The authors would like to state that:
- All the characters appearing in this article are completely fictitious and any resemblance are purely coincidental (You are a loser if you really believe this !!)
- All the characters are totally fictitious are invariable useless oafs hat even if they were real life characters you wouldn’t give a damn about them in any case.
- All the characters are totally fictitious but the resemblance’s most certainly are not. The puns, malicious content, the spiteful acerbic remarks and the double entendres are also completely intentional.
- All the characters are totally fictitious and if the events or the characters appear absolutely bewildering or totally obscure, then we would like to assure that this is also completely intentional. But, if you look behind this madness, you will find a method which is characteristic of UVCE.
It was running as fast as its little legs would carry it (which was in fact quite fast!). It reached the foot of the library tree and clambered up to safety. The squirrel paused and impishly looked down at the dog (a sheep dog to be precise!), still at the foot of the tree. With it’s tail up and it’s whole body taut with concentration, the dog looked up at the squirrel. Whatever possibilities there were of this incident developing into an interesting and exciting contest between the two were immediately disrupted by a man in a grey ill-fitting uniform, with an equally ill-fitting cap who shooed the dog away. Well, you can’t blame the security for doing nothing, can you?
You see, he had clear instructions – “No loitering in the quadrangle either students or dogs”
“Well, ladies and whatever gentlemen are still out there, we welcome you to the quadrangle, the heart, soul and pulse of UVCE”
They started coming(!) in one’s and two’s(!!), and occasionally a bigger group(!!!). But all of them invariably came to the quadrangle. Some went to their respective notice boards and were furiously scribbling down the timetable with the odd remark about a particular lecturer who has been assigned to them or the timing of the lab. By now the flow had increased considerably but still all of them invariably came to the quadrangle. They were settling down to the familiar patterns. Each group occupied their usual positions. Some of them have been in these spots for years. Yet, some of them will be here for years to come. Some may leave the college, many more may arrive, but all of them invariably came to the quadrangle.
A loud, boisterous, all male group of the students has just walked into the quadrangle and they have comfortably placed themselves on the steps in the front of the library. They seemedto be deeply engrossed in an intellectual conversation. Let’s just eavesdrop-
“Enu maga, evathu Electrical hudgeeru innu bandilla?”
“Enu maga, hange koothidya love failure-a?”
In case you haven’t guessed till now, these are the final Mech boys. But, not all of them are having such stimulating conversations. There are other sub groups that are involved in heated discussions. We shall dwell upon them later.
Close by, yet hidden from the direct view of the Principal’s office by the massive tree, an unruly bunch of Electronics engineers(to be ones that is) are discussing the states their lives are currently in. Led by a bespectacled table tennis player and another bespectacled gentleman with a hand in the sling, spouting fiery and emotional speeches (we would like to assure you that the broken hand has nothing to do anything with anything in the speech) that are about the motto “We are like this only”
Now some shrill feminine voices interrupt our decorous survey of the quadrangle. Oh, here are the Electrical girls. They seem to be very involved in an animated discussion about their upcoming throw ball match. Amongst them you see two tall, thin, non-descript men (??) who have no right to be there, but are there in any case. These ‘electric’ gentlemen also answer to the unusual enough title of ‘Negotiators’! Since these gentleman work hard for the college, the union and the students ( especially of the fairer sex) we shall gloss over this incongruous situation for the time being.
Sitting adjacent to them, we see the three Electrical musketeers. Well, almost. Well atleast he tries very hard to be one. You see, he is a famed exponent of an obscure stream of martial arts from the depths of Kerala. But this art, and the many others he is proficient in (fishing (compliments?) is one of them!), are not enough when he plays out the well-known role of protector and godfather for the fairer sex of UVCE. This is, in addition to the work that he puts in as the man in place(ment).
The other two female members of this trio also directly qualify for the title of musketeer, for their beauty, intelligence and their amazingly high levels of tolerance and patience to all this. Remember the old line, “two’s company, three is a crowd!” One of them proves the old and well known law “beauty+brain = constant” wrong (she’s the Topper dammit! while being so beautiful), while the other is perfect example of the law that good things come in small packets.
Continuing our scan, we now come across a sprinkling of men (real men that is) and a group predominantly composed of aggressive women. Perpetually located at the same spot in the quadrangle, this group is often bombarded when Electrical department decides to sweep it’s office. Led by a hugely popular VJ (being in this City, if you don’t watch Cable, shame on you!) from Computer Science and a stylish (!) PJ (Print Jockey, in case you were wondering) from Electronics.
Even this group has its very own bespectacled gentle(?)man who is usually seen frequenting other college fests(for dubious reasons) and sporting different hair-styles, both on his head and face. When he isn’t, he is perpetually fretting and fuming over his waistline which is ever expanding(much like the universe), to the amusement of the rest of the group (Mad-Who you say?). Once known as Penguins, this group from Computer Science is most known for it’s unending chatter and that pair of feminine biceps that gives most men in college a severe and complete complex.
