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August 7, 2021
- Saumya Mehra
Nothing better than choco milk, friend, and movies

I am very glad that my college degree stipulated that I graduate in four years. However, if someone had told me when I was in my second year that I had an option to graduate then, I would have taken the option as easily as it is for me to choose my favourite and the only sub I order from Subway(you literally can’t go wrong with chicken kofta).
Second year was basically the “middle of nowhere”, a dreary walk that I just wanted to get over with(which in the beginning I was very ambitious and excited about) , a road trip where all you see is “literally” the same trees pass by in a blur as you go restless and ask your parents, “How long will it take to reach?” after every ten minutes. To me, that time was following the same old routine as every student followed but in my mind, mine seemed the gloomiest and the most repetitive. I was always eager to want for a change without really putting in the effort that was required, without pressing a bit harder on the gas pedal lest I should get into an accident even though the road seemed pretty clear.

But even then, I’m extremely glad that I graduated now, not because I’m “relieved”(alright maybe, slightly, yes) but because I did so on a good note. Because now I look back at college associating it with a good experience overall despite the journey having a few bumps on the road.
Of course, the last four years changed me and shaped me to a huge extent(as time, as an experience gaining aspect usually does) but I’m really thankful that it had to be this college in particular. The things I’m glad for may sound trivial and mundane but I think it all worked out well anyway. My B.Tech discipline gifted me with knowledge and perspective, yes, but it also helped me find my best friend. This may not be college related but my name helped me find a friend in a namesake( not the first time this has happened, I have a very common name I think).
I am an introvert, INFJ, if I have to use a term popular these days. So I didn’t really interact with a lot of people, and didn’t really like staying in groups. This made me feel I was missing out on a lot of college experiences considering the more “extroverted” aspects of college life are romanticized everywhere. As I had already mentioned, second year seemed particularly dreary because it was now consolidated that I’d stick to the daily routine and wouldn’t do much outside of it. It was almost as if I was punishing myself for not being able to revel in activities that I didn’t even like.
However, I am so glad that the next year, or precisely the later half of the next year things started to change for the better. I had started walking in the mornings and I was surprised that the campus looked way prettier than when I’d catch glimpses of the landscape while rushing to class within five minutes while in reality it takes a good fifteen minutes. My entire camera roll would easily be full of nearly ten to fifteen pictures everyday and I’d be happy starting off my day like that. Although yes, I do remember there were a couple of times when I had to wake up at six thirty A.M instead of the usual seven because one of my friends who lived nearby would sleep through her alarm clock at that time. But that was okay because we’d laugh about how I’d go to her room, tiptoeing my way to turn it off.
There’s no way I can’t talk about walking and not show some of the pictures that I had clicked(this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, the moment to let my pictures be seen by a lot more people)


One of my favourites, I’m guessing it’s a mushroom species


An abandoned shack(?) in one of the gardens


It looked so much better irl

Walking for me(specifically on campus) was not just an exercise to keep myself up and active, it also made me happier, albeit a little more. The fact that I could take solo walks in one of the prettiest places I’ve ever known was enough to make me feel giddy as I’d enhance my stride. I also sort of miss the familiar faces I used to see every morning. It was like a different dimension altogether, where the morning environment, the people and the “vibes” around would be way different than the academic and social environment I was used to later in the day.
I take this writing to be a thanks from me to the smallest to largest aspects of my college, because these are the things that shaped me as the person I am today. Keeping that in mind, I’d also like to thank (and this is very obvious and slightly anticlimactic), the food.
When I was in my first year, I missed my dinner in the mess due to some important work, I was sad because I’d thought that I’d have to sleep hungry(the fact that we have a canteen didn’t quite cross the mind of the fresher who had tunnel vision back then) But then one of my friends suggested I go to the canteen and have kurkure of all things with a soft drink of my choice. She also said that that makes for a fulfilling dinner. It wasn’t the healthiest for obvious reasons but I did get addicted to it for a week or so(crying emoji). Can’t believe someone got me addicted to this of all things that people usually get addicted to in a typical engineering college(more sarcastic sobbing).
But this doesn’t even match the euphoria I’d feel, coming from a long day of classes upon classes, going straight into the hostel, not to my room, but the canteen first. It was quite a sport to decide what you wanted amongst a plethora of tasty dishes and try to order them when there would be a long queue, I’m sorry, an impenetrable crowd, in front of the counter. The end result would be all worth it though. We’d sit at one of the tables, eat, and discuss everything from pop culture, politics, my love for Korean music(which wouldn’t quite be reciprocated by my friend but I did hear her murmur a song once so that’s a win for me).
Food and friends really go hand in hand and reciprocate each other. Without friends I wouldn’t have found out the heavenly paranthas that they sold near the CBRI building, the mouth watering afghani chicken. And of course, without food it wouldn’t have strengthened my bond with my friends as much.
I’d also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the people of our literary magazine group, Kshitij. Back when I was in school, all I wanted was to be friends with people who’d also read books as I did. But the one comment I’d always get was the usual, “Why would you read books when you can watch movies?” Well, I say why do one thing when you can do both? The fact that I got an opportunity to make friends with a whole group of bibliophiles seems too good to be true. We didn’t just brainstorm over magazine ideas, collaborate on writing poems and prose together, and(the best of all) rehearse and help each other with writing slam poetry but also got to have lots of fun.


