Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Traipsing Down Memory Lane

It was nearly seven years since my last visit to my alma mater, and I was somewhat nervous as I peeked in the door of the English Department. To my utter surprise and joy, all the teachers remembered me and gave me the warmest of welcomes notwithstanding the fact that I had unwittingly gate crashed a departmental meeting!
In a moment I was made to feel right at home; it did not even remotely seem that it had been a decade since I was a student there. As one of my teachers put it, “the department was as mad as ever”!

Fun, friends, freshers, favourite teachers, food, fashion, and fights, were some of the things that had rushed to the forefront of my mind as I crossed the threshold of the college where I spent three wonderful, idyllic years.

Fun requires no further explanation whatsoever. It was a time when everything had a funny side to it and the slightest provocation was sufficient to send us into peals of laughter. Getting to and from college, attending lessons, and hanging out with friends, were all enjoyable activities.

Friends were numerous and the whole class was closely knit, getting into mischief all the time. Planning and preparing for the regular ‘literary hours’ involved more giggling and skipping of classes than was deemed necessary. The faculty of the English Department definitely had a lot more grey hairs by the time we graduated!

Getting introduced to the ‘freshers’ was an annual event, awaited eagerly. Snide comments and genuine compliments would flow forth as we took stock of our successors. Alas, we were never satisfied that there was a bunch of the right mix that would be worthy enough to be our replacement.

The whole of the English Department was a favourite, with each teacher making her class unique with her own individual style of teaching. Be it phonetics, grammar, poetry, or drama, learning was enjoyable and effortless with the quirks of every teacher staying with us long after we left college. Remembrance by association made answering exams a breeze.

The food in the canteen was nothing to write home about and one chose to sample the menu only in an emergency. However, the canteen itself was the venue of many a shared lunch and gossip sessions. Partaking of the scrumptious food our moms packed for us each day, was a ritual in itself.

It was cool to make your own fashion statement rather than going with only the latest trends. Every new look was sure to be noticed and received either criticism or appreciation—both were sure to be delivered in large helpings.

Guarding your turf was yet another integral part of everyday life in college. Inter departmental competition was pretty strong but the rivalry always remained a healthy, even jocular one.

Today, looking back at these different aspects of student life that I encountered and successfully navigated through, it is hard to believe that so many years have passed by.

Talking to my college mates only reinforces this feeling, for it seems as though we are easily able to carry on a conversation from where we last left off!

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