Thursday, August 02, 2012

Memories of Another Day

GreatBong is to be blamed for this post. Sometime back, he fanned my not-so-youthful ego by saying that he remembered an article I wrote for my college magazine and managed to quote a line from that. Needless to say, I was over the moon and immediately deployed my classmates to find that issue of the magazine.
One of them - Anindito - managed to dig out a papyrus-like copy of magazine - Chhayapath.

Having gone back to that article, I am convinced that Arnab's tastes in writing need some serious overhauling. I thought of not putting up that article on the blog but then, it has some nostalgic value for students of Jadavpur University. And of course, it also shows - immodestly - that I have improved a lot. Ahem.

I have made no changes to the original text. You get it as bad as it was.
Also, I have not included any explanatory notes. Either you get it or you don't.
So Arnab - this one is for you!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Nostalgia is the strongest emotion known to man. It is what drives this pen and promises to fill up my lazy Sunday afternoons in the years to come.

What follows is a whimsical glossary of things that were a part of our years at this august institution. So here goes:

AC: Haunt of the ‘first years’. Studiously ignored by ‘seniors’. It is at this place, the students of JU have perfected the esoteric art form Ranjitsinghji had invented – glancing at fine legs. Not to mention cutting through silly points.

Arena: Inter-department cricket tournament, for the uninitiated. Precursor to the India-Sri Lanka semifinal at Eden. Makes mincemeat of the Olympian ideal of ‘taking part and not winning’.

Adda: a.k.a. Thek. But then, an adda by any other names would be just as sweet.

Bridge: Official sport of the University. My attempts to master this game were seriously impeded by my penchant for calling 7NT, a sure sign of my MT head.

Byapok Bawali: Unofficial aim of every student. Maybe called the Big BB as its popularity in the campus is comparable to that of the Big B.

Cheap Stores: Manned by the mercurial Haru-da. Supplier of 5268 lab sheets that go into the making of an engineer.

FETSU: Not unlike God. Never seen. Never heard. But always present.

Funda: A commodity is alarmingly short supply and hence in heavy demand. (See my funda in Eco?) Some men are born with it. Some achieve it. And a lucky few can bluff their way through without it.

Jhari: Don’t think about it. Just do it.

M-1-1: Graveyard of attaches, harmoniums etc. More notorious than the Black Hole of Calcutta. Has spelt doom for many a promising career.

Navina: Official entertainer to the University. Provides the A to Z of education (My Tutor) and entertainment (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge).

Proxy: The art of being in two places simultaneously. Caution: Dangerous on careless handling and large doses.

Quizzing: Pseudo-intellectual pastime. Popularised by the maverick who said “Pass” when asked to sum up a GD. Questions range from a googly (which area in Calcutta has the pin code 700094?) to a bouncer (What was Tendulkar’s score in the 3rd Test vs South Africa in ’92-’93?).

Ragging: An activity performed by seniors in order to make the freshers feel as ‘frustu’ as themselves.

Sanskriti: Exists in three varieties – Arts, Science and Engineering. Number in a calendar year depends on the Union election results. Annual festival to promote culture. Also promotes sales of Dasgupta.

Semester: A time of clogged bathroom drains and pencil-written walls. Should be regarded in the same spirit as Julius Caesar’s contemplation of death.

Supple: Official nightmare of the University. Serious threat to sanity. (One victim imagined hearing “Supple waale…” a la Sargam.) Experienced practitioners have mental calmness comparable to that of Socrates.

Tarak-da: Non-entity during the first three years. Big Man on Campus in the final year – especially after the end of ‘The Chatt Show’.

Tech Fair: According to a noted humourist, “At Jadavpur University, we have 4 days of Tech Fair and 361 days of Thek Fair.”

Viva: Rhymes with “Bhai, wah!”. How ironic! A dignified silence is essential for “it is better to keep quiet and let others think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubts”.

Xerox: The second most labour-saving invention of today. (Note: “The greatest labour-saving invention of today is tomorrow.”)

Zindabaad: The clarion call which brightened our days with the hopes of an impending strike.

So those are memories of another day. “Rose leaves, when the rose is dead…” of no use at all. But then “the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless”. Or is it the other way round? 


Swagata said...

Enjoyed the article. But 'Supple' reads as the English word Supple, while it is pronounced as 'Supplee'?
Don't know if you've visited the campus lately, but it has changed a lot! A Lot!

R said...

aah...the engineering boys never had the "lobby"- poor souls

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Amrita said...

@R: From what I've heard, they did have the "lobby". Somtimes multiple times ;)