Students Corner

Student’s Corner in Lsquare is a platform where students can express their creativity, share their artistic talents, and showcase their literary works and creative content, fostering appreciation and recognition for their artistic endeavors.


A late winter evening in Bangalore. The city is sparkling with weekend starlings. Buzzing with parties, many people are heading towards their evening destinations. I was dropping my wife off at the party, a get-together of her batch at one of her friend’s homes. I thought I’d drop her off and go to a nearby friend’s home for some time, but then I was pulled into the party by her friends. I introduced myself to her friends as the best half of Aravinda, then silently grabbed a drink, spoke to a few people, and then sat near the sofa, watching an old game replay. It’s always good to see my wife with her old friends around; she was very happy. The replay was almost about to finish after some time, actually a long time. I just looked around. Some people were laughing, some were drunk, some were dancing, and my wife and a few others were going through old photo albums. Then she took me there, to show their entire batch photo. There were some 60 or 70 people in the photo. Holding my hand, my wife started talking about the people in the photograph with her friends. They spoke about the moments they spent together about some people, how they were, and what they remembered about some of what they did, like a class topper, basketball player, guitarist, etc., etc. Some they didn’t even remember except for their names. I was slowly drawn into thoughts. Okay, let me ask you this: which type of them are you? Are you the third type whom no one remembers, or the second one, or the first one? Fortunately, I am not the third type, but unfortunately, I was always the second type, always remembered for what I did, rather than who I am, for many years.

When did it all start? I was just going back, couldn’t remember when it started, or when I started being identified at least by myself for what I did. But it all started long ago, as long as I could remember. Maybe at home! Yes, it all started at home itself. Nothing earned me respect other than studies at my home. Ouch! Respect would be a too strong word to use, but studies were the only thing that genuinely made my parents happy about me. The rest all seemed to be a waste of time for them, and that’s what I could understand. Not blaming them, not really! After all, I know what they did for me all these years. But it was like that back then. So it did make me think that studies were the only things that mattered, and whatever I did, I did for standing tall in the class in studies. Everyone started recognizing me as a nerd, probably. It was my first recognition, and it stood for a long time. I was very fortunate that I had very special attention from the staff and administration in the school; after all, they were friends with my parents. Attention from staff and administration, attention from students — after a point, I started liking it and enjoying it. Or maybe I felt it was something I achieved and it was the right thing to achieve. I never cared about how many friends I had, or how I was being viewed as a person; I never even had that sense of thought. It was obvious. I was in that zone. But how long did it stay with me and work for me? Maybe for a few years, till I was about 14 or 15.

Then, what happened? I changed places. I changed schools and went to a better school, where a lot of people like me were there. No one cared about what I am, because it was also what they were. I wasn’t special. I felt a crisis for the first time, maybe I didn’t even realize it was one, but I felt something was different. Then, I started trying very hard to keep the identity I had until then, but it didn’t work. People honestly didn’t care about it. Then I started trying out different things like sports, etc., but they also didn’t work. Honestly, I was never good at them. I could understand that people were better than me at many things, but I blindly tried many things out just to prove that I was better than them, but things failed. I realized that there were people who were equally bad at many things like me, but there was a difference: they belonged to some group or another, but I never did. They were known for what they were; I was neither known for what I was nor what I did! The major crisis hit me hard. I was in an urge to feel the belongingness, longing for that feeling. But how? I had never been asked what I liked, or how I felt. And I also never cared about anything other than grades. Did I even have a character then? I don’t have any answer. I just assumed what I liked, how I felt, everything. It was chaos. Do you people remember when you first smoked, when you entered the first fight? And why did you do them?

I smoked for the first time and the last time too when I was 16. I did it not because I wanted to, but just because other guys were doing it and I just wanted to be a part of them. When I entered into a fight for the first time, I didn’t even know why it was started, all I cared about was the feel of belonging to a group. I just assumed what I liked, and prepared myself how I should behave. I just followed the people around me, to feel the belongingness. But honestly, was I happy? Maybe not, it was never me, my gut was saying it. But I got what I wanted back then, a sense of belongingness, and group identity.

