Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Something to remember us by......

The first ever batch of the college is finally graduating! A happy occasion? Of course. But with that tinge of mixed feelings that marks every farewell worth that word. And as the next ones in line, we took on the responsibility of creating an yearbook for them. I wrote the content for the book : here it is. A light hearted take that celebrates life in college. I don't know if any senior will read this post, but if they do, this book was the least we could do for you guys! 

And when we return back to SIMC after this internship, I know nothing will have changed. But something will be different.
Whats the point of 501, without somebody to claim rightful ownership over it?
Maushi and her tapri are still going to be there. But will there be the arty chats to go with the hot chai?
The amphi will stand, as splendid as ever. Maybe the echoes of the Opening Act  and Jaamun ka Ped will still sound somewhere.
The traffic in Viman Nagar will increase, will the passionate cyclists?
In True Spirit is going to be there. Hope it has the same passion without “Odh ke Lal Chunariya”.
So here is a small promise.

The legacy will remain.

90 %
The Simple Joys of SIMC (UG)

A Attendance.  What gravity is to the Earth, attendance is to the college. The one force that binds everything together. The great equalizer. It’s very simple. You could be anybody but if you do not have that magical 75 against your name,  you can’t give the exams. But you need a 90 for an internship. But you are allowed 15 extracurricular attendance. But that can’t count for the classroom 75. It’s THAT simple! And thus, attendance is something that dangles over everybody’s heads like a sword.  And it is a joy watching people (most of whom left Maths behind for good) turn blue trying to add, subtract and multiply percentages just to disprove the latest updated attendance.

 :  Back Logs.  Are what you get if you fail in a specific module. Then you re-give it next time around. If you still don’t clear it, then you give it the time after that. Used to cause fear earlier. Are worn like ornaments towards the end. And the end of every exam worth its weight, wide eyed students  pour out declaring that they are getting one this time. For sure.  Actually, no one has quite understood the grading system, so no one can really tell.  And again, it is a delight watching Media Trainees grapple with things like percentages, percentiles, proportional grading & the academic co-ordinator to no avail.

 : Comp Lab. There is nothing that could attract a bunch of students like free internet and the computer lab is no exception. It is the place where you get Google and therefore the place where assignments were started, finished, printed and immediately submitted (0.75 seconds before the deadline ). Post 5.30pm even Facebook and Youtube join the party and no one in their right minds could do anything else if they happen to be present in the lab. Also a known discussion forum for all the latest happenings in college.

: Deadlines. The college swears by them. We try and stick by them.  Deadlines are also the most popular form of exercise, as people who you would never have thought capable run, climb, push, pull, fight and bargain just to put in the papers on time. If there was an award for the least amount of time taken to complete, mail, print, file and submit an assignment, we would be glittering with the riches by now.

: Elevator. Known in common terms as the ‘lift’. Generally used to transport people to upper levels in a multi-storied structures. Besides this, it is used for several other purposes in college like giving free massages, shock therapy and for teaching team work, negotiation, diplomacy, kickboxing and tolerance to the most disastrous sights, smells and sounds.

: Faasos. The unofficial ‘chilling-out’ zone. As the sun sets and the campus begins to empty, faasos and the footpath wake up  to life. The careless laughter of youth fills the (often smoky) air as people unwind and the troubles of the day are momentarily forgotten. And for those moments people actually talk their heart out (i.e. bitch).  

: Gossip. What do you get when you put together a huge number of just- gettin-outta-teenage-years media trainees within an area of a few kilometres around their campus? Gossip. Lots of it. Some of it totally hilarious, some of it extremely vicious. Link-ups, break-ups, patch-ups, scandals and controversies.... It’s all there.  However, being fair, gossip is an integral part of any and every college, in fact of every organisation. So there has never been any reason to be deeply affected by it.

 : Hostels. “There are two reasons because of which the lives of boys in college get ruined. One is MHADA hostel and the other is Sakore Nagar Hostel.”  - Ancient Proverb.             The North pole and South pole of the SIMC world, the girls’ hostels dictate how fast the winds will blow and how hot the currents will flow on campus. Which hostel / floor / room you stay in or owe allegiance to could determine anything ranging from where you sit in the class to where you have food in the mess. The latest news, gossip, rumours, politics, bitching, backstabbing and front stabbing are said to originate here in majority circumstances.  I sincerely hope that the person who called women the fairer sex does not visit these places though Machiavelli would definitely have picked up a trick or two.                                                                                                                                             
Oh, and there are unconfirmed reports about the existence of a boys hostel as well. But nobody really cares about that.

 : In True Spirit. Looking back, the title of the annual intra SIMC sports event is a tribute to our spirit of sarcasm. For 3 days, all three batches of the college compete in various sporting events. “Compete” being a euphemism. There is so much sledging and rivalry and drama that observers from other institutes suspect us of having Australian blood. Alliances are formed, anthems created and  battle lines are firmly drawn. And whatever can’t be finished on the field is always carried on to Facebook! Anyways, people suddenly wake up and realise that they used to play a sport. Vows are made to give up addictions during practice. Plans are made to create college teams for various sports. But then the spirit dies down and it’s back to life as usual!

 : Jugaad. There are some things which only hard work can buy. For everything else, there is jugaad.  Big jugaads, small jugaads, all kinds of jugaads. It’s like the one safety net in Pune. In case things don’t go your way, try some jugaad. Of course, it hardly ever succeeded. But then, we live on hope.

