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Bye Roorkee

June 25, 2022
- Aditya Ramkumar

Quoting Surya’s memoir “This is the last piece I will write for Watch Out!, I figured in for a penny, in for a pound. Proceed at your own peril.”

I find the act of writing a memoir for a magazine that I once edited slightly weird and self-aggrandizing but meh, since this doesn’t have a rainbow or a Dean’s face on the cover I doubt anyone is getting worked up.

College was fun, actually. Not all of it. But fun enough.

In some ways, I only remember the first and last years of college. There is an obvious contributor to this (the disease) but the start & end are marked with a sense of freedom and excitement/anticipation for the future. The fact that things worked out for me probably has something to do with it as well. The middle is characterized by a ton of anxiety and in smaller amounts, labour. In hindsight, these seem unwarranted but it definitely didn’t feel that way back then.

A lot has happened that I did not anticipate. I discovered music that I had only heard in my dreams (and managed to perform some of it), I got to go to Worlds (which in first year was something that happened to people from another planet), discovered I actually like my major (haha who would have thought) and ran a magazine (fun, would recommend). I met a lot of very cool people who have left an impact on me in ways they may not realise.

I am not the same person that entered Roorkee in my first year. More accurately, I am finally starting to be an actual person (sort of). A lot of this is purely down to chance encounters and being in the right place at the right time. Some things have stayed the same but a lot has changed drastically. It’s not like I do not regret any of my actions in the past 4 years but first-year me makes me want to vomit and that’s a good thing. I think.

It is strange and fascinating how we find ways to enjoy even the most depressing of circumstances and recalibrate our sense of what is normal. Despite all the rosy-rosy romanticism surrounding Roorkee, there are a lot of not nice things here. You are a perpetual “child” that must beg for the bare minimum alongside a student base drunk on its ability to crack a 12th-grade science exam, whose every half-baked thought must be the cutting-edge of intellectualism because we are the chosen ones. The Cr*** of the Nation which leaves people with the fear of being hate-crimed.

A little hypocritical but I guess I am allowed to use that phrase now that I am no longer a member of Watch Out!.

All of this, of course, is in addition to the usual competitiveness and career stress and whatnot. If you have read this far, I would encourage you to find out more about the recent history of the campus (WO! Archives, newspapers, Channeli, even confession pages) & to stalk the SAC IITR Facebook Group. Particularly, read up more about the Pinjra Tod protests from half a decade ago. Paints a pretty interesting picture of the environment on campus.

In terms of gyan I have nothing new to say but would recommend Neil & Mohan Agrawal’s memoirs and applying your own judgement. The suggestions in Utkarsh Ruhela’s memoir seem pretty cool. I would recommend trying Rustic’s Veg Kurkure (thank you, Vansh) and Sun-dried Pesto Pizza.

I would also recommend a sunrise campus walk on a foggy winter morning. Bonus if you worked all night and are buzzing. I find that shoegaze/dreampop is the best soundtrack for the foggy darkness. (Depression Cherry - Beach House, Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins)

For what it is worth, I am satisfied with my time here and look forward to what is next. I carry with me the imprint of my time in Roorkee. In my clothes, my music, my speech and dreams. Best of Luck, Roorkee. Will we meet again?