Turning the tables: when principals were students!
College and university campuses in the tricity are abuzz with eager beavers (read freshers) these days. Enthusiastic youngsters putting their best foot forward, standing on the threshold of a million possibilities, well that’s what college life has always been about.
The first few days of college are an unforgettable time in everyone’s life so Hindustan Times decided to take a trip down memory lane with, hold your breath, the Panjab University vice-chancellor and principals to find out just how they fared.
V-C started with a bang
Arun Grover, vice-chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh
For Panjab University vice-chancellor Arun Grover, 64, college life started with the proverbial bang. An alumnus of DAV College, Jalandhar, he recalls, “I was a meritorious student and on the very first day of college, I was gifted a set of books by the authorities. It was such a wonderful surprise. The books were written by professors who were to teach us in the coming years. I felt proud that I could get admission into such a reputed institute.”
‘Was nervous and excited’
Achila Dogra, principal of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Chandigarh
Achila Dogra, 59, the principal of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, had a different experience to share. An alumni of Gandhi Memorial National College, Ambala, she says, “I had always heard about the much-talked about college di hawa so I was both nervous and excited on entering college. I did, however, make a promise to myself on the very first day that I would make the right choices.” Making the right choices, no wonder she went on to become the principal of one of the oldest colleges of Chandigarh.
‘Was determined to have fun during college days’
Meera Modi, principal of Dev Samaj Women College, Chandigarh
As a student of Arya Girls College, Ambala Cantt, Meera Modi, 60, who is now the principal of Dev Samaj Women College, Sector 45, Chandigarh, recalls how thrilled she was about college life because she thought she would “finally get the chance to participate in lots of extra-curricular activities”. “Our college in Ambala had activity clubs and I think I must have tried out all of them on the first day itself! I was determined to have a lot of masti (fun) without compromising on my studies. And that’s exactly what I did,” she adds.
Fresher to principal in 45 years
Dr JS Raghu, principal of Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh
Imagine becoming the principal of the college you studied in. Well that’s the case with Dr JS Raghu, 60, principal of Government College, Sector 11. The only difference being that back then the college was known as Government College for Men. “Somehow, on Day 1 of college, I instinctively knew that the golden period of my life had begun,” he says, laughing aloud. “Things were great back then. All our teachers were extremely supportive,” he recalls. Interestingly, even after all these years, the mere mention of early college days brings a smile to the faces of our otherwise serious college heads. We hope the newbies will take heart and make the most of their stint in college. Who knows some may end up like Dr Raghu, heading the very institution they have joined?