UCC: Random Thoughts

It has been two years. Time has moved fast, and I still remain where I was by the end of July 2013. I was going through the final stages of my project on vampire as a cultural construct at that time, and after two years, the vampires remain, or rather the ghosts of the vampires, and the new ones have also joined my imaginations. After two years, nothing really has happened with my life except for the fact that the distance has increased considerably; distance not just to one thing, but to many.

I am away from my college, the students and teachers, further than ever. We have moved from Aluva to the present location, which means myself and the college no longer shares the same town. Even after leaving Union Christian College, I used to wander around the place, having tea at the nearby restaurants and bakeries. I was close enough, and I had a few visits after I left officially. There were a few friends visited and the teachers were also there. The distance from my home to college remained three kilometres at that time.

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Now, it has all changed though. With the distance, the world itself has broken away into two, one from the past and the other of the present which is a void. My only hope remains that my former classmates will call me for their weddings. I do suspect that some of the girls might be already married and I never knew. I hope that the food at those functions was not that good; otherwise I will be very disappointed. Well, I guess that I was pretty much expendable and the time had arrived to use that particular characteristic – I feel that now.

Everyone has evolved into something else, and there are no assignments, seminars or projects to talk about or to be of help. So, there is more chance of my mobile number being scrapped, and someone can always say that it was the mobile which was lost or changed. They are more practical and I am a wanderer in the thoughts which won’t have any significance for a normal person these days. May be I can use that “former intellectual” tag and use it on my name plate, hanging it on the gate of my house as a memory.

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UC College has surely made me a better person, and I have talked about it on my earlier post. But the depressing thing was that it was too short a period of time for me. There were also enough strikes to make it even shorter. I feel it even more after watching the college in the movie Premam. But I would still not doubt the fact that it was the right time for me to study there. I did feel that the forces present there at that time were custom made for me, including the students and the faculty.

When you feel that a place has made you a better person, and now you have no connection with the same, it should feel terrible, or at least for me, it does. I know that as we consider the expected model of the college days, mine wouldn’t count as interesting. It is not worthy of being an entertaining collection of two years for humanity. I haven’t had a huge friend circle, and without those quiz programs, I would have been mostly unknown in my department too. But I was glad with what I had, and the books.

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I enjoyed watching the rain which made the college which is close to nature even more beautiful, joining my favourite lecturers for a cup of tea or having onion vada with one of those faces which I knew. I loved to go to the library and collect those vampire-related works, and I loved where I parked my car. I won’t say that it was about having fun, and for the same reason, it was closer to my heart. I have enjoyed loneliness with a book under the tree and keeping on ordering for more tea at the canteen while working on my vampire thesis. And now there is no connection. My previous post, The College Days at UCC which was a contest winner, had a more optimistic side, but it has been some time!

***The photos were taken by me at UC College; there are no surprises there.

TeNy

Choice of the Heart

Most of the times, there is more than one choice in our life; and it matters how those decisions are taken. All the time, the self-proclaimed people keeps asking us to take decisions from the mind instead of the heart. It has always been the brain who got more attention, and in the end, we wonder if the right decision was taken when it involved the brain – if the heart could have done better? Isn’t the brain getting too much attention in a word which needs more empathy an compassion?

It has never been easy to listen to the heart in our society which looks only for the winners. There have been better times for the heart in the later stages of my life, but not during those earlier times when I was at school. Yes, the first graduation course was also a decision of the mind which had to be changed, but the school days were not so different either. There was no option to choose from the heart – none of us had the choice; no man or woman had a real choice at that time.

When you see such clouds on the sky, good things can happen to you :P

The brain asks you to aim for the skies, but what does the heart say?

Yes, there were men who made the choice, but I don’t consider them as my role-models. As far as my little universe was considered, none of them were part of the same. All my friends as well as myself were caught in this option to make no real choice. We were forced to join a random graduation related to the IT field which was at its full power during that time, even though things were beginning to somewhat come down by the time the course was finishing.

Therefore, the decision to join BCA was made out of the mind, because it was the perfect and absolutely sane decision at that time. Everyone else had been spending time looking for those engineering colleges, and doing BCA meant that less money was to be spent and still with an MCA added to the degree, I could be none less than an engineer and also a post-graduate, thus one step forward. Yes, I had qualified in the Kerala Engineering Entrance Examinations of that time just with my guess work, but BCA and MCA combination seemed better.

