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

Delhi: Fifth Semester and Mosquitoes

It has been a while since I last posted. Two months, it has been two months. A lot has happened since then. This blog of mine was set up to keep a track of the beautiful journey I am undertaking. I feel it is my duty to make an entry tonight. I am a terrible procrastinator. I should write about home, my summer, my journey on the train, etc. etc. I should have written about my vacation but doesn’t it feel kind of a bit old-fashioned, now that almost a month has passed since I came back to Delhi and my fifth semester started two weeks ago? Just read on and let us see how this goes. My class starts at 10:30 everyday unlike 8:45 in last semester, thus saving me an hour of precious morning sleep. Did I tell you that I stay in a hostel in the outskirt of North Delhi while my college is in South Delhi? I spent over 3 hours commuting back and forth every day. Anyone who has heard this for the first time never stops to ask why I live so far away. I often wondered myself why. Well, for starters, the hostel where I live is affordably cheap, maybe a half of what I’d have to pay in South Delhi for a hostel with accommodation, water, fridge, TV, table, bed, chair, and the like. Hey, wifi too. Oh yes, the hostel finally has wifi as well. Plus point. Haha. Now you know the reason why. While we are talking about this, let me also remind you this place is a heaven for mosquitoes. Ahh, negative point. Once in a while, I sleepover in South Delhi and enjoy my six/seven/eight hours of sleep in the most peaceful manner. I cannot have the comfort of availing that much hours of peace here in this hostel. Save the mosquitoes, the atmosphere here is calm and serene and beautiful. Unlike the Delhi we knew, the sound of traffic is unknown. The unceasing honking of cars on the road is silent around here. After a long day with all the traffic, the noise, and the like of a city, this is one place where we can relax peacefully. There are open spaces all around. The place is nature friendly with trees and green all around. Therefore, mosquitoes. Period.

On an unrelated note, I also wish to let you know that I love traffic light at night. Such weird romances, huh. I know.

People says Delhi is the worst city for a North-easterner to live. Delhi is the only city I have been to/lived outside of North East so I can neither agree nor deny to this assumption. Every city will have its beauty. In the eye of a Northeast being, Delhi offers a lot more than what we actually expect. It has many historical significant places/buildings, numerous parks and greenery, shopping and malls, colleges, good transportation, etc.

It has its dark side too, like sanitation, traffic jams, and in our context, racial and sexual discrimination. Have you ever got stuck so bad in Delhi’s unending traffic and you just feel like barging out of the car/bus and just shout the hell out of it? There are unfortunate days in a week when there are professors who will not allow you to come in to class even if you are late by a second. There are several roads in Delhi where every human beings who know how to drive wanted to go through those routes. The RTR Marg from Munirka to Moti Bagh is one. It is a hell.

The Delhi I know is kind to me. It has been treating me pretty good and I am charmed. Few days ago, a friend asked me a place I’d settled after I get a job. I responded “Delhi”.

The Wait

My first attempt at poetry. Comments are welcome and highly appreciated.

the wait

He waited
Little birds all round him
As they sweetly sang their summer song,
In the bliss of the setting sun
His heart in pain.

Not a single glance,
Not a single soul cares
The story of endless struggle
As he waited day and night
Alone.

Summer and winter, spring and autumn,
He waited.
The birds left him for the warmth of the south.
Beards round his face
He droops.

He knows not his name,
He knows not who he is,
He knows not what he waits for,
He sat there
His eyes a story of a once glorious youth.

The years went by,
We ran to the hill one day
He still waits,
But now in his grave.