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Grow up once again! – Happy 2010

31 December 2009 29 Comments

Hey Guys..

“I apologize for the delay between the last post and this one”.. Incidentally it is the most common starting phrase used in blogs these days.. The sentence verbatim or its variant is found in over 74% of the blogposts..  And more than 60% of the statistics including this one, are all fudged up 🙂 If I start apologizing for the delay in the blog posts, I guess I would only be writing “Sorry Posts!!!” 🙂 So, I will probably not start off my post like that! 🙂

Well, the year 2009 is about to end.. It is probably that time of the year when you look back at how the year went.. Enjoy thinking about the good moments.. Form a few new year resolutions, which you know for sure wont last more than a couple of weeks.. but why not just give it a try!!! 🙂

Its true that 2009 is going to end in a few hours! Its true that I have been reflecting how the year was.. But I just realized that this could be my last “calender year end” in School. I am just beginning to get a sinking feeling.. that the finishing line of my student life is in the vicinity..

I am not one of those guys who topped from LKG to Phd. I was an average student during my early days. I am sure my cousin would agree that I had failed in one of the class tests, but the teacher had forgotten to underline in red 🙂 I scored some 70 odd percent in my 7th std exams, when my cousins were competing with each other at 94+ percentage range. If I was a stock in the capital markets, the only way it was heading was down 🙂 I am sure, not one soul (including myself) would have banged their bucks on me 🙂 Probably my grand father was an exception. They say bad things happen! Sometimes good things also happen! I dont know how, I am sure somebody managed to convince my hindi teacher not to commit suicide. Reason is simple.. I topped my school 10th std.. Worse still, I topped the school in hindi of all subjects! 🙂 From there I went to REC Trichy, then Google and now here at IIMB.

I was brought up in an environment where I was told “Work hard! Study well & You will succeed in life!” I am a Josephite! I was preached “Fide et Labore” – Faith & Toil are the secret of success! I have sweared by it all my life and even now I buy into it completely. I would say they played a big role in helping me become a gold medalist in Trichy and for securing the Dewang Mehta Award for the Best Student in Management. As a side note, IIM Bangalore teaches you to glorify your achievements in such a way that you can convince yourself and the rest of the world that you are god’s gift to man kind. So, take the previous statement with a pinch of salt! Coming back to the point. Born and brought up in a typical upper middle class tambram family, where Grade points and the percentages count more than anything else, I have lived a life of a typical first bencher with thick specs leading a non-exciting life. (To be honest, I am neither a first bencher nor do I wear thick spectacles.. But I am sure thats what will come to your mind if they hear words like Geek or Nerd) I agree that these characteristics has taken me places both physically and figuratively!  But somewhere deep within, my heart says.. Give me another chance.. I wanna grow up once again!

Its not that I want to change my past completely. Also I am not talking about rewriting my operations paper where I got an amazing C grade.. I am very happy with my life. I wouldnt be writing this if I wasnt assured with myself. But what I am talking about are those things where I put in “a bit too much”. For example, I was doing a lot of programming in REC Trichy! I have no problems with that! I enjoyed programming. But there was a 4 day weekend and all my bangalore friends in Trichy (called the Kandus) went to Kanya Kumari. If I remember correctly, I was learning Java, which I never used in my life after that.

I had a lot of good friends! Really good friends! But I just realized that I was never really a part of a gang of friends! Like the Kandus or The Bongs or the Tams or the A tops or the G tops etc etc.. You know what I mean.. When you go out with a group of friends to a restaurant.. I am talking about the difference between booking a table for 2, 3 or 4 vs booking a table for 10 or 15. I would say I have been a part of big gangs dinners about 5 times in my past 10 years! And I enjoyed every moment of that and I cherish those! Not that I dislike the smaller groups.. Just be a part of a big group once to realize what you have missed in your college days!!