Then the major changes happened. I had to fly away from these things for my graduation. Maybe it was a conscious decision, my gut asked me to do the right thing because the right ones are waiting for me, and I can firmly say I did the right thing. But things then became a bit difficult for me. For years, I have never experienced love and empathy in the way it meant to be, or at least in the way that would resonate with me, with what I am in such close quarters, every day. But when I met her, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it because I never experienced it. I couldn’t be in the happy situations for long, couldn’t offer her a shoulder when she needed it. I always had a single answer, I don’t know. Maybe it was escapism? Maybe. I did escape for a long time, but not for too long. When you miss something very dear to you, you will stop. I did that. I did stop and started thinking, for a long time I was just been known for what I did, I just wanted that. Then for the first time, someone identified me with what I am, but then I didn’t know how to reciprocate the love and empathy. But I understood, I couldn’t afford to miss those people, I was feeling me for the first time. I did understand that love is not just a feeling and it’s an ability and I am learning that. I was just lost in all the thoughts and didn’t even remember when we just came back and sat in the car. I am driving and my wife was tired and slept on my shoulder. Seeing her, just reminded me, of how I was, how she did change me, how she longed for my love, how I won her the second time. Whenever life goes into chaos, someone comes and changes it forever. Thanks to all those people in my life.

– Pavan Kumar Vatti
PGP 2023-25

Deja vu – A glitch in the matrix

“… In conclusion, according to Porter’s five forces analysis, the Indian film industry faces a relatively lower threat from the bargaining power of buyers and a higher threat from the bargaining power of suppliers. This indicates that…”, I was dropping all the jargon I could find in the textbook in a desperate attempt to pass the Competition & Strategy open book examination.

As I flipped through the textbook pages to gather relevant concepts and ideas, I felt something was off…

I looked around. Everyone in the examination hall was scratching their heads trying to make sense of Porter’s Five Forces analysis, PESTEL framework, and whatnot.

The environment, the situation, the whole thing seemed oddly familiar. But hey! This is an MBA University, after all, a head-scratching examination is just another Monday here.

“15 minutes left!”, shouted the invigilator. “Fuck!, I still have one more essay to write.”, I realized. So, I dropped all the distracting thoughts and shifted my focus back to the examination but still couldn’t shake that odd feeling. It felt like everything that was happening around me had already happened and I was living in a memory.

“Weird! Must be a Deja vu…”, I thought as I continued writing the examination.

But what the hell is a Deja vu?

Sometimes people have this peculiar experience they call Deja vu. Let’s say you are performing some relatively novel action, such as walking into a new store or meeting someone new, and all of the normal indicators from your perspective should indicate that this is a new experience.

But a strong sense of familiarity washes over you –  you’ve been here before or done this before, and this has genuinely happened before. But you know it didn’t happen and that you shouldn’t be feeling this way. As a result, it feels strange, wrong, and inappropriate.

Weird, huh! But why?

Let’s see what Mr. Plato has to say about this…

Plato’s Theory of Recollection

Plato’s theory claims that time is an illusion, just the unfolding process of remembering everything, and that all knowledge that has ever been known and will ever be known is already preexistent in your memory. The term for this type of memory is anamnesia.

This theory also explains the phenomena like Deja vu.

According to Plato, Deja vu occurs when our soul recognizes something from a previous existence, i.e., a past life. Deja vu essentially is like a memory from a past life popping up in our current experience. This theory signifies that everyone is born with some preexistent knowledge and memories and life is nothing but the recollection of this preexistent knowledge and memories from the past life.

Essentially, time and learning are illusions because all knowledge and all events are already contained in memory. All that exists is the process of remembering. This is similar to watching a movie that you have seen a long, long time ago; you have seen every scene before but the content is unrecognizable. (Unless you experience Deja vu.)

Scientifically speaking…

Although science doesn’t have conclusive answers as to why a person experiences Deja vu, the predominant theory states that Deja vu is thought to happen when there’s a miscommunication between two parts of the brain. These parts of the brain play a role in memory recollection and familiarity.

According to researchers, you are more susceptible to Deja vu if you

  • Have a high level of education
  • Travel a lot
  • Remember your dreams
  • Hold liberal beliefs

That’s oddly specific, isn’t it? It’s possible that your brain is not as reliable as you might think it is, you highly educated travel-enthusiastic dream-remembering liberal!

Well, okay! but why the sudden interest in Deja vu?

Be it a glitch in the matrix, a recollection of memories from past lives, or just a miscommunication between two parts of my brain, I couldn’t help but wonder how unreliable my memories are.

What do you suggest I do with this newfound knowledge (or maybe a recollection of preexistent knowledge) of this unreliability?

– Kammara Charan Tej
PGP 2023-25