One of the most important takeaways from college

So here I am – just shy of a month and a half from graduating, and starting to work full time. I was reflecting on what personally I thought has been the most important takeaway from college, and although the answer didn’t surprise me – I felt it often goes unacknowledged, and needed a little mentioning.

Was it coursework? Not quite, although I have to credit it (see what I did there) with keeping me sharp over the years. A lot of these courses were challenging and a revelation in terms of how the world could be affected, and I’m better for having studied them.

Was it the extra-curricular pursuits I was involved with? Partially, and these build up towards the most important thing. The reason why you become a part of a club or a council has two aspects – the responsibility, and the people. Both of these push you out of your comfort zone. And that’s something that you should always be doing. I read a book recently — the autobiography of one of my favourite cartoonists (Scott Adams of Dilbert fame), How to fail at everything and still win big —  and he says that every new skill that you acquire doubles the odds of your succeeding. I felt that I made the greatest gains through my involvement with various bodies on the campus (no pun intended), and would’ve lost out on something irreplaceable had I not.

At the risk of reiterating a cliché – you’ll find that your peer group is the most important takeaway from college. Given yes, that your friends here are some of the most important friends that you’ll make in life; but more importantly, it’s through observing others – that I have made the greatest strides in who I am overall as a person. I drastically improved my skills at small-talk, making conversations and being confident – by observing people do the same with me and others. I lost a fairly decent amount of weight and turned into a marathoner – by letting my running friends force me into it and then closely observing their schedules and stalking their progress on Nike+. And I plan to keep doing this as I move forward into my career, where it’ll be more crucial than ever that I stay ahead of the curve.

So while ego and self-belief are important for being confident and decisive in what you do – always keep a close eye on the people around you, and take part in whatever they’re doing in the hope of seeing them do the things they’re great at. And then be a sponge – and absorb whatever you can. You’ll be surprised at how much you can potentially improve by this.




I looked through the windowpane.
Two images – a half world and a half me.
Stirring together in a confused concoction.
No clue what it wanted to be.

It drizzled mildly, and then it rained.
A deafening static, engulfing the air;
Blocking all the useless worries,
A little more than my usual share.

I closed my eyes and slowly slipped.
Into a nothingness incredibly relieving.
Sinking slowly, and slowly, and slowly,
Into that elusive feeling.

-Abhinav Garg


The curtains fluttered in the wind,
As did they.
The storm outside was intense.
As were they.

The fervent dance,
That was so livid in them.
Took them from end to end,
As they swayed.

The sea outside was lit with passion.
As were they.
The waves raged away with all their might.
As did they.

-Abhinav Garg


I moved to a higher ground.
A colder wind.
But people of the warmest kind.

Their faces splashed red.
Soaking in every bit,
Of their paradise.

Numbing fingers,
Shivers every now and then,
But I was more alive.

A peace that was unparalleled.
And a quiet that belittles,
The worries of a mundane life.

In those weathered rocks,
Jutting out of nothingness,
There was beauty of a different kind.

I moved to a higher ground,
And with every bit of my rise,
It completely overtook me.


It flowed smoothly.

Gushing down, alleviating;
Pains of things lost,
and not found.

Spreading warmth,
In a bitter frost;
And peace, around.

Each gulp,
Partly bitter,
Partly sweet.

Relieving slowly,
The jitter.
A confidant; discreet.

It flowed crudely.

As the night,
Slowly passed.
Slightly pressed.

Each slurp,
Quickly amassed,
As I confessed.

Everything –
Wounds old.
And stinging.

Painful to watch,
The events unfold,
And memories yet clinging.

It flowed.
And then it didn’t.

As the darkness,
Of the night.
Bled into it all.

As the sorrow,
And the dimming light,
Put an end to the fall.

I’ve been maintaining an Instagram page too! Check out Detour Poetry.


She looked at the shore,
And it stared back.
A transient limit –
Awaiting her hack.

She had conquered the land.
But was scared of the sea.
Afraid, perplexed, presuming;
That’s as far as she could be.

Her heart raced,
Watching the wave approach.
All the while, drowning;
In self reproach.

Her eyes fixating,
On the horizon distant.
Where she wanted to be,
This very instant.

She looked at the shore,
And the sea parted.
The transient limit,
Had departed.

She raced unbridled,
Cutting away every rope;
Spreading her conquest,
With newfound hope.

Abhinav Garg

The Artist

The colours escaped,
From her fingertips.
Leaving trails,
Like meandering rivers;
In an endless sea of white.

The waters gave way,
Without a fight.
A new world,
Hacking away at nothingness;
Stood ground with all its might.

But what value lay,
In something conjured,
With such ease?
She bent over, swirling the waters,
Someone a little hard to please.

Time stopped,
But not her frantic activity.
An emergent order,
From her beautiful chaos,
Adorned everything within the border.

She looked up,
Tucking back her hair.
Her beauty dripping into the sea.
She smiled – for it was exactly,
What she wanted it to be.

Abhinav Garg