Watch Out!
Student Media
Body of IITR
About Guide Get Involved


Quarantine Diaries

February 21, 2021
- Surya Raman

2nd January 2021 - 12th January 2021

I arrived today evening around 6.30 PM. The first thing you notice after months of having been in Maharashtra is the biting cold. Your hands, your torso, your bags - everything gets cold, until cold is the only reality you know. But that’s not surprising, Roorkee in January is hardly ever inviting. The guards at the main gate quickly looked at the email confirmation I had received a week ago, and an ambulance ushered me into R - Land. The ambulance gave me a glimpse of what I was to witness after 10 days of quarantine, a quick montage of eternally blissful Roorkee.

Nine steps. That was the extent of my freedom for the next 10 days. There are a few Bhawans and guesthouses that are being used for quarantining students, and I was allotted the Ganga Bhawan (although in recent news, students are also being quarantined at the Noida and Saharanpur campuses). The rooms are new and the washrooms are clean. Each individual is allotted a different stall, and food is brought directly to the room - including chai-biskut at around 4.30 PM.

Washing machines are provided, although one needs one’s own washing powder. The contact numbers of a few commercial establishments open within IITR are provided - such as WonderMart - and articles like washing powder can be ordered directly to one’s room. For things like LAN cables, you probably need a friend already staying at IITR (LAN cables cannot be ordered from WonderMart). The faulty internet connection precluded me from binge watching, and I spent the rest of the time working or talking to myself, as I paced up and down the room. Nine steps tested the limit of my sanity.

12th January 2021 - till date

Campus life is hard. Ravindra Bhawan is cold and lonely, with not a soul in sight. Even though there are around 2000 people on campus, those first few days of freedom were solitary and agonising. While the stationery and the washing room are functional, the canteen - a central attraction for all residents - is shut (as is the night canteen of course). The pivotal importance of the canteen has never been more apparent to me.

There are two gates which are operational - the Main gate, and the Century gate. Students can leave the campus through these gates, provided they supply the guards with their contact details. The gates are shut at 7 and 8.30 PM respectively, and students are allowed to return via the Main gate by 9/10 PM. The DoSW is informed in case anyone fails to adhere to these rules. As a result, planning even day-long trips outside Roorkee is a pipe dream.

Roorkee outside the gates of IITR carries on with the same tenacity as before - it appears as though the city has dusted off COVID-19 like a bad case of fleas. All shops and restaurants are functional, and it is here that students can find a teeny tiny bit of respite from the monotonous drudgery of the campus; this however comes with a price - the onus is on the students to take the appropriate precautions .

While only two gates are operational, all other gates can be used for online deliveries - including Zomato, Swiggy and Amazon. Amazon personnel are even being let inside the campus to allow for Bhawan deliveries. Zomato and Swiggy are perhaps the only other modes of respite students can turn to.

As of this writing (16th February), the cold has subsided enormously, although the fog is still relentless. All in all, the campus is as inviting as ever, but life is nowhere as easy as it used to be. If you’re a foodie, you’re in for a turbulent time here at R. As mentioned earlier, it is finally up to the students to be safe - enforcing stringent rules is nowhere as efficient as people acting level headedly. With more and more students now being allowed to return to the campus, it is imperative to keep this responsibility in mind.

Someday, this will all be a distant dream, and we will all laugh about it together, under the yellow lights and the jasmine trees.


The Main Building, sans people


A doggo enjoying the afternoon sun (Ravindra Bhawan)


The murky halls of Ravindra Bhawan await