Post exam: The South Campus delight

I wrote the last paper of my second semester examination yesterday and as expected the paper didn’t go so well considering the amount of studies I put into the prep. Jokes apart, with exam over and done away with, I once again will live the life of a bird for a while. Apart from the many to-do lists, updating this blog is one. This came a little late but I had to respect the need for sleeping after so many hours and days of stress and anxiety breakdown. The conventional schedule of an examination is to have gap days between papers allowing enough time for students to make a last revision. As a Literature student, the syllabus is a truckload and even though I have managed to cover almost all the primary texts during the semester, the last paper happened 48 hours after the second last and that is nowhere healthy to stressful students during exam. I thought I was screwed and what happens next is at the beginning of this post.

If you have been following my other posts, you’d be aware by now that I am very much a procrastinator. I am aware that it is not productive despite the fact that it is not uncommon to students but then what can I do to beat it. I tried to read a lot. The South Campus library…wait!

This blog is going to be about how awesome my campus is. But seriously, the main campus of Delhi University is overrated and the lesser known South Campus deserves more praise. One may think this will be biased because of my personal attachment as a resident of the latter. I pray, read on. I have no grudge against the main campus at North and I am not trying to make any false claim regarding the other. The main campus certainly has more perks and advantages as compared to the other. Heck, I even had to take the metro to North Campus twice a week because my optional Philosophy paper and the Internal Assessment lectures took place only at the main campus this semester. I had to struggle rising up an hour early than usual so that I do not missed my IA classes.

In DU, admission to a post-graduation course is done through a common entrance test. Admission through merit-based is applicable for students who graduated from the university itself. Since I did my undergraduate from University of Delhi itself, I applied both and when the admission list came out, I was assigned an option to choose either the bustling main campus or the lesser-known quiet campus near Dhaula Kuan (Apology for the cliché LOL). I chose the latter and it was a not a bad choice. The beginning of a semester is a time of enthusiasm for every student. The fact that North Campus is the hub and the first option to many, it came without surprise when few friends who go to lectures at North Campus whine over the case of over-crowded classroom in the summer of Delhi. At the other campus, there was a sense of quietness and serenity which was a safe escape from the busy city. The same lecturers alternate between the two campuses to give the same lectures, everything was average, or in other word normal, apart from the other class being less crowded and more genial, if  I may say.

For an undergrad, it is certainly the main campus at North which wins the argument for some obvious reasons. The colleges in South Delhi are scattered as opposed to the close-knitted colleges around North Campus. However, at the post-grad level, the jackpot turns. The South Campus of the University (the area) is for students pursuing Masters and above and it is this exclusivity which makes it a class apart. As a resident living on campus, I have had my share of experiences and truly, the serenity it offers is overwhelming. Delhi is a busy city and I sure am at awe with the noise and the lights from cars and the traffic at night, yet at heart I am still a boy from the country and I will always love the calm.

From the many arguments I can make, I can…[na, keep it].  There are hundreds if not thousands of generic post comparing between North Campus vs. South Campus of Delhi University and it never gets old and I am tired, [everybody is] of seeing them not actually comparing the campuses but merely comparing outside factors like Satya and GK over Kamla Nagar for food, hangouts, metro accessibility and whatnots. To undergrad, such comparisons are valid on many levels but as a post grad student and an on-campus resident, it just doesn’t make much sense to me.

Can I at least rant about the awesome canteen and the South Campus library and all those green lawn? Just a little bit, okay. A bank, an ATM, a post office, a health centre, photocopy shops, a library, a canteen that actually sells ice-cream, all within the campus and at walk-able distance, what more can one ask for. The South Campus Library which stays open till 12 midnight is a spacious three-storey building with so many good books and it definitely is a place for an amazing on-campus experiences. Unlike the Central Reference Library at North where you have to wander around for hours to find a seat to sit, there is no need to fight for a spot in the library at South Campus. Honestly, South Campus is awesome. Look!

