Collating memories of UVCE etched by many of our alumni, here it is presenting to you – “Decadewise Memories”. This article is a narrative by Mr. Madhu Kurup about his time at UVCE in 1990’s.
Its been six years since the time I joined UVCE. Two years since I left my alma mater. This is hardly a speck of time for an institution that is celebrating the 85 year of its foundation. Many batches of students have come and gone. Yet I believe that our batch has something that we can claim to be uniquely our own. I was a part of the batch of 2000, the first batch to pass out into the new millennium. In this new millennium, the lessons that I have learnt are what UVCE’s legacy to me. In the four years that I was student at UVCE, I’ve had the pleasure of learning many things in my subject area, but those are the things that every educational institution strives to provide; but above all the non-traditional learning experiences I’ve had at UVCE.
The most vital thing that I feel that I’ve been blessed with from UVCE is an ability to learn. That may seem unusual, but I have an explanation. Sometimes in an educational institution you are spoon fed, treated like a baby. Sometimes in an educational institution, you are tortured to study, treated like a wayward teenager. Rarely do you see an institution that attempts to treat you like an adult. UVCE did that to me. You were asked nothing more than to learn-if you wanted to learn. You were treated with respect. You were asked to go well beyond the textbook and the practical lab. You fundamentally learnt “how to learn”; that is the most valuable lessons of them all. The rate of obsolescence is so high due to the explosion of knowledge that one can not rest on ones oars.
One incident that is strongly etched in my mind in this regard is, when a classmate failed to obtain output for a particularly tough lab. The original exchange was in Kannada, and it looses a lot of the flavor in the translation, but I shall try it. The exchange went like this,
Lecturer: So, Did you get your output?
Student: No sir……… sir, you can check, I have the right circuit diagram, the right components and everything is correct.
Lecturer: So, if you think everything is ok, you should get the output?
Lecturer: That’s why you have a lab, to show that theory and real life are far apart.
The second important lesson that UVCE provided me was to broaden my horizons. Before college, I had a very small, restricted view of the world. The people I’ve met at UVCE have been from diverse backgrounds from Karnataka and India, people of different religions, regions, languages and thinking. The lovely musical south Kanara “yentha maraya” to the harsh Bangalore version of “yeno ley?,” are all variants I’ve heard in colleges and friends that you make are from different batches and different streams, juniors and seniors. During the production of the college magazine Vinyasa, I was lucky enough to capture the splendid diversity our college provides. As part of the cultural festival Milagro, it was incredible to come in contact with a strange brew of mechanical, electrical and civil students. We are still in touch today and it amazes me that with so little in common and such few moments that we shared together, how friendships have blossomed and sustained.
Teachers are institutions that do more than impart knowledge. They can make lasting impression: HNS with his calm and cheerful demeanor whenever we bothered him, VKR with his amazing energy and ability to shame you by keeping perfect time for any appointment without even wearing watch, ASM with his passion and love for teaching, SNF for her meticulousness and kindness. GNK for his time, energy, effort and his most unconventional question papers, APR for his ability to make the ‘complex theory’ appear so simple, the different teachers from other departments who willingly gave their unselfishly. Prof. Nagaraj and Prof. Putturaju from the Math department, Prof. Makam from mechanical Prof. Niranjan and Prof. Prabhakar from civil; well the list could go on and on. All the teachers and staff of UVCE have given generously their time and effort in shaping the students that graduate from this institution.
There are of course, other more insightful lessons that I can list here. The time, during exams when you realize the true meaning of the eternal sloka from the Bhagvat Gita:
maa-te san-go ‘stwa-kar-ma-ni”
which can be translated roughly as,
“Your sphere of influence is with your actions alone
But never in the fruits or results of your actions
Don’t let your motive to act be because of the results
While not being selfishly attached to inaction or laziness.”
This wisdom does not appear obvious, as much as it is today. A couple of semesters and a couple of papers have to pass before it becomes as crystal clear as it is now. Sometimes you expect 90’s, you get 50’s. This is the most frequently occurring situation. A rarer case also exists when you are expecting 60’s and end up with something in 70’s. The other mystery is the laboratory exam that accompanies every other theory subject. Sometimes everything goes right, and you end up failing the subject. Sometimes nothing goes right and you get good scores. As your answer sheets go through the system, all you can do is to hone your survival instincts, and praise the gods above-any final year student will vouch for this ‘maya jaal’.
Though not being a political animal, you can’t get away from it: wait for the day when K.R.Circle is blocked for some rally. Every politician suddenly looks less attractive. What do you feel about the snarling traffic? Wait for the day when you are having classes in rooms close to Nrupathunga Road and the sounds of all the autos drown out the teacher. Sound pollution begins to make sense. Ok!, any ideas on college food? Wait for a day when you can no longer eat canteen/darshini food; and you realize that it was the company and not the food that made it magical. What about college itself? Wait for a day when you realize that college life was probably the most unstressed and relaxed time of your life; and realize that you can no longer experience it again.
But then again, that’s another story
– Madhu Kurup, (Yahoo! Inc.)