I stayed at home all the years through my schooling and graduation, and I thoroughly enjoyed those days. I was part and parcel of all the giddy celebrations, all the joyous homecomings of my NRI uncles and aunts, all the happy parties, and quiet, peaceful days of family bonding...( putting up with the dozen irritating relatives, and their views, on everything too..;-)
But after my graduation, I certainly didn't want to do my PG in the Women's College that was within walking distance from my house ( not after doing my grad at that unruly, boisterous, totally undisciplined, but totally lovely Co-ed college that I studied in..) I'd much rather have sat at home and learnt knitting!! No offence meant to all those people who knit so beautifully and laboriously, but that was how I felt.
This was because, at the time, my college didn't offer a PG course in Eng Litt. which was what I intended to take up.
Which was what I'd have taken for my graduation as well, if not for the 'well-meaning' advice of relatives who said that was just not done! That Science was a subject you could score marks in... that Science was what mattered.. .They brainwashed me and my parents, and so off I went, to study matter and atoms and particles, all the while yearning after Caesar and Shakespeare and the world of letters... I scored 65% in science. And was among the first 5 in my University, for my marks in English. Without putting in for English the efforts I made for Science. Bull for the scoring marks theory.
But the loss only made me more determined- to pursue my first love, come what may... The HoD of the English Dept at my college (dear man, he's no more now, bless his soul), came and recommended to my Dad, that I be allowed to do my MA in Eng Litt., that I would for sure be a rankholder... Aahh! how nice it is to be praised by a professor, no less than an HoD, in front of parents who were forever berating you for not studying...Divine justice, I called it then.. (I'm sorry, Sir, that I didn't go on to fulfil your prophesy, that I ditched MA in between...)
So I went off to join the University Department at Calicut. (at the time there were only 3 universities in Kerala- M.G., Kerala and Calicut) And thence started my voyage through hostels...
Calicut University Women's Hostel was a blast. Honestly. It was free like no other hostel- maybe because all of us were post graduates (how big that sounded till I became one myself!) and the authorities thought that we were all mature individuals.
In college, we' d looked upon the PG students as some kind of dodos- all studious and stuff...And there at the Uty, the PGs were the lowly juniors. There were bigger seniors, the second years, M.Phils, the research scholars..the JRFs, the SRfs...refresher course-takers...loads of higher scholars!
My Dad and Mom came to drop me off at the hostel, and tho I was sad, I managed to hold tears at bay, for I didn't want them upset/worried.
And then I was whirled into a life of
queues... (Queues! In every single hostel I stayed in queues were the order of the day- for bathrooms, for water, for meals, for coffee/tea, for phones...)
Inspite of having studied in a girls' convent and growing up in a family dominated by the female of the species, one thing that struck me that first evening was that there were so many girls! Everywhere you looked, you seemed to see only girls. So many girly attires, so many types of hair, so many girl voices, young girls, old ladies (yeah, truly, with old hair and all) thin girls, fat girls, pretty girls, not pretty girls, jovial girls, serious girls, girls from the North, girls from the South...so many girls
to be contd..
2 days ago