Source: UDSC-Student Union Facebook page

The Arts Faculty Building

The Campus in Winter. Source as first

Hidden gem inside the campus.Source as first

Men’s Residence [Saramati and Aravali]

[All pictures are mine unless stated otherwise]

In my last post, I mentioned a little bit about my dorm. Not a lot has changed. But the temperature has increased a lot more. My room is on the third floor aka top floor and the inhabitants of this floor are men from planet Mercury. I am trying to stay indoor as much as possible as to go out during the day is a business I had to think twice.

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February 2017: Me, at 22

After a hiatus of nearly a year, I am writing and the fact that I am updating this blog deserves a moment of applause, of whatever worth this might be, hmm, it doesn’t really matter, I am just glad I decided to be here and type in all let’s-see-what-comes.

A lot has happened over the past many months since I last updated. I graduated from college, got admitted to university for another 2 years of study, took several trips out of the city, visited my village back in Manipur to spent the winter holidays with families and friends, made new friends, lost a few, create many cherishing memories, regrets, oh, the list goes on. Hah! On reading what I’ve just written, I realized my life is not as boring as it seem to be. It is actually kinda interesting, I say ‘kinda’.

As of February 2017, I am living on the third floor of a university dorm. My room has a window with a view of the beautiful sunsets. Wait, ‘beautiful sunsets’ in Delhi? Well, sunsets in Delhi can never be as beautiful as the sunsets back in the North East, the region where I came from.

Talk about sunsets, but here is a picture of a beautiful sunrise in Manipur

Talk about sunsets, but here is a picture of a beautiful sunrise in Manipur

I live in the city, I share a room with a student who is doing his MBA, the room has a view, the food in the mess is decent (hmm really?), I have friends, beautiful and handsome friends, more than what I asked for; yet I missed home, particularly the food, and the warm fireplace, and the clean air, the cool evening breeze, the starry, yet calm and peaceful nights.

Just the other day, I had a chat with a friend who teaches at a school in Manipur. It was around 5 pm in the evening and just had my evening snacks of samosa and tea. At that time on the other side, she just had her dinner. Our country just have one time zone in spite of its huge east-west geographical stretch (you know the map of India). There is a huge difference in daylight hours between this city and where I came from. What also struck me was the weather. During the day, while scrolling through my News Feed on Facebook, I came across a news report stating that Delhi has the hottest February in years with temperature rising up to 32C (link). February and the mercury already hitting 30+? Hmm, it sure is going to be an interesting year. In Manipur, it was raining since the last 24 hours. Oh! I missed the rain.

Last December, I wrote the first of four semester examinations and it went all out of control, the result of which is yet to be declared, but I know it is not going to be a pleasant one. I took the blame because I called for it. I missed numerous lectures, tutorials and presentations, all because I didn’t really care, or did I? After the exam, on realizing the fact that everything was all because I did not handle the way it should have been, I kinda (I say kinda) resolved that I will do better this time, and that I will have to learn to take responsibilities better. This semester, up to this time, I have been trying to make sure I attend as many lectures as I could, and I am pleased that I have attended more lectures than the whole of what I attended last semester. Woah!

I am still procrastinating. I have to read 4 plays of Shakespeare, also of Molière’s and Gogol‘s and I have a presentation on The Tempest and another one on Shelley, an internal assessment exam on PHIL216 in less than a month, several readings and bibliographies that I need to compiled. By updating this blog, am I simply making up another excuse to escape from my actual work?

Goodbye to my Undergraduate Life

Last Friday, I sat the last exam of my 3 year undergraduate life at the University of Delhi. The feeling post-examination is nothing but pure excitement. The freedom I felt is unfathomable. My answers weren’t the best but for the fact that I procrastinated A LOT, it might not be fair to say that I regret with whatever I’d written in the examination hall. I pray for the one who will checked my scripts to go *boom*. Okay.

When I first get admission at Venky, I never knew my life will be changed on a scale this big. Thinking back to the beginning of days three years ago, everything is so different now. I entered the gate of this college without giving much thought what it will taught me four three years later. (My course was first suppose to be a four year course program. but it change to a 3 year course later). The journey has been a pleasurable one. It is not without denying that there are no hiccups on the way, but at the end of the day, the experiences I’ve had has taught me a lot about life.

