Skip to main content

Once upon a college

Disclaimer: The following article is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead, or to any thing is purely coincidental. If anyone's sentiments have been hurt by this entirely fictitious story, we're sorry for your lack of a sense of humor.

Like most kids his age, Henricks Durina was an energetic young man. At 21, you've got to be. 3 years earlier, he had taken a major decision- To do a course in engineering. From where he came, kids had to pick one among three choices. 1) To become an engineer, 2) To become a doctor or 3) To be a failure in the eyes of society. While a majority succumbed to the pressures of peers, parents and placements, his motivation was different. He wanted to make the things that used to fascinate him. The countless TV remotes he had dismantled out of curiosity, the remote controlled toy cars he'd take apart to see what made those magical objects listen to his every command, those calculators, keychain digital cameras, broken printers, telephones and basically anything that a 5 year old found fascinating. He lived on a drug called curiosity and it would take some beating to take it away from him.
College life invited him with open arms. In one of those hands was a syllabus copy and in the other a stack of photocopies of notes, local author textbooks and the like. “The two things”, someone advised him, “that'll get you through this 'journey'”. Unimpressed by the short cut being provided to him, he snatched both and threw them aside. And so it began. Life in college.

He loved his college. Who wouldn't? There are fables about the German clock-work-esque organisational precision about it. You'd struggle to find a needle out of place and every student was as disciplined as an army officer. The rules were straight-forward, simple and written all over the place. While climbing stairs, everyone was supposed to walk to their left to avoid colliding with people coming down the stairs. A rule, everyone accepted as practical and followed without exception (unless they were running to somewhere regarding a matter of extreme urgency, like to the washroom).
 The elevators took students up but never down so that everyone had the minimum exercise of climbing down a flight (sometimes 6 flights) of stairs in this age of comfort. The students loved how much their college cared for their health.
The gates to this temple of knowledge were open to everyone. Although, after 10AM no one was allowed inside through one gate (you could leave at anytime in the true spirit of the freedom of movement.), for security reasons. After all, prevention is better than cure. You never know with 20 year olds sometimes. One of them might just turn up with a weapon ( only after 10AM ) and do unspeakable things in the campus. Ofcourse, they could just enter through the second gate, but what self respecting student-terrorist walks in through the second gate? Pfft. What a sissy that would be.
Every college had an identity. So did this one. I mean duh, obviously. But what was different about it was that the identity of the college was that the students had their own identity and they weren't afraid to show it. No I mean that literally. Everyone had an identity card and wore it, proudly, around their necks no matter where they went. The uniforms had the college's logo, shining in all its glory, letting everybody know which college the smartly dressed boy or girl was from. On the days that they didn't have to wear the uniform, they were free to wear anything they pleased! (Obviously subject to reasonable restrictions). The rest of the world sported shabby, dirty looking faded jeans and in the interest of restoring the fashion sense of the world, students were told not to wear those inglorious pieces of clothing to college.
The world is struggling with the problem of e-waste. In the interest of the long life of our planet and its citizens, the computer mouses (the kind with a mouse ball in them) in the college hadn't been disposed (or even retired from service for that matter)ever since Leonardo Di Caprio last received an academy award.

The campus was like a Roman city. Vast, well planned and beautiful. The architecture was awe-inspiring. Every class room had windows at the back (through which light sometimes fell directly on the blackboard at the front of the class, making it hard to read what was on it but hey, curtains would ruin how it looked from the outside).
There was a building under construction in the middle of the campus that some people thought was an eye-sore but Henricks didn't think so. He might not be able to see it fully constructed by the time he graduated but then again, Rome was not built in a day. Maybe when his kids were old enough to put their kids in engineering college he could attend his grand children's graduation ceremony there.

More about Henricks will be up as soon as he's done with his tests. Which happen every two weeks or something apparently. He does get enough holidays though. Atleast 48 a year (coincidentally, those fall on sundays every time). Hopefully, I'll catch him up one of these days.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible?

This article was originally written as part of my unfinished submission to the nine dots prize. Maybe next time I'll actually submit something. 


“The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we've ever had.” -Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder and CEO, Google.com
In the year 1947 when John Bardeen and his team at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey were busy inventing the first transistor, Harry S Truman was on the campaign trail with almost every prediction indicating that he would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey in the elections that would be held the following year. Meanwhile, somewhere in Illinois, Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Howell were celebrating the birth of their first child, a baby girl they named Hillary Diane Rodham and nearly 7000 miles away, 300 million Indians were celebrating their hard-fought independence from over 200 years of British colonial rule.

The invention of the transistor…

My Dear Guru

"Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo, Maheshwarah, Guru Saakshaat, Para brahma,Tasmai Shri, Guruveh Namaha, Tasmai Shri, Guruveh Namaha"

This post is meant for a selected few. So most others will find this irrelevant. It's meant for the people who took the trouble to write flattering remarks in my progress reports even though I'd only deserved a knock on the head and a good telling off. It's meant for the people who actually did tell me off when I'd gone too far in childish exuberance. It's meant for those I remember dearly with fond memories and others whose memory still sends a chill down my spine (but I still remember dearly). Gurus, they say, are dispellers of darkness. This post is meant for every guru I have ever had- both inside a classroom and outside it.

When I was still too young to remember names and associate them with faces, I had a group of teachers at TVS Academy in Hosur. My mother, I'm sure, knows all their names but I shamelessly adm…

Diwali: Be a Hero

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. We celebrate so many festivals that at times it is difficult to keep count of what we're really celebrating. Different people look at this differently. For school kids, it means plenty of holidays. For their teachers, it means less time to complete the syllabus. For employees, it means a day away from work. For their employers, it means a drop in productivity. But there is one festival that really stands out in a calendar year. For years, I've been told it's the “festival of lights” but that isn't an accurate description of what it is any more. I'm,of course, talking about Diwali. The story is familiar to everyone. (For those who aren't familiar with it, there's a VERY concise version here : The Diwali Story). Diwali is, like almost all other festivals, a time to celebrate. And at least for as long as I can remember, it is also the time when environmentalists everywhere feel like they have the most hopeless j…