Second Runner up-A Letter to the Institute
-By Kartik Pontula,20CS10031
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur,
Kharagpur, West Bengal - 721302.
You are not my friend. No friend would break me as much as you did.
You have tested me immensely; stretched me thin in every direction; cut me open and brought all of my vices to the surface. You have poked and prodded the corners of my mind in just the right ways to provoke the greatest emotional hardships I have experienced. Pain, agony and despair have become my regular visitors. You have exposed me to the evil and malevolence that pervades both the external world, and my own mind. You have shown me people who lie shamelessly, people who cheat their way into your academic system with no harm, people who prey and hurt others with pride and a dirty sense of superiority.
I felt nothing but isolation within your massive community.
You had stolen from me my materialistic reservoirs of emotional security - my success in academics and personal relationships. You showed me a promise of love, which was a guise for a ticking time-bomb, the shrapnel of which continues to cling to my soul today. You brought me to my knees, desperate, with a shattered ego. I begged and prayed, asking for all of it to stop, crying for guidance. No sensible friend would ever fathom doing any of this.
You are not my friend. You are my teacher. And You are the best teacher I could have asked for.
I have been humbled by You. I have learned to listen and pay attention to Your lessons, to honor my suffering. I understood that everything You did was to toughen me up. To improve me. You have proven to me how self-centered I have been, and reflected back with embarrassing honesty all of the blasphemies of my thinking, voluntary or otherwise. From You I have learned to accept everything
that fate imposes on me.
Pain and suffering have become my mentors. My loneliness has taught me independence, leaning on literature and philosophy for spiritual support. I have truly begun to believe in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s quote, "There is good in everything, if only we look for it.” I have begun to appreciate the good
fortune and opportunities You have gifted me with.
Do not surmise that You are perfect, however. Several fail your unfair and diabolical trials. Countless others despise You in the truest sense of the word. Yet, I accept and honor You for who You are. I only hope You have more tribulations planned ahead for me. I look forward to hearing back from
You soon. Guide me, O Master!