Starting my college life in India was not easy, as I had to shift my base from Dubai to Chennai. It was a phenomenal change for me. Though I could make friends in a heartbeat, I could not fathom the change, I was homesick, missed my high-school friends very much. You know those jokes you crack and only your friends know what it is that you are referring to, I guess I missed that the most. The process of adapting to the environment and the people, well, it was excruciatingly painful to move with the flock. But things did change when I met the right people who made the burning hell fun to blaze in.
I thought I should join in on whatever the hell was going on in the campus and decided to check the Facebook college group page. I found a fellow potter-head (fans of Harry Potter) and started chatting up with her. And guess where I met her after the heart-to-heart about being an ardent Harry Potter fan amongst other things. She was running for a post in the Students’ Union and she had come with her gang of pals to ask for votes in our class. Obviously, I recognized her from her profile picture and that was where we hit off. She was my senior, a psych kid and to top it all off, she had a complicated surname which I conveniently mispronounced almost all the time. So, it was easy to remember this tall lanky figure named Pooja Sathyanarayanan…see what I mean?
Soon, I had established my base in the psych department, and I was spotted there more often than in my very own department (The Commerce Department *puking in a bucket nearby*). Well, I don’t want to get started on that story. I think it does not even deserve to be mentioned. Just know that the Professors and the kids in that department are all a bunch of losers who don’t know how to spell the word fun (except for a handful).
I stopped moping around and hiding behind my hardbound novels to face the music in my second year. It was an endless saga of inter-collegiate festivals where I found my spot in the literary competitions. One of my very first was in the B.S. Abdur Rahman University. It was a memorable day because I had actually participated in the public speaking events for the first time in my college life (like a “spotlight me” moment when Robert Downey Jr. gives a speech). I loved the adrenaline rush in a heated debate or a one minute block and tackle event. It was exhilarating and I never stopped speaking after that. I teamed up with this other junior kid from the psych department for a game of scrabble and we lost. But we bonded over Batman and soppy romance novels and her name is Fahima Mohideen.
What is college life if we don’t make stupid decisions? I decided to try my hand at the students’ union and stood for the post of literary and debating secretary. That is without a doubt the second worst decision in my college life, the first one being Bachelors in Commerce for my under-grad.
I met Lubna in the candidate selection interview and we became inseparable since then. She ended up as the General Secretary and I became the literary and debating secretary. I really could not believe the faith kids had in us. Be it organising inter-departmental or inter-collegiate events, we stuck together, besting our pea-brain of a President. The job requirement was simple really, be at the beck and call of the cultural coordinator and that was the show, baby! Satisfying her was the key to our success. And how can I forget the mandatory ritual of getting coffee and sandwiches from Café Coffee Day with Sahana and Pooja after the end of a major event. I just love the after-math of an event when I soak in the glory of actually having pulled it off! (Could not have done it without you losers!)
The final year was indeed memorable because we did okay. And I would not have been sane if not for these beautiful people I had mentioned previously. Right from the juice shop opposite to our college where they served the best cheese-chilli sandwiches to the Gobi Pakoda stall, we have been there and done it all. Although my favourite stress-buster spot was the Kachha-Mango Vendor who makes my day, EVERYDAY! Honestly, this post feels like a tribute to all these morons who made my college life bearable and amazing at the same time. Now I can proudly say that I graduated from the J.B.A.S College in Chennai and not cringe when I hear my voice. (*insert* those were the best days of my life…)
Special thanks to Arti for extending the invitation to write for this giveaway/contest.