Thursday, December 17, 2015

Life in an Engineering College in India

I was in one of India’s best engineering institutes. My friend gave me his building number and room number and told me that he had left the room open for me. He had classes that morning and would meet me later in the afternoon. Once inside the university campus, I have to walk another kilometer or so, to find the right hostel building. I see some students, but I assumed most of them would be headed to their classes at this point of time. On reaching the hostel, the guard thinks I am a new student and directs me to my friends room. My friend turns up. Has he changed. Sure he has. College does that to you. College does that to everybody. You always want people to be the same. Especially friends you have grown up with. I wonder why people, change all the time.  I wish people never changed. They stayed the same. But that is not going to happen.
I spend my first day touring the campus. My friends update me about their life there. College Festivals, Assignments, Intoxicants, Exams, Girlfriends and all the other normal things that college students do are on their every semester to do list. Surathkal is almost like a college town. The shops, restaurants and landlords, mainly depend on student spending as their main source of income. Most weekends were spent at the local game house, were facilities for games like pool and fuse ball were made available to the students at a good price. But a majority of their time was spent taking classes, completing assignments, taking tests at the college. It was a good life, if you loved engineering. But if you took up engineering just because you wanted the degree, it would be hard, really hard to survive there. 10 hours every weekday, another 10 -12 hours during the weekends is not easy if you have no interest in what you are doing. My friend loved engineering. Every thing about it. I was happy for him.

The next two days were quite interesting. I got to speak to a lot of students on campus. At school, I thought I would take up engineering at one point of time. So being here was a way for me to explore the, 'What could have happened if..' scenario. I sneaked into one of the computational fluid dynamics class for the mechanical engineering students. I understood zilch. It reminded me of school and most of my physics classes. It all went way way above my head. But it was fun nonetheless. Nobody found out. I was not even supposed to be on campus. I spent most of the mornings at the hostel, watching TV shows on my friends laptop. In the evening we would just walk around the campus and chat about the good old days.

But I could not stay here forever. Life was good. But my life was elsewhere. If you asked me where? I wouldn't know what to say. But I had to leave, to figure this out. My friend helps me catch a bus


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