Archive for the 'College' Category


Nothing haute couture in this one

Jeez, my last post was more than ten days ago. The last few days have been really hectic for me. Last week, there was this international conference hosted by my college on development communication. Then there was ‘Fresher’s day’ were we seniors ‘welcomed’ the first years to college. A boring affair actually. And to top it all I have been having this really bad cold. What irritates me the most is when I feel like sneezing and am all set to go through with it, the feeling disappears at the last moment. Hate it!

There was nothing international about the conference except maybe one Thai guy I can remember. Rest were all Indians. I guess it did not even qualify as an ‘Asian’ conference. It went on for three days and numerous sessions, of which I attended none. So what was it then that made my week ‘hectic’? Well, there was this fashion show that ‘showcased the different ethnic cultures of India’, to entertain the delegates. What is a fashion show doing at a conference meant for intellectuals? I don’t know, to be honest. There was also a western music show and a few dances as well to go along. Unfortunately or fortunately I was among the many who were ‘picked’ for the fashion show. So there I was, ‘walking the ramp’ for the first time since 9th grade back in school.  Me and my partner, a chick from first year, were designated the state of Haryana. But when the costumes arrived and I put it own, I realized that I was no Haryanvi but Jawaharlal Nehru. Did they lift the kurta-pajama from Nehru’s memorablia? All that was missing was a red rose on the chest. During the practice we never got the pose right. We were supposed to pose in opposite directions but somehow we almost always managed to screw it up. Finally we did manage to get it right, and we told ourselves, ‘first left, then right, then again left’. Apparently someone forgot to remind the same to us before the final show. So just as expected we screwed up the pose. To add insult to injury someone clicked a picture of the pose and put it on facebook, and in it there I was ‘ogling’ at her. Brilliant. To add to the woes, we almost forgot to make the exit from the stage on time. I promise to never again to appear in a fashion show, NEVER!

Fresher’s day is supposed to be a time when the seniors ‘get to know’ the juniors. But this time around, I already knew few of them thanks to the above mentioned tragedy. There was nothing much to talk about the day really. The emcees, with their lame jokes and same lame dance performances from the juniors, there was nothing really in it.Just like every year, the professors made it to a point to spoil the fun by telling not to ‘harass’ the freshers. Apparently one fo the first year GIRLS rides an Apache RTR-160 to college. I was scared. In case you don’t know, I still haven’t got a drivers license. I was expecting at least the food to be something more tolerant.I remember for last year’s freshers day we had got a packet of maa and samosas as refreshments. No such luxuries this time though, for all we got was what a bhajji the size of matchbox and some tea. Or was it coffee. I don’t remember.




Unkept promises

About 3 weeks back I made a promise that I would be updating my blog regularly. But Layla is making the life of the blogger in me rather difficult. A week has passed since college reopened and also its been exactly a week since my last post. See what I mean.

There are times when I wonder on what basis India Today named Layla the no.1 college in the country. They say my college has the best Vis Com dept. in the whole of South India. But just imagine Vis Com without a subject on Copywriting.  I had chosen Copywriting and Photography as my first and backup choices respectively for one of the major subjects. But apparently someone forgot to remind me that this is Layla and anything can change without a warning, for worse. They decided to scrap Copywriting citing lack of faculty. If this wasn’t enough, one of the professors gave the lamest possible excuse – Copywriting doesn’t have any scope. Has the guy lost his senses? Ironically, a new Dept. of Film Studies has  been started as a sister department. When you’re in Layla, it becomes evident to you that Cinema is the only synonym for Media.

But everything is not bad in final year. A couple of posts back, I had mentioned about the professor whom I loved to hate becoming one of my favorites this time around. I seriously thought that this guy had absolutely no future whatsoever as a teacher. But the way he has been taking classes this past week, you’d never feel its the same guy. Guess, four semesters of NOT handling my class helped him. Other subjects like ‘Visual Asthetics’ and ‘Development Communication’ has also so far proven to be interesting.  Also, today first years joined. I’m told that there is a cute mallu chick among them. A daughter of a prominent actor as well as a former child artiste are also among the crowd it seems. Unfortuinately I was not among the group who were asked to ‘show’ the first years around today. Ah, who cares, its not very long until Freshers Day.

That’s all for today. Guess I won’t be able to keep up the promise of regular posts because of college.



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



A tribute to a friend I never knew

I only knew him by his first name. I did not know him personally, neither had I ever spoken to him. He was my junior in college, that is till a few days back. It came as an utter shock when I received the message that Arjun Vasudev had passed away in a road accident. Although he had got nothing to do with me,  his sudden demise has had a very deep impact on me. How true, you only know about the great things a person has done only after he/she has left us permanently.

To me he just seemed an ordinary college dude.  At least whenever I saw he only wore a purple colored shirt. He played the guitar and even played for our college culturals representing our department. But only after the testimonials his friends gave, did I actually know how brilliant a guy he was. He was not just an ordinary guitar player; he was simply too good, I hear. Wish he was my batchmate rather than a junior. 

They say God wants the best to be with him and so take them away early. But I feel this is absurd. Arjun was the best but that doesn’t mean God has taken him away. He still lives very much with us, more than with God. His friends said that he hated the most when they never smiled. And even in most of his pics, he  seems to be the Mr. Smiley. Probably that is why even we should smile as he departs us, even though it’s the most difficult thing for us. He must be smiling too, from somewhere around us, watching. As I move along, I have just one question for God – “Why him?”


When LOSERS won..

Disclaimer: The views posted here are entirely that of the author. The views need not reflect that of any other department or person.

Curtains came closing down yesterday on Ovations’ 08, the cultural extravaganza of my college, Loyola. This time though, something that had not happened in the last sixteen years of the college’s history happened. Visual communication dept. which had been dominating the event for a long time lost to arch rivals dept. Hardly a surprise, if you have been following this year’s event.

