Saturday, July 9, 2011
First Day of College – TAKE 3!
So here I am again, 6 years after my first time, trying my hand at this college thing once more. There were some significant differences this time however. One, I actually WANT to pursue this course; two, I have absolutely no idea what to expect and three, I’ve never been part of a class which reeked so much of self-confidence. At the orientation programme today we met Mr. Sreekumar Menon whose presence took I think about 90sec to extract a sense of awe, kin-ship and respect from the crowd. He was effortlessly hilarious, and his though he very quickly had the whole crowd wrapped around his little finger, it was quite obvious that his jokes, full of intelligent sarcasm, were ones that you don’t wanna take too lightly. Even when he’s advising us against something, he does it in such a way that you don’t feel pressured.. you just feel stupid for ever having done that something. Because Sree’s da Man.. He might not look it, but trust me you don’t wanna mess with this wise old fellow.
The whole orientation talk maybe lasted an hour, during which he outlined to us the core courses, the structure of the whole course, introduced the other faculty ( consisting of a Ranji trophy cricketer, a musician who supposedly takes part in students’ mischiefs, a raahu-kalam believing dynamic radio journalist etc.. ). He also said something very relevant I think, to many of us present there. He said that during the interviews that we all had gone through as part of the admission procedure, he noticed one thing. Almost all of us apparently mentioned to the panelists one thing, that we chose this course because we love to write (I don’t remember clearly, but I think it’s a safe bet to say that I might have been one of them). He said that he found that admirable, since he himself is petrified of writing, something that made me, and possibly others feel rather small and naïve. Brashly, yet effectively showed us what a disillusioned bunch we were by revealing that our so-called-passion for writing wasn’t exactly shared by the readers of our essays; a comment that was greeted by sheepish laughter. To think that each of us one hundred and fifty students was secretly basking under the perception that our writing talent was something special is quite hilarious.
I was expecting the cream of the intelligentsia with an attitude to match among the student crowd. Can’t say I’m disappointed but thankfully it didn’t feel as intimidating as I expected, at least not today. Everyone was as anxious to make friends, I suppose. Everybody smiled sweetly at each other, exchanged names and backgrounds. An elaborate mating ritual, everybody waiting to meet, to choose that handful of people whose shoulders they can cry on, whose work they can copy, whose car-pool they can join, during the months to come. I played my part, met quite a few people, saw traces of future bitchiness, brilliance, phoniness, stupidity and a lot of hidden dynamism in the relatively quiet ones. But it would be a mistake to start judging prematurely so I’m keeping an open mind and minding my own business as always.
Monday, is when the wheels actually start rolling. An inaugural address by noted, controversial historian Dr. KN Panikkar on "IS DEMOCRACY WHAT DEMOCRACY DOES? REFLECTIONS ON INDIA'S POLITICAL PRESENT" will kick-start the day. I’m reading up on democracy so I don’t unecessarily embarrass myself.
Till next time.
Ramblings of Nandita at 7:51 PM