The latest list of top-ranked colleges in India is out. The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (HRD) has unveiled the 4th edition of the NIRF rankings. As far as the colleges are concerned, the Miranda House (University of Delhi) )has occupied the top spot for the third time in a row. The Hindu College, one of the University of Delhi’s finest colleges, has jumped two places to occupy the second spot.
Now come the universities. The Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru has been rated as the best university. The 2nd spot has been occupied by the Jawahar Lal University (Delhi).
After glancing through the rankings, a feeling of nostalgia overpowering me. It was an indomitable force. My years at college remind me of the crushes I had, the bunks that could never be materialized, and the trip to Goa that died a slow and painful death.
The journey began in 2012. I remember walking into the classroom on the first day at college. I was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC) from the Jagannath Institute of Management Studies, Vasant Kunj. Back in 2012, the skies were bright and sunny. Back then, the skies were bright and sunny. I was a teenager and life was a cakewalk. Money was never a problem. I had complete access to my father’s ‘Swiss Bank Account’.
Completing assignments was a mere formality and the cafetaria happened to be the favourite bunking spot. Some of you might disagree, but I strongly believe that a bunk is incomplete without a large bowl of smoking-hot Cheese Maggi.
Now comes the most interesting part of the story. There was a liquor shop ( a ‘theka’) right behind the college. There were people who loved drinking. I remember a day when as many as 50 ( yes you heard that right) bottles of beer were smuggled into the classroom.
For a teetotaller such as myself, the theka didn’t hold too much importance. I was the front-row geek. Also, I have no hesitation in admitting that I was quit an annoying student. I used to ask a lot of questions. While others were busy bunking classes, I used to attend all the classes in order to prepare detailed notes. Completing assignments wasn’t all that difficult.
Frankly, my diligence didn’t earn me a lot of friends. To be very honest, I was an introvert (I still am). Some of you might find it hard to believe, but I must admit that I was quite popular with the girls. Ah, not because I was the stud of the class, but because I helped them complete all their assignments on time.
Okay, so now comes the most interesting part of the story. I too, like many others, fell in love. It happened during the final year. I remember her face quite clearly. She was a young lady of about 22 i.e. a year elder than me. Her complexion was wheatish. We met for the first time at the liquor shop just behind the college. I had gone there in order to get some change. I saw here holding a bottle of beer of bear in one hand and a cigarette in the other. We exchanged a few nonchalant glances before she went out of sight. I had a crush on her, I must admit. To be honest, I never felt that morons such as myself can also fall in love ( Back then, I thought it was love). ‘Love’ died a slow and tragic death when I was told by one of my friends that she was already in a committed relationship with a 2nd year student.
I must also admit that bunking a class wasn’t my cup of tea. While others were busy bunking classes, I found it hard to step out of the class. In case I forgot to mention, I used to download a lot of films using the classroom’s Wi-Fi connection. I remember a day when as many as 14 films were downloaded. Watching films while sitting in the cafeteria used to be my preferred pastime.
So, that’s pretty much about it. To be honest, Ican write a 600-page-long book on my ‘so called’ college life. The story’s pretty much endless. Simply put, I can say that my college life was great. The pressure to perform was minimal and there was no unhealthy competition.