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The place that had all the magic I needed...

June 1, 2022
- Ifra Adil

The four years have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Here I am, writing this memoir as a graduating senior with the hope that when I am eighty years old sitting in my rocking chair and I’ll be re-reading this and my family will say to me, “After all this time?” and I’ll say, “Always.”

Dear Roorkee, In the beginning, I was forced to choose you because you were the nearest option available and my forever worried parents wanted to keep their little daughter close to their eyes. Out of sheer helplessness, I gave you a chance, unaware of all the magic you had for me waiting to be discovered. Leaving home and beginning life in a new place can be a nerve-racking experience but nothing can be more reassuring when one realizes that one’s college is a realization of a fantasy world that one had been imagining since childhood and so were you Roorkee, my very own personal Hogwarts.

Have you ever heard that beautiful Japanese phrase ‘Koi no Yokan’ which roughly translates into ‘an inexplicable feeling when you may soon fall in love’, I experienced that when I fell in love with you the first time I saw you. Right from the moment I stepped here, your aura engulfed me. With the bright blue sky and the lush green campus and the main building that stands tall like a beacon of beauty, Roorkee you were no less than a fairytale.

I remember I was just an ordinary bespectacled girl with unruly hair with hundreds of documents in my hands, and hope with some simple expectations in my heart when I first entered through the main gate and timidly asked the guard uncle, “Bhaiya, convo ka raasta kidhar se hai?” and wondered how cool it would be if I could get a marauder’s map of this ginormous campus.

And, then it all began, the registration at the convocation hall and all the fun after that. I still remember it vividly, when some random senior was giving us gyan about the campus culture during orientation and I was trying hard to listen to him, a boy with a stupid smile was sitting in front of me, and his constant flipping of bottles was irritating me to the core. Without a second thought, I shouted and asked him to stop. He was startled as he muffled his apology and in that second I realized that I might have acted impatiently. Little did I know that he would not only irritate me on the first day but was going to do the same for the next four years. He later became my best friend and an integral part of my college life.

After that, I took part in various events of the fresher’s week - the fresher’s marathon, treasure hunt, the epic freshers vs faculties football match, face painting competition, DJ nights, etc. I met new people and formed new bonds. I got a pretty nice and cooperative roommate, cool branch mates, and a bunch of adorable friends who were just as sane as I was. These strange places and strange faces eventually started feeling like home.


The irritating guy with the stupid smile I told you about. Now, He is my favorite Hogwartsian who Expecto Patronum all my boggarts and he absolutely deserves a whole paragraph space in this memoir.


My hype girls squad made the hostel feel like home

Later the classes began and so did the tutorials and the practicals. It was never about the boring lectures or the never-ending assignments or the quizzes which were bombarded on you when you least expected it, but the company around me that made them bearable. Well, our academics and our grades are just the objective representation of our performance in college and they are of course important as we have come here after cracking one of the hardest examinations of JEE, sacrificing all our pleasure and freedom for two years but they are not all that there is. One must know how to strike a balance between academics and social life. Roorkee gave me a chance to revitalize and enjoy every moment to the fullest and taught me how to manage different things simultaneously.

Well, I should tell you, Roorkee is way too diverse to be completely explored and way too colorful to be fully perceived by one soul. There are diverse campus groups that allow you to explore your deep down interests to the fullest. There are groups you can never imagine could exist - be it cultural or technical, entrepreneurship or finance, culinary or cubing. You can be a part of any of these and can cultivate any skills you like. You can even create your own group with like-minded people of your very own interest on any idea you like.

As for myself, I was a member of the marketing team of Cognizance and I also joined the Fine Arts Section to bring justice to my little childhood interest in paintings. I got to meet more new people and I learned new skills. There were diligent and ambitious seniors who were way too supportive and they efficiently managed everything. Pulling all-nighters to work and getting things done, their commitment surely encouraged everyone there to perform efficiently, lift their spirits, and push their limits. Never did I imagine that I would be going to different places to conduct awareness drives on the so-called taboo topic of menstrual hygiene or would be conducting UTSE (Uttarakhand Talent Search Examination) for all the school students of the state or would be participating in the Inter IIT or would be making a three-floor long flex painting. I am glad that I got to be a part of something much bigger than myself in these groups.