During my early days I dreaded Holi! I always felt that it spoilt my dresses! But by the time I passed out I wanted play holi and be a part of the fun! But people built such a “nice guy” impression about me that they didnt want to play with me! Just think about this.. I was walking in front of Octagon in NIT Trichy and they pour buckets of coloured water on the guy in front of me and.. they just keep a dot on my forehead! I wasnt feeling happy! I was praying that the guy would pour the colours on me!

In NIT Trichy, we had movie screening every weekend. I havent even seen a single movie there and I was proud about it! I have watched movies in hostel rooms.. loads of them.. But I have watched only a handful of movies with the dorm room packed with junta. I have been a part of lots & lots of small groups… But have hardly been a part of a big group, like the kandus gang.. watch friends, discuss gossips, porn, affairs etc etc. dont know what not..

In section A trip during my first year at IIMB, all the tams got together and we were singing songs like “New York Nagaram” etc… We do that even now in L block first floor. These are amazing moments to cherish in my student life.. I wish I had many such moments.. Give me another chance..

I always wanted to do something on stage and address the audience.. Well I did.. I did teach in seminars & courses.. I loved those.. But I didnt sing or dance on stage 🙂 The last time I sang in front of an audience was 10 years back.. “Kasu Mela Kasu Vandhu” with Kumara Ganesh in 10th Std. What a hit it was! You know.. its a special feeling when you practise for these stage events together as a group.. Work real hard.. and celebrate with “hi-fi”s and hugs after finishing it off in style.. Closest in the recent past I can think of was the play I acted in the first year @ IIMB by name “Sure thing”. I will miss these for sure.. Give me another chance, I will learn music & dance.. perhaps theatre…

What is talking about school days without talking about girls.. I had countless number of crushes.. Most of those thoughts got crushed in my heart.. I managed to express a few.. not to the girl.. but to some of my friends.. Against all odds, I had a girlfriend.. and not very long ago, I lost her too.. I hated to admit to the world that I had a girlfriend.. I hated to admit when I realized that I lost her. Give me another chance.. I wanna boldly express my feelings.. caring more for the girl and a little less for the world around! Give me another chance.. I wanna express myself…

May be I could have gotten away by adjusting my priorities a bit.. Just A LITTLE BIT.. For example, during my ten week internship at IIT Madras, I could have gone for the beach ONCE not twice.. JUST ONCE.. May be.. I could have coded a bit less on the rare occasion when it rained in Trichy..  and jumped in the rain… I could have taken that trade off.. May be.. I could have a seen ONE MOVIE in theater in the whole of my undergrad days.. I am compensating that by going one every week in the past 5 weeks.. May be.. I could have gone home a bit more often during my IIMB days and made my parents happy.. May be.. I could have watched cricket match cheering every single ball with a crowd.. and when the batsmen get out or when the bowler gets belted away.. scold him loudly.. not with words like LOSER… but with words like SUCKER.. May be I could have attended the hostel block party.. instead of studying Managing Organizations in which I got a C grade anyways…  May be I could have done with a bit more “Vella” sessions or “Bakkar” sessions with junta.. just talking utter non-sense.. When my friends mocked.. I could have done away by uttering.. “What the FUCK” instead of “What the HECK”.. Dont know when was the last time I uttered these gaalis..

I didnt grow up the same way as what most of the guys would have.. But I have had my own fun.. I have done things which others havent.. But having said that.. I could have some of these things different.. Give me another chance… I wanna grow up once again..

I have spoken to a number of people.. through CWS or other wise.. All of us have aspirations.. Things which we wish we could have done better in the past.. Here is a new year dawning at all of us.. Here is another chance to grow up once again.. I wish Coffee With Sundar Readers a very happy new year – 2010!!! Grow up once again!




  • Shreyas said:

    Wonderful ! Nice post Sundar ! You haven’t changed a bit 🙂 . Gr8 going dude ..

