Presentation Convent, S P Mukherjee Marg
May 28, 2010, it is 8:30 am on a sunny Friday morning. I leave my house with a map of Delhi University, a list of forms to buy, money and a lot of enthusiasm — for I was going to the north campus for the first time — without parental supervision that is.
Being one of those people who have no sense of direction whatsoever, I took the metro to Vishwavidyala station to be on the safe side. As soon as I disembark from the metro, I am greeted by a throng of similarly armed people. The very next thing I see — rickshaw wallahs shouting at the top of their voices. Interspersed between the students and the rickshaw pullers are random photographers looking to substantiate their articles with photos of sweaty and worried children.
Though I had a fair enough idea of what to expect, having read a bunch of articles about it, the experience was entirely different and yet the same. The entire time was spent rushing from one college to another, one bank branch to another, one counter to another in a treasure hunt for forms, bank drafts and photocopies. Next came the mad rush trying to decipher the minute text in the OMR forms, and then eventually filling up the forms. And the essays about one's preferences and choices. It was such a time-bound affair that one day proved to be insufficient for the entire DU experience. I am already past my third visit, with atleast two more planned in the near future, because however much you may hate the system for being slow and incompetent, you love every minute wasted, every drop of sweat and all the energy you expend.
Vasant Valley, Vasant Kunj
All my life I had been hearing stories about Delhi University and the “masti factor” that is synonymous with it. On May 21 when my disappointing results were declared, I almost lost all hope of living the Delhi life as also my tears. But I still decided to go and check it out. It was the first day of the sale of forms. I had expected a crowd, but the sheer number of people there left me flabbergasted. I have to say that Delhi University is one place where all the inequalities of this world culminate and amalgamate into just one bunch of eager to learn and live life to the fullest “students”.
There is only one word in the Oxford Dictionary which can describe the scene at the uni — Zoo.
You could see all kinds of animals (we like to call ourselves humans). It is one place where all distinctions, all boundaries, and all borders are banished. In one instance you could see a couple of girls (you could call chicks!!), coming out of their comfortable sedans wearing hot pants and using colour coded blackberrys. In another a father riding a scooter with his daughter at the back, sitting in the St Stephens hall, filling up the form with extreme concentration and absolute focus. And then those who came bearing the horrible heat in the DU special buses, who worked very hard to even, be able to finish school (the people who should be most respected). And, of course, there were “US”, who people call “awaaras”, making a joke out of everything, buying all forms just for the sake of it, and choosing our colleges just because of the way it looks and the canteen.
Personally, I was impressed the most with St Stephen’s and Hansraj. Hansraj is simple, yet has the unique ability to attract you, with the canteen being one of its major USPs. As soon as I entered St Stephen’s, this strange feeling overwhelmed me. The buildings styled in medieval architecture, the huge open spaces with lush green grass and, of course, the few professors I met; I suddenly felt that the campus was so “me”, as if it was calling for me to taste its forbidden fruit. But obviously it's only a waking dream wish fulfilment; sigh!! (if only they understood that there is more to a person than his results).
We almost explored the whole of north campus, and even to those who are going abroad, I would recommend you to go experience the “DU experience”. Just go and stand in those long winding lines only to be told “Form khatam ho gaye hain, bagal waali line mein lago”, when you reach the front or just to feel the power of the university that gives so many a sense of belonging and the best years of their lives. And of course, don't forget to have banta or masala limca, available at every five yards.
The Shri Ram School. Gurgaon
And the cavalry is ordered to charge...
From every nook and corner of Delhi, and of India, a tide of hope and aspirations begins to flow — converging upon the colleges of Delhi University. Our Capital for once, has really become the nation's centre. It's almost like a parade of diversity — the style statements of Delhi, the sincerity of South, the anxiety of East, the boldness of West. Not to forget — a host of foreign students visit the campus as well. It's an entire spectrum brimming with contagious energy and enthusiasm.
Catching buses, changing metros, breathing easy on rickshaws and endless marching from college to college is obviously draining, but the sense of satisfaction really made me feel five years more wiser . After getting out of the Faculty of Arts — proudly holding the forms in hand, as if their value exceeded an Olympic Gold, I made a strategic retreat to a nearby bench in order to replenish my resources (read: Have chips and coke). It was then that two German students happened to ask me for directions. In a brief chat that followed, they revealed that they wanted to study Sanskrit ! I was baffled! Sanskrit? Seriously ? I must confess I had nothing to offer, but admiration. Here's us brats who look at Sanskrit with contempt and there they were, all the way from Germany to study that language. All the luck to them. By the end of the day, my legs had divorced me on grounds of reckless exploitation; but we live in a capitalist world and abuse is just as common as sunset. Now, reminder to self — fill up the forms. I'll end with a quote from ‘Yes Man’ something we ought to remember in this environment of stress — “The world's a playground. You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.”