This is a time-travel piece. Usually this kind of prose flood New-year editions of the overpriced glossy publications. On this blog, it is not aimed to sound celebratory, loathesome or tear-jerking. it modestly wants to talk about THE Jayenyoo Experience-which was the only buzz word in my processor a year back.
So i remember passing through sullen Bio-tech corrdiors- a place so morbid, likely to interest Ramsay Brothers to shoot their next film. The corridors raking of chlorine led me to a massive auditorium compound. Massive for a University charging measly 200Rs per semester tuition fee. The compound read School of Arts and Aesthetics gleaming on a sprightly sunny day. Nothing aesthetic about the defaced pillars that supported it though. It was our orientation session which left me more intimidated than what i had anticipated. The heavily kohled, Khadi-wearing Professors at once seemed the kinds who could prattle till the end of the universe, theorize about everything the universe is made of-from the fauvist palette of their blouses to How the auditorium can appear more Baroque and less of of hastily-constructed Catholic church. These were the more endurable fragments of the overheard faculty conversations, i am not kidding.
During the faculty introduction, the phrase "absent-presence" gained the widest currency, as four professors announced the news of their sabbatical and how we must make use of the time they're available on campus, in order to capitalize on their "absent-presence". The expression made little sense to me until this March, when Pinky-the cocky storyteller of a professor took a month off from his sabbatical to take lectures of ancient and Medieval Indian art. On the orientation day I also remember guffawing at the blue-eyed Bong professor whose deliberately ill-fitted blouses till date are severely distracting-taking my attention off her subject to scribbling Marlyn-Monroe type caricatures of her in transparent sarees. She is the daughter of Utpal Dutt. So just in case you stumble upon her pictures on page-three, do look out for her grey-blue contacts which will be far more aesthtical than the dirty-yellow ones, she wore on some days.
After the faculty introduction, it was our turn to introduce ourself. The Delhi crowd as expected appeared infinitely catty and smug, as their eyeballs trapezed to in all directions to take a look of who's who in the batch. The Bong gang clubbed together in one corner of the room uttered crisp yet over-deterministic sentences, throwing a reasonable competition to the Delhi gang on the decibel score. The Bongs accounting the faculty, constituted a majority here, reducing the introductions to bong or non-bong classification. i personally never paid heed to regional classification of a batch until the enormous regional segregation experiences in ACJ, not to miss the epic Tambrahm jokes that have now scaled popularity through their online presence.
The experience throughout the year has been more or less the same as day one except I engineered myself to be able to laugh at it. To stop for the pink bougainvilleas that soothe mind fatigued by churning term-papers in an assembly-line-production fashion. The space around the center stretches beyond what meets the eye, leaving enough room to drift away in a more poetic world of bougainvilleas and butterflies.