Return to Layla: The Final Chapter

Its hard to believe that two years have already passed since I entered a bittersweet dream called Loyola, or Layla to many. Today happened to be the first day as a final year student here. I still remember my first day here. Like a turkey before Thanksgiving I stepped into this college. Coming from a suburban school, I should admit I was more or less anxious and nervous at the very thought of education in a campus located in the heart of the city. But then things changed, and I had no problem adjusting. I won many friends and also earned some ‘enemies’ (Read teachers). I have had some really interesting subjects like my favorite, ‘Art and Architecture’ and also some absurdly dry ones like ‘Media Research Methods’. Culturals, treats, bunking class, movies, beach, all the cliches you’d normally associate with a  Chennai arts and science college. But love it or hate it, nothing can replace college life.

After almost 2 months of holidays, internship and joblessness I was certainly in zero mood to return to classes. The weather which made me feel like a chicken being roasted in a microwave, didn’t help either.  So there I was on a HOT summer afternoon sitting in the top balcony of the oldest hall in college wondering why the hell I decided to attend this stupid inaugural ‘prayer service’ when we ‘prayed’ only for a minute and the remaining 2 hours was spent whiling away time as the principal and his honchos gave us one ‘inspiring’ speech after another. Why God, Why? Anyway I proceed to meet my friends after a long interval. My nerdy/geeky/dorky friend (no offense) from Physics dept gives me the shock of my life, or is it a surprise? I don’t know. No it was not that he finally got a shave and a proper haircut. I learn that his ultra-orthodox Hindu family has decided to go the Born-again way. Jaws dropped. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. I could sense his predicament, after all my parents too decided to go back to the womb and come out magically some 4 years back. And no, I’m still a Catholic, a practising one at it who mutters an ‘Our Father’ and 3 ‘Hail Marys’ every night. Only I know the trouble warding off the pastors and evangelizers from their church who try their level best to brainwash me. They certainly can give Benny Hinn a run for his money.

A cold chocolate, bottle of water and a maa later (dude its almost 40*c) I find myself in the infamous Department of Visual Communication. I don’t believe in omens but when the first professor you see in the department is someone you always loved to hate, you can’t help it at all. In the classroom we discuss Prabhakaran (with a girl who makes me wonder if all Lankans are dumb), Mafia Wars (with the guy who introduced me to this game which is more serious than heroine or coke), and also Internship. My boss had treated me and office people at Benjarong. So I don’t care; my internship had to be the best, hands down.  Enterrd the professor whom I love to hate, into the class. Boos and jeers as expected arose from the back benches. But as he started speaking I noticed a change. Now, when this dude used to teach Human Communication in first year, I could swear he knew nothing, absolutely nothing when it comes to communicating with people. He wouldn’t care to listen and was the most unpopular lecturer. Of course, others managed to super-cede him as time passed by. As he was speaking today, I noticed that he was patient, knew what to speak and when, had control over his words and hell, he even made a good joke, a far cry from what he was 2 years back. But the guy had some bad news. Apparently only 2 out of the 4 major optionals given out last year are available now. I had chosen copywriting as my 1st option and photography as a backup. Unfortunately both are out. Now I have to decide between visualization and TV Production. The last time I painted, a friend remarked that the painting was ‘leaking’. That’s how bad I’m at painting although I’m better off at sketching. As for TV Production, after seeing many ‘wonderful’ movies made by seniors, I decided long back not to screw up my career by opting for this.

After the break we got another shock. Entered the lady teacher who had just replaced the previous professor as the professor I love to hate. She says she’s not gonna take one subject but two. Double trouble. And one subject among that happens to be the toughest. My hopes of at least passing the subject are dashed. This professor and me have had some history before, and when I said I had earned enemies, she was the one I was referring too. It is no sceret that the whole class hates her. You can’t blame us. She is the kind of person whose face has ‘BITCH’ written all over. I noticed that she’s been trying to act nice to us. Every two seconds she smiles like the bovine from Orbit White. Well, acting goody two shoes is not gonna help her case. A bitch is always a bitch. Luckily she decided to leave us early. In two days, it is election time in Loyola. So the candidates and campaigners were in full action and at least few of my mates were in election mode.  I don’t want to discuss all the silly politics here.

That sums up first day of college’s final chapter


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