Monday, January 29, 2018

Miss you Andu!

I had just joined B.Tech at JNTU Anantapur. We were just settling into the rooms in the Lepakshi hostel. A group of seniors arrived. They asked us for my bio. I told my name and bio. Then senior remarked - That Ching Chung's name is same as your name and his branch is same as yours. I was surprised who is Ching Chung. After doing some friendly ragging for some time, the seniors left. Our hostel had a tree in the yard where all of us would gather to discuss. I went there to relive our ragging experience. And there I found out who Ching Chung was. It was my own classmate Anand Seshadri aka Andu. He was named so because of his fairness, and his hairstyle. He almost looked like a Chinese. The first thing anyone would notice about Andu was his smile. He always had a smile on his face. He had a hearty chuckle and a great sense of humor. If you spoke with him for a few minutes, you would surely forget all your worries and smile.

Anand, Vamshi and I used to sit in the last bench in the left corner of our first year classroom discussing about our childhood and previous college experiences and we became good friends.

In the second year of college,  I didn't stay in the hostel, but in a community hostel in the town. Andu also didn't stay in the hostel but he and some of his friends rented a room in front of the college. I had great time during the evenings when I used to hangout in his room discussing technologies, movies and books. As in first year, we used to sit in the same bench and somebody or the other would crack jokes and we would be caught laughing during the class. The lecturers were so vexed with us that and we became the talk of the staff room. They would say especially Andu and Ananth shouldn't sit at one place. Sujatha madam had made us sit in separate benches so that we wont create nuisance in the class.

During the third year, I came back to college hostel. Andu also moved back to the hostel. Andu, Vamsi, Viswa, Pavan and I and a few others stayed in the same room. We had so much fun in the room talking about everything under the sun that we had difficulty falling asleep and then going to the class the next day. Andu was a food lover and he would wax eloquent about the various dishes he liked. He bought a computer and that became our room computer. Great.. now more time spent watching movies and music videos. I was not a video game player but Andu was an avid player. and I fondly remember the time I spent watching him play NFS Underground and the music still rings in my ears. In the third year he took me to Shaastra in IIT Chennai and it was one of my most memorable experience. He had friends there, so we had no problem with accommodation or food. I am very thankful to him for this. We sat in sessions, took quizzes, had food in the canteens, collected lot of goodies from various companies. I remember the session we had about Chandrayaan before it was launched from the scientists involved in its development. We sat in one lecture about String Theory. And we watched a movie the Open Air Theater also. The whole experience is something I never forget and very inspirational.
  We also had the college trip to Ooty and us three musketeers sat in the first seat playing the songs and movies for the whole group. He also introduced us to tamil music. He liked the actress sneha and that introduced all our room to the song -enna thavam seithani from Pathiban kanuvu which is something that always reminds me of Andu.

Another unforgettable experience was when we went for paper presentation to NITK Surathkal. Surathkal was a beautiful place and we were mesmerized by the beauty of the college and surroundings. Here I have one incident which showed me he was as ambitious as he was fun-loving. Two groups of people went to NITK from our class. Anand and I were one group. Our paper we had to presnt was about neural network based fuzzy control system. I was elated about that and was fooling away my time with the other group. Andu came to me and took me to our room to practice the presentation. So split the part we had to speak into two and gave me one part and he took the other. We practiced our parts and he did great. But I was not really into that practicing and I was having fun. He chided me and told me we have this narrow window where we can speak and that we had very little time for practice. I heeded that warning and we practiced for some more time. We really had a picture perfect presentation and not only that we also won the second prize for the presentation. This is one incident that showed me the ambitious and inspring Andu.

In the final year of college we had campus recruitments and Andu was very sad that he didn't a get placed in the first company IBM. He worked hard and got selected to the second company CTS which I was also selected to . Again in the company we also had a great time discussing what we were learning and what the future held. I was learning new programming languages and having a good time in the company but he was not satisfied. He wanted to quit. That was unthinkable to me. He wrote GATE and then he quit. He worked hard to get into a good masters program. He went to IISc Bangalore to do reasearch on Nanotechnology. Again that showed his courageous side and I was very inspired. I'm sure he would have gone to do great things if not for the intestinal cancer that attacked him. He bravely fought it but in the end couldn't win.

He would be celebrating his 33 birthday yesterday. Though he is not here, the moments I spent with him are always there in my heart making me happy & sad. He is there inspiring me and motivating me to have the courage to challenge myself and do something great!
Andu - you were ambitious, brave, friendly, cheerful and a very dear friend. I sorely miss you.

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