This is entitled, “context-less”

It was really fun hanging out with them, we shared some of the best experiences I’ve had so far and I am so glad it’s with them.

Moving on, I also feel thankful for the e-rickshaws which were a medium for me to explore a city that I wasn’t familiar with. Going out of the campus to buy essential stuff for myself already made me feel as if I was adulting, although I was doing so only in a small bubble which felt like a macrocosm of its own.
Magnifying into this small macrocosm, I don’t think I’d ever forget the buildings here, which weren’t just picturesque from the outside and inside but also made my life more scenic. Sitting in the classroom I’d keep a steady eye at the clock, wanting the class to get over; but then my friend nearby would distract me by showing me something funny she sketched in class. I know classes have primarily an academic purpose too, don’t fear, which is why I’m glad I got to learn and best of all, learn to express myself via groups, debates and discussions. It really helped me open up a bit more and not be afraid to express myself (because part of it does mandatorily count towards my grade so I had to do it anyway, but at least I also got something good out of it; that too, for my own good).
The library. I am not the one to study regularly at the library. But sometimes I’d have an urge to go to that familiar, comfortably warm place even though I had convinced myself I work best in my own comfort, i.e my room. Or perhaps I had been a bit prejudiced because one time, a friend and I tried to spend an all nighter there for an exam; not a good experience for me. But I’d still go to the libraries, although not all the time. But then again, it was the libraries that really helped me complete my reports and projects on time and probably added a bit more discipline in my life for when I’d feel ‘the slump’.
The stairs of the main building was where all the meetings, gossip and group workings would take place. Something about the place really made me all the more excited even though we’d have meetings at the end of the day, when I’d feel especially dreary. I won’t lie, it used to be difficult to get out of bed but so worth it to socialise in the end.
I can’t forget my most favourite building, the multi activity centre(besides probably my hostel). As the name suggests, I’d do a lot of things there, from being a performer to being part of the audience, to buying stationary goods (who doesn’t love that) to idly drinking coffee. The best of all would obviously be again, unsurprisingly the food. Whether it was going with my friends to the food court or winding down after class with a hot chocolate in hand or going solo on a weekend morning when I’d wake up late and miss breakfast at the hostel. After having eaten my food, I’d go back to my hostel, eating ice cream, on a path less traveled than most as was evident from the calm silence I’d feel wash over me as I’d traverse this path.


Perhaps the cloudy weather helps it, but I really cannot miss this mundane road, maybe it was the satisfaction of having eaten a nice meal, or that I’d be eating an ice cream as I’d walk along, or the extremely few people on the road.

Fast forward to the iffy year of 2020. If I had to graph out ‘having the best time’ vs ‘months in 2020’ then the graph would straight away go all the way up for the months of January and February, and steadily go down by the end of march(for reasons well known). Beginning of 2020 was the time when I was at my best when it came to feeling gratuitous towards everything around me; this made me much happier than I usually was. Most days even seemed like snippets from a youtube vlog of someone else’s life you’d want to vicariously live; except, this was mine own.


I mean, how can you not romanticise this

I really don’t think however, that there’s any way I can express the sudden void that I felt when it very slowly started to dawn on me that the sweet, plain sailing, day to day experiences were actually all my last. Not at all knowing that activities such as having a meal at a cafe, going to lecture building, taking pictures of this pretty place, bidding friends a goodbye as everyone went back to their hometown after exams for a week would actually be my last.


For example, the (unknowingly) last ever picture of roorkee that I took; also don’t you think it makes a cool album cover?

While all the amassing feelings did hit me like a truck, I’d have to say they were well assuaged by the fact that I still had my friends to talk to. Video chatting, watching movies, and most importantly, reminiscing, were things that kept me tethered. Strangely, I can’t and won’t forget about my last month at my college.


Squirrel said, nothing goes to waste here. Also glad it came along because it gave me a slight relief as I was getting nervous before an exam


The prettiest clouds and colours

This is random but when I had to go to my first ever class at this college, I had no idea where it was held. I cycled, and I’m not joking, the entire campus aimlessly just to find the lecture hall (needless to say I got there very late). I was actually pretty close to it. I was near the parking lot) but I still couldn’t find it. I asked one of the e-rickshaw drivers if he could tell me where it was. He simply pointed it out to me in a matter of factly way, and I still couldn’t figure it out. Eventually he gave me a ride to the lecture hall complex anyway. I say this cause I want to mention that I was this level of clueless when I had first come to college. Perhaps a part of it was fear and the feeling of unfamiliarity. I know that everyone knows this but I think that it is one of the best feelings in the world (and it only gradually dawns on you) that something so beautiful, reminiscent, gratifying, enjoyable, unique and a totally untradeable experience which has the power to shape you into the most ‘you’ that you can ever be, could mature out of feelings of obliviousness, hesitancy and unfamiliarity.


I hope to see you soon