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A Hole and Whole

I finished my bachelors two years ago.  In my department, it is a custom to bid farewell to every batch that is going to be kicked out of the campus. On this day, our juniors arrange the farewell and organise speeches that thank us for the help we did and wish us good luck for our future.  I wanted to describe this now. Before that I would like to tell exactly what happened an year ago when we were the guys organising the farewell for our seniors.

I had a hole in my trousers(pants) which was about half a centimetre long. It was located a little below my back pocket and no skin was clearly visible when worn. That was a small hole. There is a guy called Surendra who always adored me. On the morning the farewell party is going to take place, he came to me and asked if I could go on the stage and say a few words about our seniors. He and I both know that I didn’t know many of them and the words that I am going to say should be cooked by me as well. When I asked him how much the length of speech should be, he said that it should not be more than three or four lines. I also came to know that Saurabh is also going to speak before I do. I prepared for three or four plain lines and went to the farewell in the evening. The party was going on well till Saurabh was called on to the stage. I will be called upon next. I was getting ready as it wouldn’t be long for him to finish saying his three line speech. Then, he just took a large sheet out of his pocket and started with a funny quote for which every one was laughing while my mind was lost in the length of the paper he took out. The speech went on for a solid 10 minutes and it took me some time to realise that my name was called up few seconds ago. I rose from my seat in a hurry as the silence of the audience added much horror to me. As I rose from the seat, every one heard a cloth rip and it was very clear in that silence. The hole was not small, well, at least now!

The half centimetre was exactly fitting a small nail on the bench I was sitting. The cloth tore in a 2 cm wide strip and I started to move towards the podium covering the strip with one hand trying to pretend that my hands are inside my back pocket which appeared funny to those who knew what happened and rude to those who didn’t. I climbed the podium and my tension was visible not only to the audience but also to me via the expression on the front row. Then, came a speech that was meaningless, disappointing and worst of the most – unprepared. I can clearly see Kishore(my senior) sighing and looking at me like I shouldn’t have done it. My speech was lame. But, in contrast to Saurabh’s, it was nothing less than a disaster. I climbed down, with my hands still in my back pocket. I fled the scene in five minutes and tried to avoid presence everywhere.

Coming to my final year, when we were given the farewell, I was asked by Surendra again to address the gathering on behalf of our batch. I said ‘Yes’ and we both smiled. This time, I didn’t ask him what the length should be, I decided it myself and drafted a nice speech. I made sure that there were neither nails, nor holes anywhere. I went and spoke without a mistake.

When I came down, Surendra was telling me a conversation that happened between Vijay and him while I was delivering the speech. Vijay was telling “See how he was last year. And see how mature he is now”. These words meant more to me than the claps that the audience gave me while I was coming down finishing my speech. I only feel that my failure last year taught me many lessons and made me a better man.

The Author of this post also conducted an event at the College’s Cultural Fest, SpringSpree. He played anchor for the whole event. He also played host for the last get together of the batch that happened and received appreciations for doing it well.

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