This blog is going to begin in Media Res because that is how the month was. College began offline in the first week of February. Frankly, I had not anticipated that going back to college would somehow make me feel connected with my subject. The whole “online classroom” era had made me feel distant from not just my professors but also my beloved field of interest. Only after the first week of lectures, I could process that we’re now in an actual classroom with others sharing a desk, under the same roof. Looking at professors’ grins and smiles while teaching made it up for the entire year of missing out on social interaction. What still overwhelms me is knowing that I never expected myself to connect with anyone in the classroom as much, except for my group of girls.
I had anticipated a lot of disconnection, discomfort and detachment before the classes began. The online classroom had made everything seem mundane and inaccessible, including my professors and my now friends- but, then classmates. Looking at screens constantly almost made me forget of the actual humans sitting behind them in the flesh. Beginning with not having to ask, “Am I audible?” before I answer in class, everything with offline lectures never fails to amaze and astonish me.
Offline lectures brought along smiles, laughs, handwritten notes, pictures, tiffins and spectacular trips to the college library. Somehow, my connection with my classmates and my professors both deepened and improved. I’d like to add that virtually all my friends are chefs who regularly bring a box of brownies to class. That’s not all though, they find time to cook pasta and delicious dosas for everyone in the class. If you enter my class during the break, you’d never need to go to the canteen. In the very first month of being in class together, we have gone from “Can I sit here next to you?” to “This box of brownies is mine, you go find yours” real quick. Going to the college physically every day means a shower of “safe” hugs every day, too. From fashion advice to warm consoling hugs to walk-back-home buddies, the Master’s class now feels rather peaceful. To add to this list of macaroons, the college had organised a traditional day for the students. Everyone from the class was dolled up, wearing their best clothes- looking nothing less than royalty. Even after clicking almost a thousand pictures that day, contentment was not achieved. However, the frozen smiles and warmth completed the day and all the days which were just empty before.
For the annual day, one of the professors recommended yours truly for the role of emcee, alongside one of their brightest stars. The brief practices and meetups with my co-host, Nischal Sharma brought back my undergraduate memories. Nostalgia aside, I learned so much from Nischal and his aura on stage. On D-Day, both of us shared excitement and nervousness. While thanking the professors during the end, I almost teared up because of Nischal’s little speech about his experience of 5 years in college. While most of the audience was screaming for Nischal, as they should have, I heard Shweta ma’am scream my name from the audience. Now, I am a person who can cry for anything and everything- having said that- Shweta ma’am doing that for me, was beyond what I could have ever expected. That alone was enough to make me feel like the entire auditorium was by my side too, because what else can you ask for? Professors who believe in you, your efforts and your passion are God sent. I could not completely express my gratitude on stage, but I have this blog. Shweta ma’am, Pravin Sir, Anuya ma’am, Shripad Sir, Antara ma’am and Dhrumi ma’am- all of these professors who were there and have been in my corner, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Annual Day, hit me like a big yellow school bus with a realisation that- I was screaming that I will not miss anything about Master’s, it proved me wrong right then.
Part of me tries to grasp the speed with which these changes are taking place. College made me shift gears rather quickly and I am not complaining. I’ve made friends in this course, after having made up my mind against it. February was spent cherishing how utterly wrong and stubborn I was. I have not posted in a month now. Guilt would have been my merry back seat passenger right now, but I am only overcome by happy memories. I believe to begin fresh from the next month, I need to look at the silver lining of the most unsettling month. Cheers to my class who unknowingly became that for me!
If you’re from class and are reading this, hugs are on the way!
See you soon with another blog! (No, really 😉 )