HASI (Health and Sanitation Initiative for girls). Spreading smiles, Diminishing Taboos


All set for UTSE 2020

Roorkee is a place that allows us to grow and shape our personalities in unimaginable ways. One comes here as a blank canvas and it is up to us how we paint it with all the colors we have. The final masterpiece is the net sum of the myriad of experiences and endeavors we take on this journey. Anything we do other than doing nothing contributes to the end product we become.

As I have already told you, Roorkee is all about experiences and people. It is about the memories one makes here because, in the end, nothing else is going to stay with us. Bunking classes, marking proxies, adjusting the readings in practicals just to get the minimum error, spending hours at Georgia and student’s club, exploring the rooftops of all the departments and activity centers, infinite ‘chapos’, divine parties, Thomso’s, and Cogni’s pro nites, night out at Ganga canal and sunrise at Solani, telling ghost stories about the haunted old KB, coffee dates at CCD, IITR discount at all local restaurants, the group studies at library and, the selfies and photographs with the main building as the perfect background are what make this four years experience unforgetful. ‘Bakchod’, ‘Chapo’, ‘Ghissu’, and ‘GPL’, aren’t mere words but emotions, and once you pass out of this campus, your ears will yearn forever to hear them again.


Impromptu trips to Rishikesh with the last minute plans


Planning surprises for a friend’s birthday was an oh-so-wholesome task


When you see your answer sheets and realize CG to doobne hi wali hai and you console each other by saying ‘Sab Moh Maya hai, Chalo Himalaya pe chalte hai’ and the next thing you know that you have already left for Mussoorie

Well, it will be an injustice if I didn’t mention Darpan, the most colorful and magical time of the year in this memoir. The art exhibition in our section with a whole different vibe. Months of brainstorming to push the limits of creativity and patience to try the artforms we can’t even think of, be it making a thousand origami cranes or Monalisa with four kilometers of threads or the three-floor long flex painting I tell about before, seeing all my section members giving their best to strive through perfection and to take the exhibition to the next level in scale as well as variety every year so as to imprint the campus with their colors gave me the most wholesome feeling in the world. And I know for sure I AM SO GONNA MISS THOSE DARPAN DAYS AND ALL THE TIME I SPENT WITH MY NEELOOS, PEELOOS, AND GEELOOS OF THE FINE ARTS SECTION.


My favorite time of the year. Prep for Darpan


Team Darpan’22

Here at Roorkee, I have met the best of people. I have been fortunate enough to come across people who have shown kindness and generosity towards me when I least expected it. I have come across people who have patiently listened to me until my overthinking mind is calm enough. I may have a laundry list of character defects that made me go off tangent multiple times but these people never shoved them at my face or never used my flaws against me to prove a point. These are the people who have flowers in their mouths, paintbrushes for their fingertips, and those who will always leave you with a feeling of caramel wrapped around your heart. These are those people whom once you meet, all the world’s metaphors start making sense. You will never know what in this world you have done to deserve them but you’ll be forever grateful that you found them.


The AntShant Chemicool engineers and the reason I survived through the kinetics and thermodynamics of the tuts and lectures for four years


IIT Roorkee has been the most memorable journey, the one I will hold the closest to my heart. When the outside muggle world was getting too overwhelming, Roorkee always seemed like a safe haven. My journey here was like a piano with black and white keys. Joy and sorrow both took turns making me dance to their tune. But altogether, it added up to a treasure trove of incredible experiences in my life and formed the perfect melody. As I graduate, the song might meet its end but this melody will continue to linger for a long time.