Day 134: To act or not to act

A certain commotion caught my attention when walking into my block at lunch hour today. The security guard and the block maintenance in charge were in argument with a girl student. She made multiple protests and even tried eluding the security and running to class, while he way laid her and brought her back to the entrance.

I knew I had to do something. I had heard a lot about the rude behavior of the security. And this maintenance in-charge has been on my radar for a while now for speaking very rudely to a number of the support staffs. So, i intervened and asked the girl what the problem was. ‘I got late and bought a packet of food for lunch. Now my class is about to begin and I need to go in. He’s not letting me in with this covered food container’, she pleaded, looking desperately for some support. My mind had expected some serious argument – dress code maybe, or missing ID card. The minute I heard her protest, I immediately shrugged my shoulders and walked away. I almost did something to help but my sub-conscious walked away.

I thought about what I did, or didn’t do, for the rest of the day. There were many reasons why the girl needed support and I could have helped. The security had no control over students that bring lunch from home and eat in the classrooms. So why detain students that do not have the luxury of a home cooked meal and depend on the cafeteria? There was no crime committed here for which he had to chase her down the corridor like she were a thief. If anything, he could have warned her for the subsequent time and let her in. I could have reminded him of all of this. I didn’t.

Wasn’t this the reason I joined the student council? Wasn’t I interested in standing up for student problems? Then why was I taking a high-grade, especially by picking battles that mattered to me versus those that didn’t. Shouldn’t I be concerned about them all nonetheless. The elevator issue in the central block affected me even though I was directly not effected by it. This incident happened in my block; it was a security guard that I see on a daily basis. Shouldn’t this work me up more?

Sometimes I surprise myself with my actions, or inaction.

Pics4mswiss: Every winter, the earth covers itself in white, to cleanse itself of all that is. 

Day 93: Don’t call that gender bias now

A foot into Switzerland

The morning was spent on the streets in front of the visa processing center. We paid for premium services, meaning we did not have to stand in the infamous queues for a visa application. But that also meant we had nothing to do. So we stood around on the road, chatting with PGS.

The agents got us some fancy deal and we did not pay most of the visa fee. We’ll know soon what major games were at play. Overall, between herding the women around the office and collecting their money for the processing, I got a sense that I was their chaperoning teacher while PGS was just another student. Strange strange feeling being the responsible one.

Things got whacky when all the women wanted a ride back and we decided to stuff into the Red Beast. So that’s a record 9 passengers, with 4 upfront utilizing the baby seat to the fullest. It was a really stupid thing to do and I should learn to say no to such things soon.

Col Fr Dr TCM Sir

The Student Council had its first meeting with the big bosses today. So we were armed with all our suggestions and queries to make every student’s life better. Ha, where we stupid!

Here are the highlights:

  • A fist fight that broke out in the elevators because students were riding the wrong direction is a petty issue.
  • Faculty evaluation during the mid semesters is a matter of utmost interest: specially since nothing is done about the end-term evaluation itself. Faculty who have been consistently rated poorly are still enjoying free will.
  • A class cannot have 40 students, instead of the current 60, because who would compensate for the lakhs lost from those 20 students?
  • Libraries cannot be open on Sundays because we’re not getting enough footfalls on weekdays itself. And that’s how the value of a mall is calculated.
  • Students cannot understand anything that the teacher from Korea teaches. Too bad, we pay her a lot; so, have your students listen harder.
  • We cannot ask the food vendors to reduce plastic and stop selling plastic bottles on campus. Because, have you listened to Trump? Climate change is a farce and nobody is truly environmentally conscious now, are they?
  • Girls cannot wear leggings under their salwars because there are boys, and fathers, on campus. The leggings unleash the beast within them, I presume.
  • Easy access to sanitary napkins is something the Fr Col Dr VC doesn’t concern himself with. Because, he is a Father, you know, and let women bleed out of their vaginas; not like a Father is ever seeing one. Right?
  • Girl hostelites pay for their laundry while the boys don’t. And the girls are in their cages 30 minutes before the boys. Why? It is a needed precautions and don’t ask us why. And that is not gender discrimination now, Cmon!

2 hours, one vada and a coffee, later, it was very evident how powerful the Student Council in this University really was. It was evidently a facade of student representation, where all that was expected was for us to look pretty, hold umbrellas for cultural events and herd a crowd when needed.

Maybe what you told GardenMan is true, S. You guys are leading the #IndianCynics band, and looking at it all with dark shades.

Don’t mind me. I’m just sharing my doggie wisdom. That’s all!” Scotch

Day 89: Bhasha Utsav Part 2

Like celebrating languages for one day was not enough, I did it twice. Back in the main campus, and back after two weeks of working with the Swiss, I was ready to be back in class. The day started sluggish, with both my classmates missing, until I received a call from the student council. There was important Student Council duty to be done.

The processions in the main campus needed umbrella holders and the council was appointed this duty. So, off I went to lead the procession and enjoy another Basha Utsav.

Like I told a pal, the dress had to represent some culture, somewhere in the world, that hadn’t been represented amidst all the malayali mundus and the North Indian jhigbhig sarees. Moreover, H bought this dress for my birthday, and it was a tight fit then. But today, it just slipped right in. So, of course I was going to make it ‘my’  ethnic dress.

The rest of the day was a drab, especially the afternoon meeting with the gang to review documents for the Swiss visa application.

Swiss, shwiss, swish. Blahdeebloohdeebleh! Stop with all this Swiss this Swiss that already.” Scotch 

Day 41: More arguments 

No, worry not. Scotch and I did not fight any more. We found a very amicable solution to her nibbling rubbish from the roads. You’ll find out soon enough how I had my way, while Scotch did her entire morning walk stick between my knees in embarrassment.

The arguments, in fact, were with Continue reading →

Day 37: Councils

I worry for some of the young kids in the student council that I’m a part of. The big, wide, world out there is so different from the little bubble called university that they are all used to that they might be not realize what hit them for quite a while.

I was at a council meeting today and the classic don’ts of a meeting were all around. We jumped from one topic to another with no end to any. We cut each other short before the other had even put their point across. Our response to one’s question was an absolutely unrelated, entirely different point altogether. We were busy settling our skills and services, where it was established that we had all gone through the same selection process and had all been deemed competent. They were some that did not even attempt to join the conversation while a few hogged the floor.

I walked out of the meeting criteria about the huge task ahead of the teachers. Or do they not care about these soft skill aspects of growing up and let the students just learn it the hard way?

Kids these days. They rant aloud even before they think it through. I know!” Scotch