Saturday, April 26, 2008

the final one - part 1

Let me start by thanking all my well wishers,those of you who wrote comments,gave opinions, asked for more etc etc. Thank you one and all. This may well be my last blog on our class. I cant say how many parts it will have or if i'll ever be able to complete it. This is a recollection of last five years from my perspective(architecturally speaking). Five years where desired academic gain was more or less nil and non academics(and my weight) reached its summit.

It all began in mid july 2003 when i got seat for architecture in cet. I never gave a higher option . Maybe i knew i was destined for greater things in architecture. The next couple of weeks i literally ran around getting advices and opinions about the college and architecture ( i never asked for one!!) "Its the best college in kerala"." The hostel is a very notorious place. They grow drugs in flower pots over there". " You got nothing much to study, only drawings to be done". " You should have taken civil or mechanical"."If you dont know to draw its absolute waste"."You'll have kidilam girls as your classmates"(the worst of all). These were a few of the hundred plus opinions i got. Though i never took these seriously,it had some impact on me. I was a bit scared.

By august end i first came to college for the admission procedures.I was with my father.Initially we were seated in the cetaa hall waiting for our number before going to the office. The hall was just half filled and we were seated some 2-3 rows from the back.I remember seeing dona and nimisha.Just before us a boy and his parents were sitting.They were from allapuzha and he had some 700+ rank. I honestly wondered why he took architecture. After around ten minutes a man came and sat near this family.He was short, had full beard and wore an id card. I understood that he was some faculty member.I didnt give much attention to them intitally. As their converation grew i started hearing a lot of "architecture" and so began listening. He was telling the family that the course was really difficult.Firstly its five years compared to courses and the work load is very heavy. Many students leave the course in between. So think once more before joining. In between this he was waving his hands in a very strange manner and laughed out after each sentence.(no prizes for guessing this faculty member)Can you imagine my situation? As already mentioned i had very contrasting and vague ideas about architecture and this only added to my doubts. And i haven't seen that boy again in our college again. Coming back to initial knowledge, i later got that i was far better than many of my classmates.Sanjay took the course because he used to draw pictures of houses when he was in kindergarten.Ashik didnt know architecture existed in his first attempt. In his second chance his folks gave nod thinking that it had something to do with agriculture.I also remember seeing reenu .She had some real affinity towards the tea and snacks placed outside the hall.

The admission procedure was over and classes were to begin in 2-3 days. I went home to get my stuff and things. .My enmity with the whole idea of sketching had slowly begun by that time.The class started on 1st of september if i remember correct. We first had an orientation in cgpu hall. Vipin was seated next to me there. That was a real relief because a few minutes with him and i knew i wasn't going to be the most foolish one around.

Afterwards there was a department orientation program. Our present library was the seminar hall then.That i suppose was the first time the whole class was together. That time it was a room full of strange faces.I glanced around the room and saw some serious faces,some bold ones,some sad ones and finally a very strange looking face in front of me.The only time I've seen such guys before was in jackie chan movies. I knew that a guy wouldn't come all way from china to study architecture here in my college. So i asked him " Are you from kathmandu ????" He gave me a very strange and intense look and said" no i am from india". The look was so intense that i didn't ask him anything else. Later i came to know that north east students also studied in our college. Also i remember ritu asking some questions after the orientation. And i believe that was the only time she didn't give the vote of thanks during our course.Among staff member there was geetha ma'am, baby sir,neena ma'am, abraham sir,shaji sir and some other too. They all tried to give honest ideas about the department and course ,but i never was in the mood of taking any ideas.

After noon i went to the hostel and saw my name on the list.I was allotted room a-118.As i was waiting for the room and other stuffs to be allotted i again saw reenu coming and asking the sergeant if she'll get tea and snacks from the mess.He showed her the mess, but i don't know if she got anything that day.

We had classes for one week and then the college closed for onam vacation. That one week was really tough. In hostel it was seniors all the way. They should have really enjoyed those times. For that one week i strictly followed lh timings. Every day got into the hostel before 6:30pm and didn't leave the room too often. In class, teachers didn't teach anything. They would take turn and come and say " This is the best time to leave the course".And i should also very gratefully remember all my arkee seniors who convinced me that this was the worst decision i ever took. That one week was really scary. And that also was the period my hatred with sketching really grew.

I still remember when shaji sir first came to the class and gave horrifying ideas. I also remember him asking, if any body's related to any architects. No one raised their hands. Later i came to know that an architect's daughter was studying in my class. Wonder how she missed it!!!!Another incident i remember was a boy and his brother came some 3-4 days after the class started. He was bald and very thin and was in my class. His brother said " he's from coimbatore and doesn't know malayalam well. He can speak only in english" I said " i'll try to manage" And that 2 days he spoke only in damn good english. Later i understood that his english was limited to "Whether you have....." "Not only but also".

First year really went on without much incidents.The initial horrifying speeches weren't horrifying anymore and got used to classes and sketching. This was basically the time of making friends,knowing more people and getting used to my hostel mates and classmates.

From 14 years in a school run by priests to cet,it was a difficult transition. It was like cheese and chalk. Many harsh realities of life which i supposed happened only in movie scripts were going on in front of my eyes. I had difficulties adjusting to those initially , but time really helped me. First year was basically about learning to live, to survive rather than anything about architecture. The diplomatic nature of a particular section really made think and i suppose its again the art of survival.From what i've learned, you could do things in two ways .Either remain honest and be stagnant or be diplomatic and hypocritical so that u could go to the next level. As far as i've seen, thats what happening in our college right from the top to the bottom.

Another major development was my loss of respect to female colleagues which i had carried throughout my school days.The change was so sudden ,even i was surprised. I don't think i can blame any individual or any group for this, but it just happened.Things that went around here and there really helped the cause.But of course there were a few individuals i respected and still do.

One thing i can certainly say,a few years down the line and i'll gratefully remember cet for teaching me two things: whatever happens "you should always take your stand" and even important thing is, when u know its time "you should simply walk away" before things start controlling you.

to be concluded...



Blogger Reenu said...

Good one AruN!
Liked the thinking process and the simplicity in words framed to describe each event.
As for the para limited to females, i found it true irrespective of the gender. Mayb u never felt it as u were part of the united 'group' and u played a vital role in it.
Another thing i learnt from college is that Darwin's theory of Natural Selection applies everywhere!

12:54 PM

Anonymous Indu said...

Hey, this is cool Arun!
I kinda got lost in my own memories about admission, orientation n first years, while reading ur blog... n I thank you for that! Its definitely both funny as well as thought-provoking... Its amazing how far we have come these 5 years, aint it? Agree with everything so far... Looking forward to the next! Kp it comin'!

6:06 PM

Blogger Rohan said...

Amazin work bro'......

10:04 PM


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