Great! The CB class is cancelled today and since that was the only class for today, its a holiday! I come back to the blog 🙂
Let me recall my early days at IITK. Came here filled with awe and there is nothing special about that. Happens with almost everyone coming here. The orientation programme was such a fun. The tiring days – lab tours (the most memorable part), so many speeches, library tour, hundreds of forms to fill (realized for the first time that I should not have had such a big signature), introduction to so many new forms of organizations – counseling service, Gymkhana, seniors, ragging (oops! Introduction…. Ragging is strictly banned in IITK campus). The last one, honestly, I did not like. Have to accept that even at that point of time ragging at IITK was nothing in comparison to what happens in most of the other colleges of India (for the whole year, goodness!), nevertheless I did not like it. I am not a hypocrite in this regard, I do not like it till date and I have never ragged anyone (I am sure the juniors at the institute can testify 🙂 ) But this was mainly inside the hostel, ragging by the girls. Outside, during orientation, it was a fun. Guys are anyway too afraid to rag girls in a major way and for me it was easier still. Half of them would run away after listening to my hobbies (writing poems, that too in Hindi, lol!) and rest of them would be happy with a poem I will recite to them. Karishma, till date, remembers my reciting “Antariksha Mein Manav” (Men in Space) while waiting in queues outside the labs during lab tours. In some quarters I did get famous as “poetess” as I came to know later 🙂
Of course the funniest part was our attire, dictated by the rules of “introduction”. We were supposed to wear salwaar-kameez only. Not a big deal, except that we had to put in oil in our hair and tie two ponnies regardless of the length of the hair. I was particularly poorly endowed with the length of the hair at that time and, guess what, my photograph for the admit card was taken in the same attire. Good, I lost it later and got another one made 🙂 No, losing it was not intentional.
It had not taken long to figure out that the involvement of the girls was particularly less in all kinds of activities (would not remain so in the years to come 🙂 ). Right when I entered the Girls’ Hostel for the first time, I had queer feeling that it lacked the kind of liveliness the rest of the campus had. Shoved off the feeling for then, but it kept coming back to me again and again, at all the major occasions. With many of the seniors amongst boys the “ragging” went around the idea that girls are not really active there. In fact one of the Gymkhana Executives had also clearly mentioned it in his speech (I came to know his name later. Then I only remembered his statement, not even his face! ).
The first day of the classes was a real shock! Accustomed to the school habits, most of us had a particular conception of the way and pace with which thing go in the “beginning of the session”. And let me see if I can describe the way it was here: 8 am in the morning… 400 students trying hard to reach the right lecture hall… seated in L7… the instructor comes in… “Welcome to IIT Kanpur. Let me tell you the grading scheme for this course…. surprise quizzes… assignments… labs… 2 midsems… 1 endsem… Let me take a couple of minutes to give you an overview of the course, then we will move to the first topic…………”
Ah, life has begun kids!
All right, I do not have the CB class today, but does not mean have nothing else to do. Come back to it later 🙂