-SHIRSH ANAND, BA (hons) 2nd year, FSS
Remember the excitement we had about college life throughout our days at school? All the hopes of a new place, new people, new friends, freedom, enjoyment, parties; or in short, a new ‘life’. Throughout our days at school we had these thoughts, hopes and excitement for our college life. Now, recall the time when you first got the news that you have been offered admission in the Faculty of Social Sciences/Arts of Banaras Hindu University. Wasn’t that just a great news? Didn’t that news make your day? All the dreams, hopes, and excitement which we inculcated within ourselves were about the come to life soon. All we had to do now was to wait patiently for our first day at college.
The first reaction while entering the main gate was ‘amusement’. We were just amused to see such a huge campus with such a great history. All the time we were on the roads of the university campus, we were filled with pride. We felt so lucky to be a part of one of the finest institutions in India and the world. We felt pride in being a part of such a historic campus with such a great history. Many of us still boast its rich history and huge campus among our friends, don’t we?
Now as we gradually approach our Faculty, we find ourselves stuck in a string of questions: Where to report? Where will the classes be held? Is it in the Old or the New PG Building where we were called for counselling or somewhere else? Whom to approach? Whom to ask? Still, we somehow manage to get to the right place and what are we asked to do,’ fill the dossier and other documents and submit them to the fat-ass sitting in the office and leave. That’s it!’ No further information about when to come next? Are the classes running? If yes, where, what are the timings? If not, then form when will the classes begin? There is hardly anyone who could help us out with these doubts. Our fellow students are in exact same confusion as ours. Meanwhile, the officials are too reluctant to answer directly and hence we are told to refer the notice board for further details. But which “Notice Board”? Where is the hell is this Notice Board? I remember getting confused with the notice board of Dept. of Pol Sc. as our official notice board. Yet again we somehow manage to find a partial answer to all these questions on our own as I personally still don’t remember seeing the time table on any of the notice boards. All the details reach us floating through our new friends. Friends which we made hastily while filling up the dossier or while allotment of hostel and so on. With all this confusion in our mind, we leave the faculty premises thinking,” Was this my first day at college? What just happened? Is this the administration system in the renowned Banaras Hindu University? Is this the reason why govt. institutions are trolled for? What the hell was this?”
With all these thoughts trembling in our heads we feel ‘disappointed’. Disappointed on the very first day at our college for which we dreamt for our whole of school lives. According to our thoughts and dream, this was to be the best day of the year. This day was to be marked with a warm welcome and a humble introduction. This day was to be full of meeting new people, making new friends, leave our first impression etc. This day, in short, was to be marked with happiness, fun, and joy. But instead, all we get is disappointment. Still, in the back of our minds, we have 'hope'. A hope of finding beautiful experiences in days to come. A hope of getting accustomed to the environment in the coming days. A hope of getting along with things.
But what we don’t think at that moment is, ‘This is just the beginning of the storm of problems which we are about to face in the coming days. We don’t have this slightest thought of what we are about to face in the coming days. We don’t see things coming. We don’t see ourselves waiting in the classrooms for 15 to 20 days in a row at the time of scheduled classes waiting for our classes to begin. We don’t see ourselves standing in the long queue at Maitiri at time of lunch. We don’t see ourselves sitting in classes full of dirt. We don’t see ourselves walking in dirty and unhygienic corridors toppling off old broken furniture and jumping off rotting cow dungs. We don’t see ourselves attending overcrowded classes sitting literally out of the classrooms. We don’t see ourselves living and studying in such an environment which is even unfit just to roam around.
Among all these things, one thing which we just don’t imagine is one day we all will get really accustomed to these things. One day we will no longer look upon these things as problems but as a part of our lives. One day we will have no trouble in using toilets which haven’t been cleaned for weeks. One day we will have no trouble in drinking water from taps and tanks which haven’t been cleaned for months. One day we will have no trouble in sitting on benches full of dirt after cleaning the dirt with our own bags, books etc. One day we will just own these things as a part of our destiny.
I’m afraid that this “one day” has come already for most of us.