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.


  1. I'm already in awe of Sreekumar Menon. It's so important to have people like that around you. It makes you want to do better and do well. I have a good feeling about your course. :)
    Might be one of the best things to happen!!
    I'm sure you'll love it! :)

  2. Thanks babe.. means a lot :) I hope i learn loads..

  3. Seems like u are focused and excited about this new course !! its clearly evident wen you say
    " One, I actually WANT to pursue this course " !

    Wishing you all the BEST !

    Jaison !
    (Impressed by the way you write ) :-D

  4. It was fun to read this account as you shared what all of us were feeling that day, at least I was. And about secretly basking under the perception that our writing talent was something special, Sreekumar Sir's and Ramnarayan Sir's (the cricketer) assignments in last two weeks have made me realize that there is a lot to be unlearned before we may start learning. Alas, all the myths have been broken indeed!
    Off 2 search for other ACJ bloggers :)

  5. Just read this miss.silent observer :D Nice. Actually captures the essence of our first day :D Just a weird question: Did we meet on the first day or later? I cant remember. Anyhoo, see you tomo :D

  6. Ha! Thanks Vipul and Mahima :)
    Mahima, we met on the third day or something.. on the train :) So romantic no? ;)