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All girls colleges are fantabulous!

My first few days were maddening. Girls in all shapes made me uneasy, recalls Shagun Dayal. Are 'Girls Only' colleges better?

india Updated: Nov 08, 2005 18:56 IST

All I saw was a swarm of similar species. All I heard was hustle-bustle in varied pitches. I turned my eyes away and rushed outside and here I saw a couple of clusters again. I panted and puffed and sank in a chair. The realization started seeping in when I read the prospectus again. It gleefully exclaimed - 'Girls Only'!

It was my first day in college! That day I missed Sandeep immensely. I loved to hate him in school but we were made to sit together in the class adhering to the general norm of alphabetic order. He frequently crafted airplanes from my cherished Oxford lexicon pages. When reprimanded he would justify, "but I tore only the letter X series, it's useless for you anyways." I remembered him and smiled with fondness.

I kept on cascading back to the memory lane. I recalled each time I opened up my tiffin box, my paranthas would get converted to 10 bucks - courtesy - Kapil. He was an adorable imp who made sure I ate something if not my own food. It was all like a ritual. Boys in school were as indispensable as morning prayer, blackboard and educational excursions. It was so routine, so important, and so normal.

I had happily sought admission to my favourite course in college. But I couldn't foresee the repercussions. My first few days were maddening. All girls in various shapes and colors made me uneasy. The sudden splash of femininity suffocated me. I would end up frantically meeting my co-ed compeers. This would greatly help stifle my sullen spirits.

I wondered if I would ever grow up as normal girl after that three-year confinement. Will I be a confident orator? Will I mumble-fumble in front of men after my graduation? The thoughts gnawed me consistently - till the day when I opted to rehearse with my college's dramatics team over Kapil's birthday bash.

Lo and behold, I had started having fun again. Girlfriends could be so interesting - of course one needs to choose them. Library trips, bestseller reviews with steaming chai, movie-every-week, exchanging notes, momos, shopping for knick-knacks, literary society, feminist professor, inter-college fests……… Life was on a fast track again. It was so different, so unique, and so normal.

Days flew and I wanted to capture all the possible moments. Each day was full of promise and potential. My evolution from a girl to a woman was slow but steady. All my girlfriends gave me varied pearls of wisdom. One taught me to be targeted-oriented, another believed in looking at the brighter side of life. One turned out to be a backstabber, but it eventually made me more cautious and alert for the future.

Now it's been years ever since I passed out from my college. Whatever little I have achieved today, the biggest chunk of credit goes to those three blissful years. Personality enhancement, confidence and focus, all I owe to my 'Girls Only' system. If you ask boys would have made any difference then honestly I can't determine. But as for me I had an experience of a lifetime.

As for Kapil and Sandeep, I am very much in touch with them. I don't think their airplanes with 20 bucks would have made my journey to the real world any better!

First Published: Nov 02, 2005 13:36 IST