  • PS said:

    Hey Sundar,

    Awesome article. Kind of nostalgic. As it goes, each experience leaves us with a memory which remains evergreen for ever…

    Wish you a HNY 2010…



  • PM said:

    Hey Sundar,

    Really nice post.. Let me tell you, you are not the only one to have had this different kind of growing up.. 🙂 My life is pretty much the same as yours.. But, like you pointed out right, we have had our own kind of fun in the way we grew up.. and looking back, I dont want to change any of that as I feel, that has what has brought me to where I am now.. and I’m happy abt it..

    Wish you a very happy new year.. Have fun 🙂


  • me said:

    im still waiting for a second chance

  • venkat said:

    hey nice writing man

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    @ All.. Thanks a lot for all the comments.. It makes me feel special.. I had put in quite a lot effort into this post.. Thanks a lot.. once again..

  • Nisha Subramanian said:

    Hey Sundar,

    Its never too late/old to start doing in your capacity what you didnt/couldnt do 🙂 .May all your dreams come true this year.

  • Arunram A said:

    Nice post. I watched some movies in EEE Audi, but often feel I could have watched more movies. I still long for learning some kind of music, which I missed very badly in school and UG days.

    I could relate to many of things that you expressed. The definition of enjoyment differs for each person. And, once in a while, we need to redefine the same. I guess that’s what you did in IIMB.

    Btw, Congrats on Dewang Mehta Award.

    Wish you a happy new year! Continue your good posts.

  • Shiva said:

    Very well expressed Sundar! (3 Idiots and Two States did something to get this off your shoulders, I guess)

    You have time and as you have said, you should take things perhaps a little less seriously.

    congrats on the award!!

  • Subhodeep Moitra said:

    Late realization for nerds is always a sad thing. And when you grow older doing the things that you missed out in your youth just becomes ‘mid-life crisis’. Tread carefully my friend.

  • Nanditha said:

    Brilliant Sundar !!! Happy New Year 🙂

  • AB said:


    super gud1… keep writing!! happy new year !!

  • Sreekanth said:

    is this the effect of 3idiots… and bugger who were the crushes in school….. mail me the list….. u SILENCER 😛

  • Ankur said:


    I still remember the walk and talk which we did on BANDSTAND, and I am sure the kind of sacrifices you have made in small-2 things will pay you back the great dividends in times to come.

    My best wishes are always with you


  • Madhurima said:

    Hi Sundar,

    Have read several of ur posts, starting with one where u interviewed an IISc prof. about how to go about research.
    Brilliantly written post.Was enjoyable to read it.
    Happy New Year!

  • Sundar Rajan (author) said:

    hey guys..

    Thanks a lot for your comments and appreciation 🙂 Its very very pleasing to hear it..

    @subho: ha ha.. thanks dude for the forewarning 🙂

  • Swe said:

    oye!! good one!! nostalgic… urugufying 🙂 me the like!! 🙂

  • Kumaraganesh said:

    As someone who has known you well in your formative years (and also crooned to “Kasu Mele Kasu vandu” ) I should have been the first to comment…

    Firstly a very nice post, like so many people have said, your post makes everyone draw parallels to their own lives. As sometime somewhere everyone has had to let go of short term , harmless pleasures in view of a long term goal. The extent to which each persons sacrifices is different that is what determines who goes on to become what.

    Coming from a middle class academically oriented background we are always conditioned to think in a linear way about doing well in acads, and even if we do something extra curricular , do it in a CV-enhancing field 🙂 etc etc. So, obviously , when we look back at our hardships from the vantage point of a stable professional setting , at the end of our academic journey , it is likely that we would feel that somewhere along the line , we probably overdid the whole thing.

    However, there is another side to this argument. As someone who has tried to stray from the y=mx+c straight line , only to revert back , I can say that even if you tried to do all those things you missed , you probably would not have enjoyed as much. For example, I too wanted to be part of large gangs, I was part of a large group of friends in 2nd yr , but i realised I dont enjoy being in large groups as much as I enjoy the company of the 2/3 close friends. I tried my hand at dancing, only to realise that i suck at it and should never go on stage. I even (unsuccessfully) tried to be flirtaceous and hit on girls At the end of each of these exercises , I always ended up thinking..”Whats the whole point”.