The rays of the sun welcomed me almost everyday.

It was the season of darkness; but things change when the heart takes over.

It was never the time of the heart. Such times had no place for the heart, because the aim of the society was to make an engineer out of even zombies. Each and every parent wanted to say that the son or daughter was studying for engineering. It hasn’t changed much even now, and the coconut trees are complaining that there are more engineers than them, leading to a change in demographics which can be dangerous to the relationship between humans and the trees of the state.

I never had good times with BCA, unless you want to mention sleeping in the classes and never going to the college for days as “good times”. This meant that the brain was rather the selfish and the greedy one, making choices out of having no real choice, and calling it a bloody choice even without an existence. Brain had kept telling that this is still awesome, and you could go on saying to the people that you are doing BCA, thus making everyone happy. But the heart had other ideas.

On one of those rainy days, supported by the beauty and serenity of the monsoon, I decided to end this from the bottom of my heart. There was no point in it, and the same was supported by my mother. Even though the majority was still against this decision and wanted to go with the mind, once again taking my choice out of me, I decided against listening to the same people who stopped my heart from making decisions. I made the decision to quit BCA and take a graduation in BA English and Literature – that felt awesome and it was a dil ki deal!

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 and Samsung Star Duos.

TeNy

Through the Sands of Time

Every now and then, what has come between my heart and my mind has been a few great judgments. Some people, both men and women have the notion that men can do whatever they want and they are not judged. But it is a third-rate judgment in itself. We are all chosen to do what the society tells us to. There is nothing that I hate more than the generalization, and it is a disgusting attack on a person’s individuality – this statement itself is a judgment.

I have been a Literature student, and have read something from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains“. It is not in my power to say who is in chains of stainless steel and who is in the chain of rusting iron, because the situation is not the same everywhere. But one thing I am sure about is that I have been judged throughout my life, and I have seen the same as a perfect example of why the bloody judgment about being judged is not limited to a gender.

Every thought about Aluva takes you back the River Periyar for no reason :D

In a grand universe in which the man is so minute, society makes a mockery of him.

This calls for a flashback, and the sands of time has been reset to that period when I was going to do my thesis for MA English. I have already written about the seasons of judgment when I decided to halt my BCA and also when I started pursuing English Literature. Here is another one, as the season of judgment has been something like an eternal, hot summer. The strength of the same has never ceased to amaze me.

I have a pretty good list of judges, and there was one who came home and asked me about the thesis I was doing. It was his right to ask about the same because he hadn’t read English or any literature for such a long time. I told him that I was doing something on vampire and related culture based on a number of Gothic horror works which featured vampires, and was using some traditional beliefs to support the same.

And everything finishes with the silver lining of the great vampire thesis.

Despite not scoring the top marks, this thesis is a bonus to my individuality.

Actually, there was absolutely no need to explain it in detail, and things got kind of worse. The doubt was like why would somebody do a thesis on vampires which are like the demons which are evil? I was surprised that there were too many people asking the same question after that. I had the extreme privilege of being not the good person that I was supposed to be, and that came out of nowhere.

With all my lecturers at college providing full support, didn’t I have the right to do thesis on whatever topic I wanted? How is it that a part of my studies determine if I was good or evil? I have had the free advice to change the topic and do something on Bard of Avon or my namesake who had enough works for a big project, and that was normal. May be if the focus was at least not on the blood-sucking, it was still better.

But I had enough of this nonsense, and I had changed too many things in my life for others. So, I decided to stay judged for this one; I had to be judged for working with blood-suckers rather than a huge tree which stood alone in the middle of a beautiful meadow or a lovely maiden who waited for her lover, and there was always the dumb fiction. The mind still said that this one won’t fetch me a high score as it was about “the vampire”, but heart told me to go on.

I didn’t score that high in the end, and the right decision was indeed to change this topic which the normal people never liked. But I didn’t want the right decision, because I wanted to be judged for making the choice. This judgment was to be my personal bliss. I finally got that, and was never happier, because I was extremely good at what I did, and despite some people not liking it, I enjoyed every bit of reading about the vampires. This is where I followed my heart, and I had chosen not to score high marks, because I study to know; I do this with all my heart to read more and more – this was a true dil ki deal! I felt good, and I felt like a vampire who inherited a lovely castle from Count Dracula.

