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Monday, April 3, 2017

Embracing Change

(Article written for 2017 issue of The AECian, Assam Engineering College)

When Professor Satyajit Bhuyan asked me to write an article for The AECian I had absolutely no idea what I’d write on. What can I write for the magazine I was an editor of some four years back? What do I write for its readers that they haven’t read before?

Having found no specific answer to these questions I sit down to write just the way I blog – pouring my heart out. When Bhuyan sir mentioned “The AECian”, it took me back to 2013 when I had worked relentlessly for it. At those times the students would write articles on paper, instead of MS Word, and submit it. Imagine the pain of first decoding someone else’s handwriting and then editing it, not to mention, the typing and re-typing required by the publishers. I remember having a discussion with Bhuyan sir regarding changing the submission method so that our writers submit soft copies making it easier for both the parties. Our tech-savvy professor welcomed the idea and I was glad about it. 

When our environment changes, it makes no sense if we stick to our old ways. We need to embrace the change and move forward. Of late, each year, each month I have embraced nothing but change – from changing locations in India and abroad, to experimenting with new habits, new things to learn and do.

When I write about embracing change I cannot not mention how Guwahati has changed over the time. I remember my last year in AEC when we used to take the college bus to go to a certain part of the city and hop on city buses to go further. Today I’m back in the city after four years and find myself not having the first instinct to call a cab via Ola or Uber. I wait for city buses and get a shock when the auto-driver doesn’t ask for a fortune to go till a certain distance. 

With this apparent increase in commercial vehicles comes the rise in Black Carbon pollution levels in the city. Thanks to urbanization- the change businesses embraced to move forward with constructing malls, showrooms and hotels. 

Oh, how we hate change when it is not in our favour! The same change I would love to show off when my friends from Delhi give the city a visit and notice the brands available here. The same change I hate every time I need to use my scarf to cover my face when I go out.


With the changing city, there are other changes our hearts wish to resist. The current placement scenario in India is not that great (Demonetization, Trump and what not?) and hence, those who’d be in the final year at AEC might not be having a clear idea of the future ahead. Grieving about leaving the carefree college life behind and then worrying about the uncertainties ahead.

 However, sometimes ambiguity leads to great things – pursuing Masters in a domain of interest in the country or abroad, putting some efforts and risk for a new business in the city, being a contributor of the ever-increasing start-up culture in India, indulgence in social welfare and so on. People leave high-paying jobs to follow their passion. People leave studies to go for a job of their interest. An MBA after a MBBS degree and a masters in physics after leaving successful businesses – the world has probably seen all kinds of stories. I know some AECians who are on their way to break-even their newly started businesses. 

These stories are nothing but patches of hope for a changing future. And all we as witnesses to these changes can do is to gear up to embrace this change and move forward. Adaptability is a skill only life can teach you, a skill that only ameliorates itself as and when we embrace change.