First month in a city where the sun rarely shines
So, how is college and Bangalore treating you?
Answering this question, which was asked by my mother over a telephone call, is very difficult for me to put in a few words. One of the main reasons why I chose Bangalore for my higher studies is because of its amazing climate. This trait sets Bangalore apart from many cities in this country like Delhi, Calcutta where the weather is simply pathetic and totally unsuitable for someone like me. Just so you know, I am very sensitive to hot summers and the heat. I prefer to live in a place where the climate is serene, cold and comfortable. Bangalore ticks all the boxes, although there is significant change seen nowadays, and so here I am.
I had to skip my Christ University entrance exams for reasons (which were out of my control) which would be revealed perhaps in another blog post and this resulted in me applying for the BA EJP course in St. Joseph’s College (all thanks to my sister. She knows why). I was skeptical at first regarding my decision to apply in this college. For me, the decision of coming to Bangalore and studying meant only one thing, to somehow get an admission in Christ Uni. So, when I wasn’t able to give my exams for Christ Uni, I was dejected, obviously. But, let’s not go into the realms of my personal apathy. That’s for another blog.
And thus, I gave my entrance exams for St. Joseph’s in the month of June without any kind of preparation or whatsoever. Miraculously, I was accepted to the college. Truth be told, this came as a little bit of surprise as I had no idea what I had answered in the psychology paper. Don’t blame me here; I had no idea that there was a separate paper for psychology in the first place. Did I forget to mention that I had no idea what psychology was in the first place? (all I had was a very obscure, vague idea about it)
I went for my interview, which was scheduled three days after my entrance test, in semi formals. It was a hot day and I was practically sweating underneath my teal blue full-sleeved shirt out of sheer nervousness and because of the humidity as well. My interview was taken by a professor who spoke in a really graceful and polite manner, extinguishing every single drop of nervousness that was within me. He asked me where I was from, the language we spoke at my home and the reason for choosing this course. I answered all of these questions in the best way I could find possible. I came to know later that the person who took my interview was Professor Cheriyan Alexander.
I met the Vice Principal and took the fee receipts. I was admitted to St. Joseph’s after two days.
Fast forward to almost a month later I shifted to Bangalore. Carrying 23 kilograms of baggage, I found myself in the doorstep of my sister’s place here in Whitefield. The weather was cloudy but it wasn’t raining. My cab driver told me that it had been raining for the last couple of days and that the rains arrive particularly during the evenings. My classes were scheduled to start after two days which meant I had to buy the necessities and shift to Shanthinagar without any delay.
Classes started after two days (well it had already started a week before) and I was really surprised to see that the crowd was really alive with energy and people had already mingled with each other over a span of just one week. Then there was the really tedious task of remembering almost 50 names, a task which took me close to two weeks to fully accomplish. It didn’t take me long to realize that the people here were really warm and welcoming and in a matter of few days I was one of them. The sense of belongingness which I got was really heartwarming; something which I was perhaps craving for a long, long time. The most amazing part in between all of this is undeniably, the professor in our department. They are probably some of the most chilled out and people I have ever met. Kind, benevolent, charismatic and friendly is the words which come to my mind right now. The trio, comprising of Professor Arul Mani; the walking encyclopedia of everything literature, Professor Etienne; the ruthless critic and Professor Cheriyan; the polite, eloquent speaker were the driving force in the English Department. Prof. Arul Mani, a person with a long beard and a ponytail, always wearing kurtas and preferring bright colours, sarcastic and witty in a positive manner and an absolute genius is perhaps the funniest teacher I have ever had in all my 19 years of existence. Sometimes when I am attending his classes, I wonder why he hadn’t joined the film industry to be an actor. He would have been an excellent actor. Someday, I am going to ask him this question.
He loves to squash people under the palm of his hand (that was a joke)
One thing which I believe sets St. Joseph’s apart is the importance that is being given to extracurricular activities. A college which has close to 50 associations, a ton of sport events, literary and cultural fests, amazing certificate courses is something which is not seen everywhere. I don’t know about the other colleges in the city but this culture here of not having an entirely academic oriented fashion of learning is something which has really captivated me. The best part is the teachers who actually motivate and guide you to take part in all of these events.
Life in Joseph’s has been an enriching experience so far. Movie screenings, going to events for collecting reporting pieces during weekends, creative writing sessions, tutorial sessions, quiz clubs, literary events, CIAs has surely made life a lot busier and minimally hectic but there is absolute fun in doing all of this.
Bangalore has been kind to me, for now. Other than the constant rain and the annoyingly disgusting PG food, everything is going good for me. The people are helpful and kind, the place is awesome, the locality where I live is pretty great and finally I have started learning the drums. I don’t think there’s anything more that I can ask for, period