“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

***The two photos used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 camera.

TeNy

Making that One Decision

The memories go to those diabolical moments a few years back, and there I was caught in a giant web which had more than huge spider supplying dilemma creating a series of more and more complex webs. There was the need to make a choice, but I couldn’t go on with it. My decision making ability had hit some new lows right there, making me wonder if the correct decision could ever be made me with the presence of perpetual doubts which never seemed to end.

It was the time when I was turning into full-time cynic from a part-time doubter. I was caught within the web of BCA which I neither liked or was ever interested in. I never really studied and went to the college very rarely. Even during the classes, I spent too much time on the sleepy side, never really making an attempt to understand anything. It seemed to be an bottomless pit of nothingness where I was staying for almost no reason, and the number of webs were only growing, only to make things worse.

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Life was going on and on like nothing really mattered. It was to go on in a never-ending manner in which I was to fail, collect back-papers and keep writing the exams to make it a nice five year plan. I could still not be persuaded to study better. Each and everyday, I would get on my Honda Unicorn or TATA Indica and go all the way to the college travelling those thirteen kilometres for almost no real reason. I even had no good friends and there was absolutely no point of that journey.

One day, when I was doing nothing as usual, and wasting my time as if time and tide waited for me at the bus station, my mother asked me if I really wanted to do this. She added that she should have asked the same question before I joined the course as suggested by some uncles, but that wouldn’t have mattered because her opinion wouldn’t have been of any value. She said that this was the time for me to make a stand.

It was not like I had never made a stand, but I have had the same opinion as my mother, that whatever stand I take, it is not going to change anything in a positive manner. I have had my choices of school, but my opinions were never taken into consideration. The points by some of the relatives and fake friends always made more impact in the decision making at our home. Even for Plus Two, I had wished to take the Humanities group, but I had scored too much to go for what they called the “inferior group”.

So when she said that I should make a decision on this, I didn’t want to do anything other than to stop this ridiculous course which made no sense to me, and with so much less teaching going on and nobody in the class really studying, this was going to bring nothing positive. I decided to end this procedure of a course which was going nowhere. I decided to go to the Mahatma Gandhi University and cancel this course which I did, even as most of my relatives were completely against the idea and wanted me to go on studying this forever until I pass.

I joined BA English after that, and with most of my friends of BCA still trying to clear the exams, she told me that it was the best stand that I had ever taken, and it is the first major positive decision of a great value that I had ever made. It is because of her words of encouragement and support that she had provided, that I was able to change my graduation which had a great influence on my post-graduation, making me want to be that PG graduate rather than go with the flow and reach somewhere not really fitting in.

***The image used in this blog post is from HDFC’s IndiBlogger Campaign Page. The blog post was written as part of the Happy Hours Campaign from HDFC Life in association with IndiBlogger. They have surely managed to come up with one of the best advertisements for their product as you have seen in the video above. Do find some time to check: http://www.hdfclife.com/

TeNy

Kochi Biennale 20:20

I do still want to visit Kochi Biennale (http://kochimuzirisbiennale.org) this year, but it turns out that I am too lazy to travel that far and have been unable to find someone who can go there with me. Yes, finding partners to see art has never been this difficult. Therefore, I was looking at the photos taken by me during last Biennale and I wish to share twenty of them with you. All of them were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 and chosen just because they look interesting for me now at the first look 😀

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Keep calm and hope to go for Biennale 😀

TeNy

UC as in You See and MGU

One year has passed after completing that voyage from a student to a former student at Union Christian College, Alwaye (UCC). It was rather an expedition for the cause of being an UCean which started with the Mahatma Gandhi University’s Centralized Allotment Process, something which made sure that I would get the admission, something which would have not been possible with a normal procedure and without Divine intervention. There haven’t been many of my friends who admire MG University and its way of operations, but I do; for even as I admit that I did suffer with its Off Campus Department working with that Distance Education, the rest has actually worked so well for me. I might need to complain about my total percentage like everyone else, but I am mostly a pessimist and a cynic who lacks focus, so no complaints about it from my side.

