Sadhna Sahu went from the concrete tangle of Delhi to the lush campus of the University of Calicut. After graduating with a degree in zoology from Miranda House, she preferred to do her master’s in biotechnology at Kozhikode over an MSc in zoology at the University of Delhi. While there are few things common between two disparate varsities as well as locales, Sahu says she has no regrets.
Admission to the course she got into is through a centralised admission test administered by the Jawaharlal Nehru University on behalf of many institutions. A candidate would get a seat in one of the participating universities depending on his/her rank. Sahu made it to Calicut.
“I had the option of joining Delhi University for MSc zoology but by the time I qualified for that, I had already joined here and decided that this was a better option, both academically and personally,” says Sahu.
Ask her about life at the university and the DU alumnus tells it like it is. “The local crowd is mostly from small areas, so being in this university offers them a great exposure. Since my only other reference of university life is Delhi University, this place and the university are nowhere close to the convenience and opportunities that you can get in Delhi University. The hostel definitely needs renovation and extension to accommodate the large number of students staying here,” she says.
On the other hand, her class has a pan-India character owing to the fact that entry is via a national test. The rain-fed leafy geography is quite a treasure (right now “the weather is fantastic.”)
“Studying in this university has been a great experience for me because I have a great friend circle which is as diverse as possible with people from all over the country and being a biology student, the campus and travelling to other parts of the state has been very exciting since the flora and fauna is not something I had experienced before having been brought up in a city like Delhi,” says Sahu.
Also, she indicates what some may see as limitations are indeed blessings in disguise for serious students. Take the location of the campus, for instance. It is not in Kozhikode, also called Calicut, but 24km away in neighbouring Malappuram district to its south. According to Sahu, it’s a quaint place with “not many distractions.”
“The university is on the outskirts of Kozhikode, so travelling to the city for movies or good food takes nearly an hour, so the nerds don’t have to worry about distractions! It is a peaceful area and the library is well equipped,” says Sahu. While Delhi University is her only point of comparison about which she really thinks highly, she has something positive to say about her new choice as well. “... an interested student (at the University of Calicut) can make the best of it.”
5 things one must do when in the city
Sadhna Sahu, student, University of Calicut, recommends five things a visitor or incoming student from another city must do in Kozhikode and Malappuram
* Visit the multitude of beaches. Kappad beach is my favourite
* Try the Malappuram biryani. Most people like it though I’m not a fan of the local food
* Visit Wayanad which is three hours away
* Carry an umbrella - always, either for the heavy rain or for the scorching sun
* Better get your own vehicle. Local buses will give you motion sickness
* Come only if you can compromise on lifestyle
* Do everything that I suggested for visitors (above)
* Ignore the politics and moral policing if you want to live peacefully
* Travel around. Kerala is beautiful in the rainy season
* Take your time to settle down. There is a lot to learn from this place