Thursday, June 26, 2008

Love thy college!

Recently, I happened to pick up a conversation with my best friend regarding our colleges. Having completed 4 years of engineering, this topic came up sometime before our farewell party. We were discussing our college days & how we enjoyed them in our own way. Then came the statement I have heard a thousand times before. In fact I was expecting it. "I just love my college", was the assertion. I laughed a little over the phone, the laughter sounding a little sarcastic. "Don't you love your college, Mihir?", she asked me. I replied in the negative.

The fact is, I can't relate 'love' to a 'commercial activity'. Love is something very pure & heartfelt. In my weirdest dreams I can't imagine love being related to 'college' - something which is a symbol of nothing but commercialization of education. I don't mean to say commercialization of any activity is bad; even education. But once the money factor comes into play, its just another buyer-seller relation. Introducing a factor so close to the heart as 'love' is just unthinkable on my part. Education is sold & we buy it as consumers. When you say "I love my college", are you really referring to the institutional aspect of college? You like your faculty, you like the infrastructure, your colleagues & friends - and that's what sums up into the word - 'college'. But for me, each of these things is a different entity altogether. I wouldn't equate faculty with college, because that's just not the fact. Faculty includes teachers who are individuals in themselves. That's not what a college is. A college is not even the structure of bricks and cement. A college is, plainly speaking, an institution managed by the administration. It includes policy, working for student welfare, cultivating a bond between the student & the institution. And if you are among those who love their college with this definition at hand, you are one of the very lucky people!!

I wasn't that lucky. Graduating has been a great experience for me. I loved every aspect of it, just leave the isolated word 'college' aside...