Right from the first Off-stage event, it was quite obvious that would stop at nothing to be the winners. There was hardly an event where at least a tinge of controversy was absent. Other departments were left in the lurch despite deserving to win. In a few events, the judges were forced to change their decisions just before the announcement of the winners. In others, participants were disqualified even for trivial issues. being the largest department in the college, definitely had an influence on the College Union.

There were events which B.Com deservedly won. But in most others, if not for their ‘gods’ in higher places, the story would have been entirely different. I am writing this because I personally experienced a ‘shun’ from the organisers of an event.


My German test

Today was the last day of my First Internal Tests in college. I had German in which I already have an arrear was today. There wasn’t much to study or at least that’s what I presumed. our German sir from last semester had left college and the post was vacant. Since there was nobody else available our Deputy Principal who had just learned a month of German was assigned our class. He didn’t take much in class and for Internals he gave portions similar to first semester’s for today. Thank God, at least I can pass, thats what I had thought. Came today and we waited for our question papers in the hall. When I saw the question paper, i knew I could pass easily as it had just simple grammar and stuff. So I happily started writing only to be interrupted five minutes later. The invigilator announced that the wrong question paper was distributed to us. Damn, the paper was meant for B.A French students. So she took the question paper and promptly asked me to strike off all that I had written earlier. One and half pages of my intelligence gone. She then gave me the new question paper  ‘meant’ for us. I cursed my stars the moment I got it. There was hardly anything on it that I understood, let alone the answers. All the hopes of passing faded away in despair. There was nothing in the paper which matched the pattern given by our sir. I quietly asked the guy in front of me whether he knew anything. The guy is the nerd of our class drew a blank face. So did the guy behind me.  That came as a big relief, at least I was not alone in this. And then I proceeded to ‘answer’ the paper. In another twenty minutes I was out of the hall. I guess that gives you an idea of how I wrote. All I was sure in the test was for 4 marks – 2 opposites and 2 conjunctions. Half the questions I had know idea what to do. And for the rest I wrote some bull shit. Now I’ll have to compensate inthe next internlas in order to avoid another arrear. Thats gonna be another story. Hell with German.


Chennai’s buses… say WOW!!

Bus commuting in Chennai is the cheapest when compared to other metros. Nowhere in India do you find charges as low as 2 Rs for a minimum distance. I was actually surprised when my relatives from Bangalore told me that for the distance I travel from my place to college which is approximately 15 km, if it were in Bangalore I would have to churn out some 15 bucks. I was actually stunned. Here in Chennai all it takes is 5 bucks on an Ordinary bus or 10 bucks on a Deluxe bus. A Deluxe bus here is cheaper than an Ordinary in B’lore. Also there isn’t much difference between an Ordinary and a Deluxe in terms of condition. Just that Deluxe got cushion seats and that it stops only at important places. The new buses brought out by the MTC for ordinary fare are in good shape as well. Despite the rise in fuel prizes MTC for their part haven’t hiked the ticket rates as well, this in stark contrast to other modes of public transport like autos and share autos, which at times charge double of what was the charge six months back. Not one auto driver in the city would charge you less than 20 bucks for a 2 km ride. Add to the fact there are buses to any place in the city and the outskirts. Chennai has after all the biggest bus terminus in Asia in CMBT. Buses are definitely the best way to commute in Channai.

If u agree to the above then read on..

So by now you must be convinced buses are numero uno in Chennai right? Unless of course you use the ‘Public limousine’ (as my friend puts it) between 8 to 9.30 in the morning or 6.30 to 9.00 in the evening. Now all you people who belong to this category must have been cursing me during my first paragraph right? Can’t blame you really. True, bus travel is cheap in Chennai, but it sure comes with a prize. There are times when I have to go to college for some reasons in the morning (College starts normally at 1.45 for me as I am in Shift-II). Now unless I start early I am sure to be squashed, quite literally. So I reach the bus stop and wait for a bus that goes to my college. Speaking of the bus stop, except for the roof above there is nothing worth to be called a bus stop. There are some 40-50 people waiting in the 3 meter long shed. There is no bench to rest my a**, so I have to sweat it out on my feet. So I wait for the bus. I start cursing my stars for buses may come and buses may go, but i stand on forever (Tennyson must have had some idea of my condition while penning the original). Then finally out of the blue, behold here comes my transport. Thank God, but only for a second. The bus itself arrives tilted to one side because of the young men showing their courage hanging on in the foot boards. As soon as the bus stops its as if a flood inside. People just barge in not even bothering to allow those people getting down. Somehow I manage to get in. Actually I don’t have to do anything for the people behind push me inside in no time. This is what I said earlier,about being squashed. I have only read in history books about how dozens of prisoners were cramped together in single cells. In Chennai, you can actually experience it personally. You just get about an inch to rest your feet. Move a little to your left or to the right, you are sure to be hurled abuses at. Sometimes, along with the ticket you could actually get free abuses, especially if you flash a 50 Rs note to the conductor for a ticket of 5 Rs. The travel seems like eternity. The bus moves at snail’s pace as the drivers here unlike the ones in my home Kerala, believe in non-violence. Till the time you get a place to sit you would feel its a punishment for all the mischiefs you have so far gotten away with. Even finding a seat is like a mini battle. There are at least four people at time standing around a seat, so as to occupy it as soon as its free. Once you sit down, its like the best feeling on the planet. BTW, while getting down make sure that you arrive near the non-existent door at least 2 stops before your destination or be ready to face another round of squashing or abuses or sometimes both. Finally you get down from the bus and think- “Whoever said don’t think about the destination, enjoy the ride.” I look at the time, no surprises there- late by 15 min. 🙂