The weather is distinctively cooler, but the people are not. But, still invariably they all came to the quadrangle. The admissions have been completed, if the new freshers are lucky. AS the seniors would put it, the fresh lot is ready for the slaughter. In case you were wondering, what the seniors meant by “the slaughter”, that’s just a harmless passing reference to the 4 years of Engineering that awaits the poor hapless blokes. As put most aptly, BE generally works out into a Bitter Experience, except for some like us, whom it’s just Bari Entertainment.
Ragging. That foul and uncouth word. It has no place either in UVCE or in the quadrangle. Its place is in the basketball court. All jokes apart, all the ragging that really happens here is when juniors threaten seniors with the fact that they could get them arrested for talking to them! The juniors who miss out on all the valuable (really!) advice, notes, tips on how to survive even after canteen food and the college bathroom, like etc generally get friendly with the seniors soon enough !!
Just another interruption. The subgroup of Mech boys, so deeply engrossed in conversation (mentioned earlier) have not really changed wither. They are still debating. This seems like unending story. Well, again, we shall dwell upon this later.
But, the new classes also mean that we have new CR’s from each class. Here are stories of elections that have no parallels in politics, of vote banks and of blocks, within blocks, within college. You should understand that the association elections are underway. This is the time for aspiring and perspiring seekers for the Presidents’ post reveal themselves. This also is the time that the Architecture (yes, that blessed and most holy (!) branch) takes active part in college life. But, don’t worry there’s more on Architecture later…
As the weather gets colder, and newer faces (and good looking!) appear, love seems to be in the air. Two-getherness seems to be in. Admittedly, UVCE is not the most favorable place to get romantic, but people work wonders. In any case, they all invariably came to the quadrangle. Love it seems, does not seem to respect branch or year affiliations, with inter departmental co-operation reaching new heights. There are stories of the steady ones, the frequent crushes, the splits and reformations. There are also funny stories, passionate stories and sad stories. Sometimes juniors learn from seniors (Sorry, Akka, this had to come here!) and sometimes seniors learn from juniors (ever heard of the dhoti story?). Well, to respect their privacy and to show our pure (indeed!) intentions, we shall reveal no more.
But, we are not the only people scanning the quadrangle. Three men, true musketeers, alertly scan the entire quadrangle. However, their intentions are ass different from ours, as they are from each other. Each one of them is a study in contrast and madness.
Our first conspirator is a mad hostel-bound short and square Mech boy who dances irreverently to Tamil film music. A hit with the women, this man is as strange as you get them. He is most reknowned as an occupant(?) of the Ladies Hostel, something that surprises all of us for all that he does is ring them up! Our next conspirator is a chubby, stout and roly-poly bunch of Mallu dirty jokes who should be somewhere else, but isn’t. Among the many unsettling facts in this bundle of the contradictions is the bright red vermillion streak that adorns his forehead. As, well, perhaps appearances are deceptive! Don’t judge this book by it’s holy (!) cover for he is the President’s Main Political Advisor. Last but not the least, we have the poor Electronics imitation of a musketeer. As if to compensate for the lack of hair on his head, this dashing male nightingale of UVCE frequently grows a French beard. The unquestioned leader of the music band that gives UVCE a bad name time and again, this senior is everybody’s brother. Especially of the girls, which worries this man to no end. These three men regularly terrify juniors, seniors, the various animals that inhabit the quadrangle (sheep…) and themselves when they behave normally. For most of the time, they are in a state, what is most colloquially termed as loony.
Winter time is also a time of exodus and emigration. What exodus? Haven’t you noticed the electrical boys running to the Mechanical department and running back. Well, to put it mildly, they have to go there, and when a man’s gotta go, a man’s gotta go. The only problem, that arises is in the form of a dashing and vigilant Mech lecturer ( who twirls them around as easily as he twirls his sunglasses) as these premises are Mech staff property… !! But, after all the chasing from there, they all invariably came to the quadrangle.
One corner of the quadrangle that remains quiet and dormant throughout the year slowly awakens now. The placement office is often spoken of as the only part of UVCE that functions the way it is supposed to. Well, atleast it seems that way! Futures are made and unmade here. When the placement fever runs high, everyone suddenly becomes a personality development instructor, free of charge of course. The seniors instruct the pretty girls in the juniors, the pretty girls in the juniors instruct the boys in their class. Altogether a pretty picture indeed.
Now, after all the introductions, the main characters are in place. It is finally time for us to spend one entire day in the quadrangle. As is obvious, for anything to happen, it must invariably come to the quadrangle.
Nothing much is happening
Nothing much is still happening. Well, even if something is happening, we don’t know about it. If we knew what was happening, do you think we would be writing this in first place? Classes, we note, officially begin at 8:00am.
Nothing much has happened yet, so we doubt if it can happen.
Now we are talking. This, by the way is the official break for the poor chaps who wandered in at 8:00am or for those who strolled in now. This is the time to be in the quadrangle. The quadrangle lives “maan”. Come, get a slice of life.
Classes start again, but who’s ever heard of going on time. Sit around, nothing much is happening.
Oh no, everything is happening, the yellow van enters college. The security man runs to the quadrangle loudly blowing his whistle for all his worth. The quadrangle is supposed to be totally empty, but it is not.
