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From Duggal to Nikhil Sir

June 22, 2022
- Nikhil Duggal



This is the 5th time I’m editing this memoir, still feeling that it is incomplete. How can one sum up memories, experiences, learnings, adventures, conclusions in a single memoir.

How can I forget that day, when I first stepped in R-land. With no idea of staying here, I just came for registration. After the registration, I was not allowed to go back home. I landed up at this unfamiliar place without saying goodbye to anyone, without any stuff with me.

Things became better after campus walks, looking at the large LBS stadium, tennis courts, pool tables and other facilities. People around started becoming familiar, got new friends.

I remember the kind of person I was in my first year. I have not met anyone similar in my 5 years. As I came to stay in the hostel for the first time, everything was new to me. People doing things together, alone (those who know they know), unity, activities, all these were new to me.

I faced many problems in the beginning as everyone does. I was sued for complaining about ragging done by seniors (which was a misunderstanding as I wasn’t the person who gripped). Following this incident, I was threatened with exclusion from the Archi culture and other activities by the seniors. I used to get calls from Deans and wardens. That tempest didn’t as yet settle, I documented a grumbling against my roommate for bullying. The whole C-block gang began to boycott me.

But that transition from “crying for home” to “not willing to go back home” is truly attributed to the amazing campus culture of R land.

During this same period, I was recruited in my first campus group, SPIC MACAY. The seniors at SPIC MACAY were a lot more accepting and cherishing than the Architecture ones. The SPIC MACAY family was extremely supportive and helpful in assisting me in overcoming all of my impediments.

This was followed by my recruitment in the Thomso design team. Life became quite interesting and busy at that time. Those all nighters, sitting in front of the main building at night, group assignments of architecture can be forgotten ever.

Due to thomso, I also got recruited to Wellness Center (then Counseling Cell) as a designer. I also got recruited to Fine Arts for the forthcoming semester.

This was just the beginning of college life. We stayed back in winters to participate in an architectural competition, NASA which was followed by trips to Nainital and Kerala. It was the time I got to interact well with architecture seniors.

In the following semester, fine arts organized its mesmerizing annual exhibition “DARPAN”. We used to work day and night in section and left all the classes for a week. Darpan was accompanied by an amazing trip to Dalhousie with SPIC MACAY team.

This is how the first year became so interesting with so much learning. I started to interact with people confidently.

The number of groups and activities expanded to 11 in the second year. Thomso, Inter IIT cult meet and Darpan took all of my time. My prof used to sit with me and make me list down the things I was doing. I remember the dinner I had with my prof at 11 PM in Azad canteen. All this taught me Time management. How one needs to prioritize things, how to learn saying no. Still I’m learning the same. Had to leave things many times. Wellness people still call me the person with dialogue, “10 minutes me aaya”.

I went to my first architecture internship after my second-year summers.

My pre-final year bestowed upon me the most precious titles of position holders in campus groups. To mention some, I became Thomso’s Head of Design (TOC), Joint Secretary of Fine Arts, Design Secretary of Wellness Center, and Design Coordinator of SPIC MACAY.

Things became so fast, attending three meetings a day, managing teams to work in a streamlined way, teaching juniors the culture, managing academics with all this, roaming in campus with someone (those who know they know), partying with juniors.

My life was as exciting as one could dream of. When there was perfect coherence between my social and productive life, from nowhere did this Coronavirus appear and we were sent back home. I got some time in my life. We stayed back for a few days and completed the wall painting of the Dragon behind Georgia.

Unlike others, the lockdown period for me was a true blessing. It gave me a new spiritual life. I launched my YouTube channel to bridge the knowledge gap between seniors and juniors. Not only this, I headed various tournaments and received several awards.

I also got the opportunity to become founder of Martet, a social company. We began with a group of 30 people. The core team currently consists of ten people.

All these achievements, incidents, fun, adventure, mistakes, and learning are endless and the more I write about them, the more nostalgic I feel.

When I went back to campus after the lockdown was over, the campus roads, trees, buildings, hostels, people all felt so loving, so close to heart. It seemed that this place is more mine than my hometown. In the last months, I got to know many new people from Roorkee outside campus due to gurudwara visits. I’m luckier to become a part of a larger family.

A few takeaways from my 5-year college experience that can be useful to the perusers:

  • Never judge anyone. Do not form an opinion about someone based on their initial impression. People in your first-year friend group will change till their final year. Don’t take any wrong step just for the sake of friendship. Over the years, I’ve noticed a shift in my group of friends. In your final year, you will be a totally different person compared to your first year.
  • Stay away from “Ek baar try karle”. Your seniors and friends may be addicted to things, and being around them may tempt you to try them as well. That is something you should refrain from doing. There are moments when you must say “No” to those dear to you. I know a lot of people who consequently lament their choices, yet can’t help now.
  • Don’t sit idle in a room. College time is a genuinely concise timeframe. Go out, join some campus groups or volunteer for some events. Try inculcating peer learning in your curriculum, that’s probably the most useful learning methodology in college.
  • Since one needs to manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously, using time productively is really significant to learn. To oversee everything well, you would have to set your priorities straight.
  • CG is important but never miss on fun and adventures just for CG. I have seen people who despite having numerous campus engagements, are able to manage a decent CG and there are yet others who do nothing and still have a lower CG.
  • Never feel low by looking at others. Everyone here is good at something or other. Never feel low by looking at others. Instead, work on exploring yourselves.

\~\~End of gyaan\~\~

Lost in memories, I’m finishing up this writing. With thousands of exquisite juniors, amigos, seniors, and all, an imbecilic 17-year-old turned into Ar. Nikhil Duggal. At the point when I return to college now, I see new faces however everybody feels to be known, a piece of a bigger family, the IITR family.


Darpan 22, Fine Arts family


Team Thomso, Thomso’19


Last sketch walk with the fine arts freshers


Last painting in campus


Team Martet


Overnight chilling sessions at Wellness Centre Office


Team Wellness


People who are there with you at all moments


Person who is with you at all times


Last trip to Dehradun with Fine arts juniors


Made the first road painting in campus in second year



General painting get-up




Fine Arts Fam


First NASA Convention, Kerala