On a fine September Day we finally met in the Institute – people from all over the world – LA, Taiwan, Egypt, Ethopia, Spain, Italy, Bangladesh, Mexico and different other places – who will be my classmates for the next two years and hopefully friends forever!
Exchanging smiles and a few words like Hi and Hello when the Innsbruck Faculty joined us and we started introducing ourselves to the group. That was when I got the shock of my life. We have in the group a guy who has taught undergraduate physics in his country (and I have just finished my physics undergraduate classes), one girl who has worked in NASA (I mean, seriously, NASA???), another guy who has done his Bachelors in Mathematics from Cambridge… One by one they started speaking and with each such introductions I wondered more and more why I am here! But who cares, when you are given more than you have wanted, people never complain! Problem comes only when we get less than deserved or well, less than expected!!
I stayed , I learned!
I learned to cook edible food, I learned the luminosity-flux conversion (we did it every single semester) and other stuffs related to the sky we see and beyond, I learned to pack and unpack quickly and efficiently, I learned to write in Latex (and loved it so much that now I even write my diary in Latex) and I even tried to learn snow-skating! This list can be a separate blog altogether. But this one is basically about the two realizations that I had in the last two semesters and the lessons that I got!!
1. IN THE SNOW-WONDER INNSBRUCK
For the first semester in Innsbruck, we had four compulsory courses and a huge list of Optional Courses to choose from (so as to complete the required credit-limit). Browsing through all the papers that we can take as optional courses, I decided on taking the ‘Intro to Solar System’ course as it seemed easier (for I have read on this before) and I knew it will not take as much efforts from my side as some other courses like Particle Physics, Plasma Physics, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity will! Easy course, easy exam, easy marks – and just move on!! Happy with my choice, I roamed around talking to all the others when I met this new classmate of mine, the girl from Turkey – Cigdem, who said something regarding her choice and that something really striked me! She was taking Relativity as her Optional Choice!! She said she was interested in it! And her idea was that, if we do not learn these tough things in presence of these experienced professors, it does not make sense to sit later alone and try to make sense of the confusing mathematics and complicated physics of these papers! Well, I did not tell her that day that I was searching for the easiest (easiest for me) possible course, but I came back home really shocked on how stupid I was to do that!
2. IN THE LAND OF ROMANS
This was one of the last days of our Roman Life. It was Pece’s birthday and we all (me, Chris, Remudin, Pece, Khan and Kamal) sat together at midnight to just chat and celebrate! There were many cans of beer and (fortunately for me) some packs of Apple Juice! Three hours went pass really nice – Kamal and Pece debating, betting and finally experimenting on ‘Probability of Dice-Throw Outcomes’, followed by a rather-serious fight that I had with Kamal on a stupid issue of my room keys, a 2am yummy potato-pepper-dish served by the brilliant cook in us – Mr Marvin and finally the hilarious attempts of Kamal to mimic all the people we have known till now in Astromundus !
By 3am, the quiet-till-now Khan finally went high and opened his mouth! And well, once the Khan-high-on-alcohol starts to speak, it is almost impossible for others to interrupt or intervene! So the moment our quiet-guy goes high, everyone else is forced to go quiet. And believe me, Khan does not speak on normal topics. The general trend is that, he either starts with Philosophy or if we are lucky enough, then on History! This time he started his unrelated-to-everything speech on how he likes Ambedkar much more than Gandhi! He went on – moving from Ambedkar to many other people that he likes or dislikes! A half sleepy me listened to him, while wondering if I knew even half of the things that he was talking about Ambedkar (and all the others)! I knew that Ambedkar has drafted our constitution and has always fought against untouchability and the caste-system of India, I knew that he was a great scholar and a noble man! But I did not know enough to ever put these many points in favour of him (or any other person) with so much of confidence and so much of passion as Khan did! Waking up next noon (slept at 6am, woke up at 11:30 almost) and remembering the night before, I realized that I have read books, I have read history – but still, I just don’t know sso many things that I would like to know!!
There have been many such events where I have learned things, many realizations that have changed my views and my choices!! Each person I have met has taught me some or the other thing! But these two episodes of my life were like two wake-up calls for me that I will never forget!!