I still remember the first time I came to Venky for admission. Even though I was eligible to apply in many other colleges under the University, Venky kind of stuck in my head and never once did I think of changing my mind. However, there was a problem. A big problem. I was a student of Science in my higher secondary and there was to have a 5% deduction in the overall percentage if a student were to take a course in Humanities which I decided to, after going through a lot of confusion over what to do with my life just months before. When I saw the second cut-offs of Venky, I thought I was eligible and came to apply. However, I learned that some of my papers in my secondary schooling weren’t considered elective under the new system and hence, there was to have a further deduction of 2.5%. It was all too complex for me to digest. I think I cried with silent cry. When the fourth cut-offs came, the admission committee called me up on the phone and said there was a lone seat available and I can take that. I believe it was fate.

I think one of the reason that the University of Delhi is so well known is its numerous attempts to reform the education system. When I came, the university implemented the erstwhile FYUP (Four Year Undergraduate Program). The university in spite of its claim of the advantages of the 4-year over the traditional 3 years program, the new system was controversial from the beginning and after a year, it got defunct and the old system was rollback. The infamous FYUP of the University of Delhi is history and ironically I am happy that I was a part of it. In my first year, each of us was given a laptop for free *Yayy* which they took back after a year *Booo*. The fact that both the batches before and behind mine follows a structure that is different from my batch, we got promoted easily. The foundation course, as they were called, were really foundational. Attendance wasn’t a big issue. Such was FYUP. R.I.P.

Assignments, presentations and internals are not an easy load for any college student. Like I said at the opening of this post, I am a master of procrastination and without me explaining the details, you might well have guess the pain I’ve gone through to meet deadlines every now and then. The feeling of accomplishment after everything is done is pure bliss.

Life at Venky has been amazing. I’ve met a lot of amazing people. Venky with its diverse crowd is one of the coolest in the University and it stands out as one of the best colleges in South Campus. There are students from every corner of the country. There are few foreigners as well. Indeed in my first year, I had a classmate from South Korea. I also shared a class during the second semester of FYUP with students from Maldives, Afghanistan, South Africa and Nepal.

The annual fest NEXUS is considered one of the top 5 fest in the university. Though I could not attend the fest this year due to an unforeseen incident in the family, I’ve seen from earlier experiences that NEXUS has a name that can’t simply be ignored. I was not active in any of the societies, but I noticed the ever happening events in the campus. Venky never sleeps. In my second year, along with some of my seniors, we were able to revived a defunct North East Students’ Society in the college in the dawn of the situation that students from the region faced in the capital. I put myself to ‘N-E-soc’ and it was here that I met some of the bestest people in the whole of my 3 years of college. One of the credit for me successfully completing three years of undergraduate life goes to this.

I’d missed the silence of the first floor of the library and the noise of the reading hall. As a literature student, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time shuffling pages after pages from this building. The walk through the romeo’s lane to the canteen is memorable, you’d feel like you are walking a ramp. The ever-kind photocopy ‘bhaiya‘, the ever-busy canteen ‘bhaiya‘, the strict security guard at the gate, I’ve started missing them. As I write this, I remember how in my first year, I was coming out from the library the guard at the library gate struck up a conversation with me. He asked me where I stay and I told him I stay in Kishangarh (Vasant Kunj)with my brother, he said he lived there as well and saw me there the other day. We spoke for around 4 minutes in total awkwardness for the fact that I don’t know how to speak Hindi and he isn’t comfortable with English. It is strange how such little talks find itself a place down memory lane.

To the perspective of a typical college student, Venky has its own weaknesses. The office administration of the college is one thing I’d never understand, but I’ve heard it is just the same with every other college across the university. Forgive me, but it sucks. Standing in long queue for hours to take a signature while the office staff don’t seem to understand that precious time are wasted, important class are missed and energy are spent. The college did goes through certain improvement along the way. Payment of fees went online, so did the records of attendance and internal marks. One thing I’d appreciate most happened in the last semester. Without going through the heat of Delhi’s May to get our admit card just days before exam, we were able to download our admit card online.

Though it is very likely that I’d attend university for a master course until I figure out what to do with my life, my undergraduate life is over and that feeling make me sad. It also make me feel old, damn those days as a freshman. I’ve learn a lot about myself and of the world, and on the way I’ve grown to a more matured person. The experience of college is life-changing. The whole journey has been a roller-coaster.