 : Kadki. For those who are unaware, “kadki” is the tapori word for an empty wallet, that phenomenon around which the whole economy of Viman Nagar revolves. It is only after coming  here that one realised the importance of the 1st of every month as our wallets felt like a parched traveller does after reaching a lake.

 : Laptops.  Everyone has one. And it is every individuals pride. The laptops are storehouses of all kinds of programs, softwares, media and devices. No code is too hard to crack, no password is too hard to track. The amount of data that is shared and passed around is jaw-dropping. People can be found in every place imaginable with their eyes glued onto the laptop screen. And increasingly, smart phones.

: Maadhyam. The name says it all. The college fest! In truth, it is impossible to cover it in a few words. Still, here is an attempt. Maadhyam has been a game changer for SIMC in many ways. For one, it has made us aware of our own potential. Secondly, it will always stand as a glowing example of what we can achieve if we work together. And most importantly, it is going to be that part of SIMC (UG)’s legacy that is going to be handed down from batch to batch, era to era for a long long time to come. And it shall be remembered that it all started with Thought Blot Shot.

: Night Outs. Don’t be ridiculous, you know what that means! Why would you want us to write it down? And the whole point is that most of the notable things that happen on night outs are unprintable. 

: Office. The SIMC (UG) office is a tribute to professionalism. An army of alert, proactive and sensitive admin staff serves the college around the clock. They are the ones who ensure that exams are conducted on time, timetables are executed smoothly, academic queries are rapidly addressed and the college functions efficiently.  And did we mention that the students are prone to sarcasm?

: Panchgani. One of the most memorable times in the life of any student at SIMC. Panchgani is home to Asia Plateau, the picturesque centre of the Modern Re-armament Army (MRA). It is here that the first year students go for their first ever college “study tour”. And it is here that we grow up. It is here that we realise that our batch is our family away from family and that college is a home away from home. But then we get back to Pune and return to our routine ways. And though we all love to pretend as if nothing changed, deep inside you know that you have seen a change. Just a tiny bit, but still a change. Oh, and if you don’t agree with this, then ask your inner voice.  J
QRT. The Quick Response Team of the Pune Police are the de-facto law enforcers of Viman Nagar. Everyone can identify those rickety jeeps that roar about all the time. They share a mutual love-hate relationship with the students. In any case, knowing the sub-inspectors and having their numbers is a status symbol of power here.

: Ragging. Somebody with a twisted sense of humour decided to call it Peer Interface. And had it done officially! Stories of memorable peer interfaces still float around. But they seemed to have done their job. No incidence of serious ragging has ever been reported and in fact, there exists a decent senior – junior rapport (as decent as it can possibly be).

: Screenings. The one module that really set us apart. Which other college shows so many movies? And that too as a part of the academic curriculum? And the selection is usually good. Of course, this module has given rise to the whole “Screening room culture”. Sitting in the dark air conditioned class, people sit on the floors, lie down, stretch out their legs and......... generally let go.

:  Theatre is one thing that interests most students in some form & capacity or the other. At one point, it looked like theatre was going to be THE big thing at SIMC. The theatre festival, Dionysia coupled with other occasions like Shamiana was a great stage and an even better launch pad. Talents were uncovered and several productions were staged of which, majority were good.

: Unity. According to Wikipedia, “Unity is defined as the state of being undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting.” Huh? Wha-? How the hell did that get here???  Lol! However, know this. SIMC (UG) lives on in the hope that one day, don’t know how far into the future, but definitely one day, this word won’t appear as ridiculous in this list as it does today. With all seriousness,  we await that day.

: Viman Nagar, Pune. The address in the city. And once the city finds out that you are a student from Viman Nagar it stamps you as a rich, spoilt brat. If you don’t bargain hard with the auto-wallahs you will be stripped naked before you know it. The place itself is a non-descript place near Pune’s Lohegaon Airport, which has seen a spurt of development thanks to the IT and Education industry. Today it has its own Reliance fresh, Natural’s, Smokin’ Joes, several banks and even more eateries of various sizes, costs and cuisines. However, all the glitz in the world can never take away that feeling of a ghost town, of being an artificial substitute for home....

: Warning Letters. The college’s equivalent of football’s yellow card. Anyone who violated any of the clauses of the Aide-Memoire (the ad-hoc constitution of college) was awarded a warning letter. You got your third warning letter and you were out of college. As simple as that. However, you fear that most which happens the least. A few over-zealous moments led to warning letters being sprayed out like a geyser, which has kind of taken away the fear that they evoked and has given way to many colourful jokes about them. Suspension is fast replacing warning letters as the new form of expression.

: Yawn! Omg!! Heavy lecture....! Eye lids get heavy, the head starts drooping and the body starts sliding down the chair. In the morning cause it’s the, well morning and in the afternoons cause its post-lunch. It is never too early or never too late for a loud, obnoxious and extremely contagious YAWN!!!!!!!

: Zzzzzzzzz! And finally, like day follows night so does sleep follow the legendary yawns. College has instilled the remarkable skill in people of being able to fall asleep in various positions in any location at anytime whatsoever, irrespective of what is going on around. People sleep in the day and save the night for far more important things (like watching a movie or eating bhurji pav at the air port)

And sleep beings the topic to a very interesting point. Though we have spent lot of our conscious time here wishing we were back home; several times while sleeping at home now, a very weird thing happens. You get transported. Back to Pune, back to Viman Nagar, back to the world of SIMC. To the campus and the people. Those familiar sights and sounds. That laughter. Those ambitions. And how much ever you try to deny it, the truth remains. That for all its memories, pleasant and otherwise, this place will always remain special. Something you will always cherish.