    It is then that you realise that you are born with certain qualities that prepare you for a future in a certain way. If you try to move away , it is more likely that your alterego ( manasatchi) will come up and exclaim “En characteraye purinji ka mattengariye” in true Sathya Raj style . You in a lot of ways ended up being like the player you admired the most in your school days Rahul Dravid.

    In cricket terms, Your success has come due to the restraint you have shown to flashing outside the offstump. SO, dont look back to see if you could have been a bit of Yuvraj , because in the longer term you knwo who wins [:)].

    Cheers and Happy New Year

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    Oh kumar.. thanks a lot for your reply.. thats an essay reply 🙂 I loved ur finishing line..

  • Shaunak said:

    nice one.. I wonder how you can be so honest..!
    Give me some mantra to be so..(i m serious)
    I could relate at least some things from the article wid myself..but after listening to the ‘give sm sunshine’ song, I became very conservative about my past n don’t want to take up a chance. Maybe I m happy for whatever I did or I m not sure if I cud do them(at least) again. How do you maintain yourself when you know people gonna follow u surely? N how much of immediate future is always in your mind.. I mean how far do you see while planning to do something..? in terms of days or hours or weeks..plz do reply. Thank you. belated Happy new year!! wish you get all you need..

  • Rajan T R said:

    Hi Sundar,

    I could relate to some of the things. Wish one could change the way we went about in the past. Having said that, I believe, leading a life we did is our own unique way of living and like the adage – The Grass is always Greener on the other side…. You have been an inspiration, just keep going in your own way!!!

    Cheers mate and wish you a successful 2010….. Its going to be awesome


  • Rahul said:

    Well, an excellent read..I guess you can become the next Chetan Bhagat writing stuffs that excite each of us who has been a part of such academia. Well, to some extent, I endorse the activities you wanna do, coz I have had a first hand experience living the kinda life u have lived till now, only exception being I am remotely as “successful” as u r (having graduated from NIT Rkl, XIMB without any ” gold medals” to my credit) but all I want to say is, God has destined us to be like this, I guess we cant do everything in life. That’s what I think, and I guess I am happy having lived the life

  • NoeL said:

    Sundar, nicely (or should I say, frankly) written… For sometime now, I am also having similar thoughts… When will/can I write a blog like this expressing all those?

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    @Neol: I am sure you can write this and many other things.. just pour your heart out…

  • NoeL said:

    Sundar, frankness is the problem! 😛

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:

    @Noel: I would say write it as a journal.. and dont publish it.. but write it.. pour ur heart out.. and read it… Trust me.. it will be special to read.. just write it..

  • KPR said:

    Hi Sundar,

    A great read. I am also from NITT and now at IIMA. It is very funny how we have differed and how we actually come to the same conclusions. I had max fun at NITT. I actually ended up doing all those things which you thought you should have done at NITT. I cant remember how many gang treats I was a part of at NITT. It was just bliss. Those films and gangs and vetti talks. But by the time I joined IIMA, I was a changed person. I had all this desire to succeed and stuff and hence put max fight here and have ended up in a very decent position academically. I was actually guilty that I had not studied at NITT and hence decided that at IIMA, I would be a changed person. I was very serious at IIMA, never went out much, went for one gang treat. Did not participate much in anything, things which I would have loved doing at NITT. I just decided that IIMA is the serious part of me and no NITT Bull Shit here. Now the 2 years are coming to an end and I have this feeling that there is nothing to remember from A. I regret having studied so hard. I regret not having made much friends here. I thought this great academic score would have given me happiness, but it was short lived. When I close my eyes, NITT comes to my mind and not IIMA. From a CV perspective I have cracked it. But from a life perspective, I feel I have missed something.

  • Anonymous said:

    One of the most honest post i have come accross :):) Awesome it is !

  • Monika Arya said:

    One of the most honest post i have come accross 🙂 Awesome it is !