“Excuse me? Where’s Vivekananda Auditorium?“
That’s how my running around inside the Anna University, Chennai, began.
College of Engineering, Guindy.
Long queues of parents and children filled the campus. The hope, the prayers – all so visible in their eyes. For this is Anna University, standing tall, rhapsodically, almost blushing (Ah! That classic red paint!) as if guarding all the glories and the much sought-after fame, for over a period of 217 golden years.
I ran to the auditorium, and quickly slipped into one of the rows. A couple of embarrassed smiles to my neighbours and the sound of thzipper of my bag, I settled down to listen to the Dean’s introductions.The word “Guindian” resonated through my head even hours after the session was over.
The students had to attend so many lectures, talks, presentations by more than 14 activity clubs, briefings by professors and what not. All of them ended on the same note. “Your placement is guaranteed.” And there! I am subjected to an involuntary grin, all so sly and content.
Being an NRI puts you, very often, in a sticky situation. With these ambitious merit students walking around everywhere, it is quite awkward to be known for getting in through a quota. All of them think NRIs carry themselves ostentatiously. It has almost become a custom now, that kind of a biased perspective.
The hostel life hasn’t sunken in really. Twenty eight of us – we keep forgetting our names, and call each other whatever comes to our thought. Washing your own clothes is not easy. It involves a lot of bending, and I hate hurting my body. I am flexibility challenged, so. There is a curfew every night where once again our group is discriminated verbally by the warden. The block or wing representatives, in her mouth, become the Wing Rapes. So boarding is fun all over again, and I am quite glad and impressed that I am the only one to have a residential school experience.
Of course, I am five foot nothing, and it is funny to even start realising that I am in college. Handling dupattas in the hot breeze isn’t my cup of tea either. The very thought of being here pricks me hard inside, “Really, am I here?” Did I deserve it? Or was I destined.
Time will answer me.
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