30 November 2010

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Fine, fine, I admit it: it does feel different, top to bottom it does. I know I’ve denied it time and again, but I just have to admit it now. Being in MA does feel different from BA.

Duh? Well, yeah, but still, once you’ve gone on and on and told everybody left, right and centre that it feels just the same to say the exact opposite now does count for something.

How’s it different?

Well, for starters it’s a hell lot more boring!

Oh yes, so it is. There’s nothing on at all, nothing! All you can look forward to are lecturers and lectures and lectures. The Department doesn’t seem to have too much of an idea of fun so that the only supposedly extra-curricular activities it organises are talks and seminars – which, were it not for the food in the last case, it wouldn’t be half as worthwhile to attend. The professors, admittedly, are pretty competent and engaging with the usual unmentionable exceptions, but the very locale of the classes is as dull and uninspiring as can be. A long, dusty hall with benches as uncomfortable as can be: there I was, fondly imagining aeons ago a stepped hall wherein the mysteries of learning and literature would be revealed unto me. Masters of Arts. Department of English. University of Delhi. A long, straight hall…sigh.

The company’s none too animated too. Only those who sit up front can savour the delights of intercourse, for designed as it is the hall engenders a natural hierarchy which reduces those at the back to oblivion either in the text or outside the window. A happy oblivion no doubt, but oblivion nonetheless. One wouldn’t like to shout comments and questions, certainly not over heads of stupefied peers transcribing the professorial word onto paper for posterity. Thy word is my law, thy word law…

Nonetheless, what makes it really so boring is not half as much as the Department or those interred in it as the factuality of Hansraj College. Of my now being in Hansraj.

Not that there’s anything bad about Hansraj per se. True, it’s almost at the end of the world, but being so has its own charms of a spread out campus and very many nooks and crannies for quiet hours of reading and writing. Hansraj’s very good in itself.

Yet, it’s Hansraj. Not, oh well, not Ramjas.

Oh well indeed. Not Ramjas. Not familiar faces, familiar haunts, sights and sounds grown familiar over ages. Being in campus, in the academia now feels like an escape, a short cut from the reality of responsible adulthood. The training itself seems devoid of all purpose except continuance in the same and the fact of being in Hansraj, being there for whatever reasons one is there, makes the whole experience inescapably fragmented. Fragmented? Ha! Alienating, fragmented, broken, boring: a whole store full of adjectives yet words, words which fail. You’re neither here nor there: Hansraj is a continent new, Ramjas forbidden and the Faculty an obligation.

A passing phase? Undoubtedly, but that still doesn’t take away from the ramifications of the here and now, especially with there being no hereafter now. What is is and naught more shall be, such must be the lessons of life. There is, of course, more to all of it than just boredom; much happens, so much that it often gets difficult to pick and choose – still, still there’s something, something in the very nature of things, consciousness, nature which is different. Be it the fact I’m seldom on time or that I’m still to feel a sense of belonging to the Faculty, or to Hansraj for that matter, be it what it may, it’s different, it’s different, it’s different. Not just boring, but different…

Mountain out of a molehill? Of course. Yet, depends where you see the molehill from.


4 comments:

sabrin said...

yah i can totally understand ur feelings...as the same feeling of boredom n alienation haunted me as well...

AP said...

Charmed, to be sure.

Nirbhay Bhogal said...

Your explanation of the back-benchers either trying but not being able to understand the text or being distracted by the sights available through the class window(s) is a bit opaque. Those "at the back" are reduced "to oblivion either in the text or outside the window." Not easily understandable.

AP said...

Oblivion in the text would refer to oblivion in contexgt of the classroom, which means they become so involved in reading whatever book they are that they're almost invisible otherwise. Outside the window, of course, refers to daydreamers. That does it, I hope?