Class of 2016. The FYUP Batch. My watch has ended (GOT fans will understand)

Thank you Venky.

P.S. My laptop of 4 years died 3 weeks ago beyond recovery, I’ve been too broke to get the data from it + I don’t wanna be too demanding to ask for a new one yet, hence no photos for now.

Senior Year Blues

The reality of college life is time is fleeting. Period. There is no denying the fact that this period is one of the most crucial stage part of a person’s life. Like the turning of a new page in a book, the transition from school to college, the steady changes from freshman to senior, each stage with its blend of colours, I can’t believe I’ve survived this far. Being in a college with students from all over the country, we met different kind of people with diverse cultures and lifestyles. The experience has nothing but being worthwhile. Looking back at myself to my first year in college and comparing that now, I cannot believe how much I have changed. This is not to say I have become better or worse, I still can’t figure out who I am. The idea of my whole being is still vague. In less than a year, I will be a graduate, pray no back papers. I still have a semester untouched and it is still early to talk about graduation, but anyways, read on. The idea of graduation brought me mixed feeling. I am happy and sad at the same time. After years and years of education, I will finally be a graduate. This will be such an achievement. Yayyy!!! Along with this feeling of happiness and of victory, I am worried at the same time. Have I learned enough? Is my college education worth it? Tons of questions sprang to my mind as I think over this and it is disturbing.

The place where I came from, somewhere in a corner, touched by civilization just about a century ago, most of the kids are first generation learners, I am one of them. My dad never completed college and my mom never made it to high school. Today, whenever someone’s kid make it to college/graduated, the news spread like wildfire. Congratulatory notes pour in. This is what the whole village folks talk about from dawn till night. The celebration becomes even grandeur in the case of someone getting a job, esp. a government job.

Being from a community described above, there is a tough battle ahead waiting for me. Adding to it, being the only child who made it to regular college from a family of 9, and that also not an ordinary college but a reputed college in the capital of the country, everybody at home awaits with high hopes and expectations. On my part, I am forever worried of the feeling that my degree may not be worth it, at all. Truth be told, not everyone cares about an English degree. What would I do with an English degree? This is exactly what everyone asked me few years ago when I decided to attend regular college, and not pursue medical stream to become a Doctor. Doctor, Engineer, IAS officer (not all govt. jobs, only this), these are what every parents back home dreamt for their children to be. Do they know about all other bigger opportunities for their kids in the huge world out there? Most of them don’t. I am not trying to praise myself but I indeed was a bright student in high school. And bright students should first aimed to become a Doctor or an Engineer, or appeared competitive exam and get a government job, if failed, get a spade and work in the field, if you are lazy, enter politics, they say.

My upbringing was one where I was constantly reminded of pursuing medicine and become the first Doctor in the area. My parents/relatives/neighbours/clan/just about everyone were happy and excited after my 12th examination when I got 1st division. They saw me not far away from becoming the first Doctor. After 4 months of medical coaching in Imphal, I overturned the idea of becoming a Doctor. You cannot imagine how outrageous everyone was. And he wanted to pursue English? He has gone mad. I have such wonderful parents that even though they were the most affected, they try their best to hide their disappointment. They sent me to Delhi. This is where I am today. And in less than a year, I will graduate. Period.

I do not know what this is called, but I have this weakness of not being able to take solid decisions, from the simple silly matters to important life decisions. This explains why I am still in college while my classmates from school have already graduated this year. The Doctor, yes. I know this is silly, but I really haven’t sorted out yet what I really wanted to be. Having an English degree offers a lot too many options and I am glad. I only wish I have a goal in mind. By default, my parents would want me to have a government job, now that a Doctor/Engineer is no more an option. In a family of 9, there is not a single government employee. My dad has had a job once, but he resigned for some other calling. Hey, not just my family, the ratio of government employee back home is not even 1:10. My brother who works in an international corporate firm often talks about starting a family enterprise. He often asked me when would I be graduated. I am standing on sinking sand. As for me, everything is blurry and the future a mist.

17 October 2015