and technology. I used to buy a whole armada of GI Joe vehicles, GI Joe guys, Hot wheel cars, build forts with my cousins, give imaginary powers to the most mundane figures, build my army and go to WAR. Even the comics i used to read were all about superheros like Najraj, Dhruv.

Even now, I have a passion for futuristic weapons, concept cars, Sci-Fi movies and Video Games.

I grew out of comics, and went on to Tinkle, Chandamama and Archies and later on to more thicker books. The thickness and gravity of the book I read was directly proportional to the number of books I read. Somwhere during that time, I found a set of chess lying around my house. I took it, without having the faintest idea and opened it. I was intrigued by the chequered black and white board. I tried to learn how to play it by asking my parents and relatives. But no one knew how to play. So you know what i did? I made 2 armies of those 2 sets and went to war again. This was perhaps the beginning of my interest in Chess and I can honestly say that I am somewhat good at the game now.

All through my growing years I was constantly battling an array of medical problems stemming from a very rare kidney disease I had. This restricted my activities to those that didn’t strain me, make me exert myself and which didn’t require much physical fortitude. Although it was a pretty bad thing, some good did come out of it. It made me a very punctual person(as I had to take lots of different medicines at different times), efficient time manager(as I had to juggle between the vary activities I wanted to do as well as the doctor appointments), knowledgeable(well at least medically), I lost my fear for needles  (because when you are poked every week for 6 months you hardly notice anymore), I learnt self-control(because when almost all kinds of food are banned for you, you learn to control yourself). My medical condition is probably a big factor in making me a person I am today.

Fast forward a bit... We land at Chennai Airport. Why?
Because I had a Kidney transplant and the docs recommended we shift base to be under a better care. That was 9 years ago. If nothing else, this event in my life was the biggest game changer. It bought with it, its own set of complications and relief. I was allowed banned stuff, I have to take more serious medications all though my life, I have to fight the side effects of those medication, fewer but regular doctor’s appointments, frequent infections and so on and so forth.

When I retrospect, I realise, my world has turned upside down after the shift to Chennai.

I used to be an average joe at studies back in Kolkata. Here, I managed to come 3rd in my school in 10th and I was the school topper in 12th.
I used to be an introvert. Never talked to people, liked to be by myself. Here, I developed the liking for public speaking, oratorical competitions, and elocutions. So much so that I went on to win interschool competitions and was made the School Literary secretary.

Infact the changes were so astonishing that many a time my family has joked that I have had a “Brain Transplant” as well.

The passions that I had during my childhood were still intact except for TV. Because? I had found a better alternative to that. Computers!!!. The first time I used it, I was so fascinated by it , I sub-consciously must have decided to have a career in it. So keeping that in mind, I entered Anna University and did my Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineer and graduated with Distinction.

I joined iNautix Technologies India Pvt Ltd as a campus recruit and was awarded the Outstanding Trainee award and Best Project award 6 months later. I am now a full time developer that the company.

Anna University was a gruelling experience as it was, and add to that the medical complications I had to go through, I believe that I have really achieved something I can actually be proud of. The medical aspect of my life has certainly had an effect on almost all other aspects of my life.
But I like think that, had it been different, I would not have been the same person I am in front of you today. The Butterfly effect would surely have made me a very different person.

I am a very stubborn guy. If I take up a responsibility I will see it through to the best of my ability. Almost all time, my demeanour depends on my mood. If I am in the mood, I can be as busy as a worker bee or as lazy as a sloth, if I am in the mood, I can be a talkative person, or the most laconical person you have ever met. I can be sweet as sugar, or as angry as a bull which has seen red.

I like to be punctual. I don’t mind being 10 mins early, but hate being even a second late.

I am honest, and a very straightforward person. I don’t mince my words, I speak my mind and I might be blunt at times.

I sometimes write poems, and also blog about life in general. I live in a very idealistic world and seeing the real world, I find many anomalies, some of which I pen down on my blog.

I like experimenting with various cuisines, I have been to almost all restaurants that serve a different cuisines. Greek, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Spanish, Italian, Mexican, American, Continental, Arabic, North Indian, South Indian, East Indian, etc.

I know Hindi, English, French, a bit of Bengali and a bit of Sanskrit. I want to learn Japanese. I love to travel and whenever I am on a vacation I never like staying at home. I always like to wander about. I strongly follow the motto “when in Rome, be a roman”. I love learning new cultures and their way of life. You will find me a lot of time on the internet, talking to random strangers trying to know about their culture and how different things are.

My ambition in life is to become a happy person. Sounds cliché right!!
I don’t really have one single philosophy in life, but rather a philosophy in the various roles we play in our life.

As a professional I strongly believe “Work when you got to work, play when to got to play”. As a traveller I believe “a traveller doesn’t have a destination and is not keen on arriving”. As a friend I follow the saying “ a good friend comes to see you at the hospital, a best friend will be lying down right next to you”. As a person seeking happiness, my motto is “Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you run after it , the more it eludes you. But sit down and be quite, it will slowly come and sit on your shoulder”. As a person asking who has seen success and failure, the phrase that always comes to my mind is “Failure is not the end of success, success is not the end of failure.” As a person asking “whats next?”, i reply “Que sera, sera”.. what will be , will be.

So I have come to end of my talk and as bugs bunny says “THATS ALL FOLKS”.