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Happiness in the City of Joy

education Updated: May 25, 2011 10:52 IST
Pranab Ghosh
Pranab Ghosh
Hindustan Times
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Philip Jerang Scottish Church College

Ichose this college because I was told that Scottish Church College (SCC) is the best institution in Kolkata for political science. And after three years of studying in this college I find this to be true.

How I got admission: I had been keeping track of the college when I saw its admission notice in a newspaper and applied online. There wasn’t any admission test. I got a seat on the basis of my score in the Class 12 board exam (CBSE). I scored 75% and got admission in the Christian category through relaxation in the cut-off marks for the minority community.

The first few days: When I reached Kolkata, an amazing sight - the Howrah Bridge - greeted me. I found Kolkata to be totally different from my home state. In terms of infrastructure - buildings, roads, bridges, flyovers, malls etc - it was much advanced than Pasighat, headquarters of the East Siang district in Arunachal from where I came. The river Siang is called Brahmaputra in Assam, Tsangpo in China and Siang in Arunachal. The scale of urbanisation on Kolkata overwhelmed me. But I kept my cool and gradually settled in by mingling with the people of the city by taking part in their cultural activities and closely observing their traditions. I celebrated the Durga pujas with a great deal of enthusiasm and felt I was a part of it.

After landing in Kolkata I checked in at Lalkuthi at Arunachal Bhawan, Salt Lake, and stayed there for one month. I had come to Kolkata even before my admission had been finalised. Once the process got over I moved to the Duff Hostel at Manicktalla. Everything went of smoothly. No initial hiccups. No ragging. Nothing. The first few days were interesting. I made many friends from different states of India - from Bihar, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam etc. And this feeling of oneness amidst diversity, this feeling of living in a mini-India, far away from home, is what I will cherish all my life.

What I liked about Kolkata: My cousin has been living in the city for the last five years. I moved around with him and got to learn a lot about the city.

What I liked about this place is the sense of bonhomie and peace. Another thing I liked about Kolkata is the respect with which it treats its women. I liked Kolkata’s shopping malls — South City Mall and Mani Square being my favourites.

The college: The atmosphere in college motivates you to study. I never did face any problem here. Both the teachers and the fellow students are loving and helpful.

The people of Kolkata: The people of the city are extremely friendly. People here are sensitive and conscious to your needs, your likes and dislikes

The getaways: We used to have lots of fun at Aquatica, a water resort in Salt Lake and Digha - the sea resort closest to Kolkata.

What I didn’t like:
What I do not like about Kolkata is its sound pollution. Unwarranted honking of the cars is indeed a nuisance.

It’s really easy:
It is not at all difficult for an outsider like me to settle in this friendly city. All you will have to do is stretch your hand and there would be many to hold it! That’s Kolkata. The City of Joy.

It is not at all difficult for an outsider like me to settle in this friendly city. All you will have to do is stretch your hand and there would be many to hold it! That’s Kolkata for you, the City of Joy!

Philip Jerang, a political science student