A short cute safari suited man is carrying a briefcase to the Principal’s office as fast as his little legs will carry him (which again was in fact quite fast!). All those unfortunates who are oblivious to all this, beware. Your doom has arrived. You know what we are talking about, so prepare to run, to run for your life, to run from the quadrangle. If you really know what we are talking about, then you also know how to run back to the quadrangle when the storm blows over. This, as the seniors would attest is a fine art that comes with practice. Run too fast and you miss the fun of some hapless joker getting caught. Run too slow and you will become the hapless joker who is the martyr for the day.
The subgroup of Mech boys, mentioned earlier who are deep in their discussion are too wise to fall prey to such simple dangers. Their discussion however is still on. We shall meet them later.
Whatever has been happening till now, is mostly happening all over again. Which is nothing much in any case, again. You could call it college or classes if you are so inclined.
Classes are mostly over. College life mostly starts now. Half the college has already gone home. Trust us, this remaining half of the college is the half that counts. More importantly this half is the half you want to get to know.
Places are filled all around the quadrangle. People are doing what they have been generally doing for the past two seasons and what they generally intend to do for the coming seasons. Which again, is basically nothing. Life is going on.
The rest of the other half of the college that wanted to go home at 2:20 but could not go home now wanders out of their respective labs. Bleary eyed and tired, they finally get to go home, which they do so immediately, thereby confirming which half of the college they belong to. It is very interesting to note at this point, that the half of college who actually go home on time, end up doing nothing, yet again. So, life still goes on…
The actual college association (the ones that do all the work that is) begin to meet and start their day (?). The evening college students begin to walk in. Most of the day scholars are completely oblivious to the fact that the college remains open and working till 9:30pm. This side of college is something that one rarely gets to see.
Nothing much is still happening, let’s wait for tomorrow so that nothing much will again happen…
The summer season also bring Midsummer madness. The heart drives not only the lecturers and students mad but it reduces the mighty tree of the quadrangle to a faint shadow of what they were. But, some of us are not so bizzare to need extreme heat for signs of madness. We are talking about a peculiar phenomenon of first year Mechanical that each student of UVCE comes across. Sample this. He strides into the quadrangle. A hand bag swings in his hand. No one dare stop him. No one dare to talk to him. The coat is unmistakable. So is the turban on his head. So are the yellow tie, the western style cowboy boots, the makeup that so carefully has been put on, the cultivated US accent which is patently false. He is the stuff that legends are made of. We’d like to elaborate, but space (and deciding which of the legends to put in) constrains us.
This is Milagro Season. Posters spring on the walls of the quadrangle. Dress codes are in force. Again, only that half of the college that counts actually follows these codes. And, they all invariably came to the quadrangle.
Rose day and ethnic day showcase sides of the quadrangle (and the students, may we add) that are normally hidden from view. The authors add years of wisdom that roses are more often than not carry thorns with them and nothing else. They also carry the information that the rose seller has again made a killing this year.
This tall well built (actually, detractors would call that fat, but we call that “too well built”) and impeccably dressed man with his shirt perfectly tucked into his pants is running around with his mobile. Where would Milagro be without him, the leader and khalNAYAK of us all! His spare time is devoted to admiring and dressing up pretty girls, a pastime that he calls professional choreography, something that we don’t agree with, in any case( we mean the professional bit as well as the choreography bit!)
With him is another perfectly dressed gentleman, albeit much shorter and smaller in size. Yet, beware he is much larger in stature and position than anyone of us in UVCE. The quiet, soft spoken topper conceals a brain that few people know about. He is in-charge of Milagro. He is most known for his mumbling conversation and his inimitable one-liners that baffle not only his listeners, but also him. The President is a topic of discussion in the write-up on Milagro, so please refer there for more details.
The academic year is coming to a close. It’s now examination time, and the fees paying process has begun. As we promised you, the Architecture block returns to the quadrangle. The fascinating and completely gorgeous looks that the rest of the quadrangle puts on when the students of the Architecture block (the girls, we may add) pay fees must be seen to be believed.
The Electrical block is obsessed with attendance shortage payments. The Electronics and Computer Science block is obsessed about their labs and their outputs and why they aren’t getting the output that they should be getting. The Civil block is obsessed with their potential NSSR’s and their missing drawing sheets. The Architecture block is obsessed about getting out of the quadrangle. The Mechanical block is obsessed with the Architecture payments and how to keep the Architecture block in the quadrangle.
The long queues outside the accounts office are the final stop in our ramblings around the quadrangle. Sometimes these queues head into the worst dangerzone of the quadrangle. Biological and chemical warfare (from the men!) at its worst awaits the people near the stairs. But, engineering is not a cakewalk. Braving all hazards, fees payment must go on. It however, marks the end of another year in the history of the quadrangle. We, now return to the subgroup of the Mech boys who have decided to carry on their debate into the next year (you see, it is an unending debate). For, as it was so well put by them
“If you want to do it today, you can always do it tomorrow also”
“So, if we really want to attend classes this sem, we can as well attend next year, what do you say?”
And next year as well, nothing much will happen and they will all still invariably come to the quadrangle.