The first rays of a UC morning (taken on my GT-B7722)

The first rays of a UC morning (taken on my GT-B7722)

MGU’s CAP procedure made sure that I had the admission through a straight path, and there was something else about it, and it is about the out of syllabus questions that it comes up with. Yes, it once came up with the question who is Mrs Norris; the answer being the pet cat of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts – I love when they come up with such questions, which I can proudly answer just because of a random reading or movie watching habit instead of studying those books which are forced on us. I didn’t remember the owner’s name, but the other details including its petrification in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were clear in the mind. I have always hoped for them to ask some purely Gothic horror question out of syllabus, they never did though.

Whatever is closest to the tree of life :D (GT-B7722)

Whatever is closest to the tree of life 😀 (GT-B7722)

MGU, you are an intellectual beauty, and what you did with a lot of out of syllabus questions was to make the students think and read more literature making the library of some use. I know that a lot of students might despise the same, but I don’t. I admire what came up there even as nobody there might have really wanted that to happen. What English Literature students need are those out of syllabus questions, because you can’t restrict the post graduation in Literature to a few books, for it is a vast subject and questions has to come in such a way that the best readers get the better score instead of those who just memorize for the examinations. It would have even prepared us better for the NET exams. I shall choose to be a pariah rather than not support an out of syllabus question paper for MA English. I would say “add a little more history to it too”.

We are now not unlike this tree (GT-B7722)

We are now not unlike this tree (GT-B7722)

Being a UCean is a prestige, and it might not be something that one realizes when he or she is already studying there. We take our wonderful situation as granted, and a few months later, we realize that we should have considered it with that reverence that it actually deserved. But we are lost within such trivial matters that are so inconsequential that the fact rarely come up in our minds. We are lost not in the fog, but the haar of the coast, being caught in the imaginary British Literary Isles. But out reminiscences of our days at the college come up later, and that happens with such strength that it is impossible to resist, and with that strength comes unbelievable durability of the memories. We were all the riders to the sea, and now we are the fallens angels of that lost paradise, except for those who had chosen to turn Faustus and sell their souls to Mephistopheles.

Nature is happiness, it has always been (GT-B7722)

Nature is happiness, it has always been (GT-B7722)

When the life turns rather nugatory, that black hole which has been created in this busy world of chaos, turns on you and make you realize about its supernatural ability of preventing escape, and the first thing that it reminds you about, is that beautiful free world that you left behind, an year ago – the end of them all came in August 2013, even as the results came in December last year. There is no longer a free world, as the constraints stretch its arms towards you and works as dementors, feeding off the happiness and bringing out that mighty despair which converts itself to the mighy gladiator which has finally found a worthy amphitheatre. At that moment, UCC comes back to you, and the need to be a student again becomes stronger than ever. It was not just good being a student, it was awesome.

And then you give that building one last look (GT-B7722)

And then you give that building one last look (GT-B7722)

There is the morning light that you see at the college as you become one of the first students to set your foot on the college land every single day, and the meaning of the light becomes poetry when you are no longer that student. There is the evening sun which shines with its strange light going through the branches covered by green, reflecting on my Chevrolet Beat, a vision that inspires immortality. Then there is the tree under which you sit and read some random novel you take from the reading room or the library becomes the history book that you lost in the war that was to follow, randomly collecting the daily battles which are never won by any side. All the tea that you had from that canteen between the class hours is that memory which asks to be awakened – but you can’t go for tea from the class room if there is no class any more, right? How can one have the opportunity to be absent when there is no class? My absence is of no value any more, and makes me doubt my own existence.

Finally, the sun sets on thee and thy car (GT-B7722)

Finally, the sun sets on thee and thy car (GT-B7722)

UCC was the perfect place for me to be. It was always supposed to be so. But what does it take to realize the same? Not just some wrong decisions, but also two years of being there along with a few more months of pondering over it. But the question remains if it would have been any better if this worked more like school and I could just fail to stay in the same class for longer, for I would like to think that the time period between 2011 and 2013 was almost perfect for my existence there, and a few years early or just a little bit later might have taken the beauty out of it. Some things come late, and there is certainly a time for everything – some of them working well and the others working terrible, but all of them should come to an end, that ragnorak which happened and I never gave it the significane it deserved – damned be those pettifogging things which intervened.

I miss the tea at the canteen, parking the Chevrolet Beat under that huge tree, the quiz competitions and the English Department plus all the bloody green trees and even the grass. Above all, I miss literature in all its glory, and I lack inspiration with all its opulence, for I can no longer visualize Valhalla or Avalon 😦

TeNy