Saturday, August 14, 2010

Khete Dibi Na?

Yesterday, I sat out in front of the admin. block at EFLU, with a varying mass of students. It was the first protest I've ever been a part of--if you know me (and why're you reading this if you don't?) you know how absolute an antipathy I feel for anything involving large groups, let alone my usual disdain for all things 'political'.

Of course, this wasn't political, even in the sense of the personal being political. We were protesting the appaling mess conditions, and the scarcity of living space. I'm housed quite comfortably, but there are rooms in Basheer, that are smaller than mine, which house three beds + one desk + two chairs + one cupboard + one rack of shelves. There are bathrooms shared by upwards of fifty boys. Basheer is so terrifyingly claustrophobic that even taking a short-cut through it is daunting. The dizzyingly steep stairs have no railings.

And then there's the food. The university does not subsidise the gas used by the student-run messes, and water is often unavailable. The Basheer Hostel mess feeds something like 850 mouths, and has nowhere near the capacity for it. The Mahlakka Bai Chanda Hostel mess feeds over 350, and is attempting to accomodate another 200. There are people who wait in line for 30-45-60 minutes and are then told there isn't enough food.

The Acting Vice Chancellor ran away at 1:30 on the 12th, after promising to meet the students at 3:00. He is yet to show up, though we have hopes for the 15th. Yesterday went fairly well, actually. Better than I'd expected, at any rate, but I'm used to Calcutta, where student agitations are a staple of college/university life, and phases nobody.

It went fairly well, by my admittedly-low standards, but, good gods, in a Central University that has huge buildings being constructed, that can afford to use marble for the hostel floors... in such a place, to have students sitting in protest in order to demand food?

Friday, August 06, 2010

A (half)Room of One's Own

I miss home today. Not very much, excesses of emotion are strangers to me. But I miss home. Very deeply, and with a constant ache that refuses, today, to do the sensible thing and die down.

Maybe that's because I saw Kaka last evening, for rather less than an hour. Maybe it's because people were talking about JUDE. I don't know, I don't know.

It's stupid, and irrational, and rather unpardonably nyaka, but I miss home and uni and Calcutta today with an intensity I cannot deal with, cannot work around, cannot wish or think away. I had things I was supposed to do, and haven't done any. I want to go home, right now, right this moment I want to go home.

And I know, I know it's a passing thing, in a few hours I shall like this place as much as I have grown to, these last few days.

I know, but that knowledge changes nothing. Right now, I miss home, I miss my family, I miss my friends, I miss uni, I miss Calcutta. I even miss the peppermint tea at Dolly's.

Nothing to be done, of course, and since I can't fix it, I've got to bear it. I know, this too shall pass. Of course it will, it has to. But it's hell while it lasts.

Nothing to be done.

Monday, August 02, 2010

I think I shall rather like this place.

Oh, but the voices and colours of home.

Ah, well.