When I was planning to get admitted at Xavier’s; I remember how I heard from numerous people around me about the notable big-shots that have passed out from this college. They drawled out names like Parween Babi, the famous actress; Mallika Sarabhai, the journalist, dancer and actress; Geet Sethi, the international snooker champion and the list went on till I lost track of time and space. And all I could say was “Umm, wow! That’s something!” and nodded my head wondering what it’d be like to be a part of this alumni.
On the day of admission, it was hot. Well, it was Ahmedabad-hot, when you can be expected to arrive in molten form. Well, so I walked into the college campus and looked around to find an old, time-worn college building; a lot of trees and grass; wooden, washed out benches and large classrooms loaded with nervous kids and parents. From the looks of it, I went – “Is it just me or is everything really old around here?” Well, let’s just say that I was not so keen. But with time, I came to love the ancient touch of the college. It was homely and modest with a primitive feel. The best thing I learned in the first fifteen days of college was that no one really cares about who you are, how you look and which fragrance you are wearing. It’s all about what you do and who you chose to be. And being titled a ‘loner’ is the easiest. Spend a week keeping to your own self and you’ll find that you might just HAVE to mind your own business from then on. No one bothers.
Like every college, this one has its own stock of hard partying jocks and nerdy techno geeks; of the trendy and the tasteless; the bookish and the bunkums. Coming from a school where bunking classes was only for the ‘gallant’ and the ‘notorious’, I was kind of psyched in the beginning to see how I was becoming one of them, which felt kind of bold. It was only later that I realized that it wasn’t a crime; not even a big deal. But fun as it is, none of our last-ditch efforts to escape lectures works for us in the long run; which is kind of sad. But, life as a Xavierite is tons of play, banter, work and innovation; plus worrying about attendance, which is somewhat, a given.
Being away from home, I experienced hostel life to its core – the ‘ugh’ mess food, the filthy roomie who never mind’s her own business, the bossy warden and the strict timings. After that, life in a flat seemed like a whole another world. The newfangled freedom was mine to exploit. Now, Ahmedabad is like home. And one with a variety of delicious food places – from the cheap streets, where you need a strong elbow to jostle while you eat; to, the lavish hotels where you can go for that ‘special’ brunch.
All in all, it is a life you might not want to miss out on. And once you set foot into it, the rest of the incentives come along in a package. So, it’s just really about getting to first base. You wouldn’t mind that now, would you?