So here's the deal. PGP19, we the first year PGDM-C students at MICA have just completed a whirlwind first term in this hallowed institute. This strange place. This zoo. And I don't even say 'strange' with any negative connotation. It just is... a little off. Not quite- for lack of a better word- normal. It's like a microcosm, a tiny little speck where normality does not apply. It does have some kind of aura around it, something there in the air that you know is there, but you can't quite touch. Something... strange.
Hell, we needed periodic trips out to the real world to keep our sanity in check, to remind us that yes, there is a place where order exists, where people go about their daily lives and everything is... normal. Ah, that's beginning to feel like a loaded word. But I must say, even a trip to nearby Bopal was enough for me sometimes, just to bring my feet back on the ground.
Not to say I don't love this place. It's amazing. But wait, this is the term end review. Looking back, I came here with so many plans, so many expectations, so many goals. Ah, the first day of school again! Nuts. I ain't done nothing yet. What have I accomplished? It's a wonder. It's rather hard to believe, now, that 3 months have actually gone by. Then again, has it really been 3 months? Ok, let's go over the main points and get this over with. Let's see if I, if we, did anything that we set out to do.
The first week was maniacal. It was a simpler time than now. So many new and interesting people, and this was before the seniors even came on campus. There are so many really intelligent and talented people here. It was a time of much socializing, often late into the night, something rather new for some of us (even me). We also noted how time is warped in this place. It just doesn't go at the rate attested to by scientists. 3 weeks felt like 6. It's probably all this waking for 20 hours a day nonsense that we do.
It seemed like fate that I was paired up with Uchil. What a perfect match. Similar frequencies, we're both concerned about keeping a clean room, and have no social constraints whatsoever. We're almost even the same size. Can't say the same about everyone else. There are some real odd couples over here.
What parties? It's just another day at MICA. A bit much at times. (wink, wink)
Ok. So I thought I left massively long lectures behind back in engineering. I didn't know they got longer as you went on. 75 minutes, are you serious? We tried to learn things, and some of us did learn a lot of things, and some of us even scored well in the various exams and midterms and assignments that they kept giving. And yes, the break-up of the evaluation means that some of these assignments saved some of us from the ignomy of failing the subject proper, because let's face it, some of us are too old to be writing papers anymore. But we did get a few concepts, between cat naps and loo breaks. Speaking of which, each class has its own set of martial sleepers, whom you can count on to droop at any time of the day regardless of the professor in class.
Half of our first term subjects had to do with this seemingly harmless word. I had a good idea what culture was before coming here. Now that we've had about 118 definitions hurled at us, I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's all just an illusion. Maybe it's like that damned spoon in The Matrix. I'm sure there's a grand unifying theory somewhere. All I can say for sure is everything boils down to culture. Everything. What you eat. What you read. What you play. What movies you watch. Whether you wash your hands after taking a leak. Everything.
There were songs, and then there were songs. This is the latter. At certain times, a particular song was playing in each and every hostel here. But this is the one that blew everything else away. I remember a 48 hour period when this Korean rap song was all that we were tripping on. Getting dressed up in formals was another excuse to blast the song over the speakers and do the dance, which we are all pretty good at by now. Any time anywhere, we open Gangnam style.
A lot of us had our hearts set on a committee. It's one of the quintessential aspects of college life. Of course, positions were limited. So after a grueling week of auditions and assignments and interviews that went on late late late into the night, it was a bit of a pissoff not get into any of them. To put it lightly. I had to settle for platitudes and assurances that it's better not to be in a committee anyway. Apparently.
The Dark Knight Rises
I managed to watch it only 5 times. It's hard to get out on a weekday, though I managed it once and caught the 3:45 show. Too bad opening day came on the day of our Culnite, but I compensated by watching it the whole day the very next day. It's a little annoying that it didn't come to the Ahmedabad IMAX. That is one thing I was counting on. So much for my plans of taking a train to Mumbai and watching first day first show in the IMAX there.
From 5PM till 6:30AM the next morning. No kidding.
That damned rain
The monsoons arrived at the campus a little later than expected, but more than made up for its tardiness. Have you ever seen the badminton court flooded in shin-high water? No, that is not an exaggeration. It really happened. The rain makes everything icky. Not only that, but we live in the middle of a jungle. The rain unleashes forth a veritable plague of insects and other things that swarm to lights in our room. There are 6-legged critters of all shapes and sizes crawling up all kinds of body parts. But if you ever want to know when it will rain, you should just ask me. Because it will always be the day I put my laundry out to dry. Damn you, Murphy.
There were those days when we voluntarily sacrificed our sleep for vagabond activities and what not. They were not so bad. We compensated for them during the day (you know what I mean). But sleep was certainly a thing we all bid an uncerimonious goodbye to. Still, it wasn't so bad, until it became involuntarily. End term exams were days that saw us get about 4 hours of sleep- in maybe 3 sittings. It was a physical job, like tensing a muscle, to stay awake. There were many drooping heads over laptops and hitherto unopened books, fighting against the clock and the biological need for REM (not the band). And then there was the odd day that suddenly you find yourself in a position to turn in early (a relative term, I mean about 3AM). So you lay down, thinking you'll be out like a light, but you're not. You toss and turn, and turn and toss, and then it strikes you: you have become nocturnal. Damn it.
Well, that's it. I mean no, that's not it. There is sooooo much more, but you're not going to read it anyway, and I've got to pack. Because I'm going home. Yes. The term end vacation is here, and I'm going home. And I'm happy. Because as amazing as this place is, it just gets to you. And now I need a good week away at home, back in the real world, to recharge and replenish, and then I'll be ready to come back with arms wide open. But no, seriously, right now what I need more than anything is to get the hell out.
So what have I accomplished? I'm not quite sure. I've lost a lot of weight. I've managed not to get a belly, what with the fantastic array of fried things they serve us. I've removed the word 'routine' from my dictionary. Sigh. I'd like to think I've done something good. So many things I took for granted in the first week are gone now. Alliances once made are estranged. New ones have sprung from unexpected places. We are all so used to each other. I wonder what it would be like to meet some of them out there in the real world. But you know what, this was a huge learning experience. Now I know, more or less, how things are done around here. So next term should be easier. I think.
P.S. The photocredit goes to RoRo.