Saturday, July 14, 2012

One year hence - Victims of heat and more

I thought maybe if a week passed, I’d have something interesting to write about. But right now, I am so overwhelmed I don’t know where to start. To begin with, we all had a pretty horrid surprise when we opened our rooms. We had been warned before, of course, but nothing prepared us for the sight that awaited us. A not so thin layer of sand carpeted everything in sight. It was almost like our rooms had witnessed their share of mini sand storms over the course of two months. A select few had it worse, with their windows being blown open. Their rooms were almost unrecognizable because of the amount of sand that had collected. The cleaning process ensued. I will not go into the painful details. All I will say is that our mothers would have been proud of the effort we put in and that my room here looks nothing like my room at home.
The bright side of coming back was seeing everyone again. You don’t realize how much you miss people until you see them again. It was extremely reassuring looking at everyone laughing and hugging each other. For one, I was not the only going through whatever I was going through. We were all in in together. Our sadistic sides came to the fore and we stood in groups around every new arrival, to see their expressions of horror as they opened their door. I can say with vindictive pleasure that no one got to see my face. I was the first one in my hostel for the 3rd time running in 3 semesters and being the first one back is getting old. As I settled down for the night, my last thought was that it wouldn’t be long till we settled down to our old routines again. I had no idea of knowing then, but settling down wasn’t going to be that easy.
It was hot. I have spent a considerable amount of my life in Chennai and I tell you that it was hot. Hardly any of us got a good night’s sleep, because the parts of the mattress that touched us became drenched with our sweat. This is my second year here, and I honestly do not remember Jodhpur being this humid. When a place is that unnaturally humid, it means that rain isn’t far off, right? Wrong. It was good long and painful week before it rained. I am not saying that the wait was not worth it. It was. But what a wait it was.
The college management was not doing much to ease our stay here either. The second years (3rd semester students) have four law subjects and one stream subject. And four of our teachers preferred assigning us a project over correcting a mid-term. I don’t blame them. We write pretty hilarious papers. I pity the poor souls who have to correct them. But when I heard, I didn’t know whether I was going to laugh or cry. Four projects is every student’s personal hell. If that was not enough, the number of tests has come down to 3 compulsory tests from the best 3 out of 5. Who is going to volunteer to represent our college in moots, debates and sports festivals, I don’t know. How the college expects us to do well in extra and co-curricular activities and perform brilliantly in our tests, I don’t know. Why the college did not consult us when it is our lives they are playing with, I don’t know.
Innumerable changes were made, and not all necessary.  If any changes have to be made, change the medical facilities available in college. Invest in a hospital wing, in a better dispensary. We stay approximately eleven kilometres away from the city. I know from past experience that ambulances are extremely hesitant to come here. “Mandore is not part of Jodhpur. It is outside city limits” was what was told to us when we desperately needed an ambulance for an ill batch mate.
You have been entrusted with students; who have left home, family and everything that they know and have come miles away to study. I stay 2500 kilometres away from home, and it will take my parents a minimum of 24 hours to get here, paying a king’s ransom, if they can get any tickets at all that is. My parents knew this, but they still sent me here because that is the faith that they have put in the management. That is the faith that the parents of 500 students have put in this college’s management. Where a harmless outing for lunch will not kill anyone, lack of medical facilities can. Prioritize. It is not that hard. 

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