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Outstation students to burn midnight oil in Mumbai this Diwali

With the University of Mumbai keeping exams on festival days, students cannot go home for celebrations

mumbai Updated: Nov 05, 2018 00:37 IST
Shweta Verhani
Shweta Verhani
Hindustan Times
Diwali,Mumbai,University of Mumbai
Foreign and outstation students celebrated Diwali inside MU campus in Fort last year. (HT )

Bhopal resident Namrata Ramchandani had moved to the city two years ago to pursue the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from KC College in Churchgate. She was eagerly waiting for the Diwali vacation so that she could go back home and celebrate the festivities with her family. However, Ramchandani cannot visit her home town for the festival, as her exams and internship schedule coincides with the festival.

“I hated celebrating my first Diwali away from home and had even cried a lot. However, this is the third year now that I am missing the festivities at home. So I feel like I’ve forgotten all the traditions and customs. I am so caught up with work and studies that I don’t feel any excitement for the festival,” she said.

Ramchandani is one among the many outstation students who are forced to be away from home during the festival period.

Many of these students are gearing up for the winter semester exams which are scheduled during the supposed vacation or immediately after it. Others utilise the 21-day break from colleges to gain practical experience through internships.

Swathi Koyon is pursuing a post graduate degree in Social Science from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. While she is visiting her home town in Kerala during the vacation, she will be back to the city on the day of Diwali.

“We have a distinct culture in Kerala, which is why I feel excited about the festival. But this year, it will be different for me because I would have to be in Mumbai,” she said.

For Tushar Rastogi, a BA Filmmaking student at KC College, this is the second year of celebrations in the city.  Like last year, this year too, Rastogi will not celebrate Diwali with his friends and family at his hometown Meerut, because his projects and examinations are scheduled during the festival. He is also occupied with extracurricular activities and finds it difficult to go and come back after a quick visit.

He said, “A small city like Meerut lights up during Diwali, and there is joy in the air. But Mumbai is illuminated every day. So one can’t understand the real importance of Diwali here. I miss my family a lot.”

However, some in the city are trying to cheer students while they are away from home.

Sanjay Kadam, the warden of Dr B R Ambedkar Hostel, Worli, said, “We ask students in our hostel to give us a list of meals that they would like to have for Diwali. We also distributed sweets and decorated the hostel with lamps and rangoli. Our attempt is to make our students feel at home during Diwali.”

However, some in the city ensure that the students don’t miss the traditions and festivities away as they slog away from home. Sanjay Kadam, warden of Dr. B R Ambedkar Hostel, Worli, said, “We ask our hostellers to give us a list of all the three meals that they would like to have for Diwali and the food is prepared accordingly. We also give them some sweets and decorate the hostel with diyas and rangoli. Our attempt is to make them feel home during Diwali.”

Many students are being invited to celebrate the festivities with their classmates and their families who reside in the city.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 00:34 IST