With a daughter who is a student, an alumni son and husband who is both an alumni and a professor at BMS college of Engineering, it is like a family event and had always pulled me along.
BMS college – B M Sreenivasaiah college of Engineering – the name evokes a feeling of pride among its students and teachers and a sense of awe among the public. Being from North Karnataka and having studied Arts, I had never heard of this college till I married Prof.A.Prakash, who was a lecturer in this college. Since we stay in the neighborhood, I saw the college just a few days into our marriage and was immensely impressed by the look and the ambiance of the college. Everyday when I passed the college on the way to my office, I used to experience a sense of belonging.
For the first 10-15 years after marriage, I looked upon it just as my husband's working place. But once my children completed schooling and the buzz words of PUC, CET and Engineering started echoing in my life, I started looking at the college with different eyes. I was told by my husband that it is one of the top three Engineering colleges of karnataka and only meritorious top ranking students can get an admission into it.
That set a dream not only in me but also in my children to aim for a rank good enough to get into BMS college. Initially I was more enthusiastic than others and would look at the children – students walking in and out of the college on my way to the office - with a lot of hope and dreams that one day I would see my children there.
Then the unexpected happened. I belong to North karnataka and having studied and worked in small towns, had a different perspective of looking at things. What one would call a small town mentality - if you please. I noticed girls and boys looking and dressing in a very glamorous and trendy outfits and they all looked like models and film stars.
The old fashioned mother in me started worrying. In our towns, students could be classified into just two categories. Those who did fashion and make-up, never studied well and would fail in the examination and those who were bright and studious, who never bothered about their looks and were generally not so well dressed. Either black or white – no grey. And here was the BMS college where I could not locate even a single shabbily dressed boy or girl. When do these children study ? Are they interested in academics? Are there any extra-curricular and cultural activites?
I got disheartened but didnot share my fear with my husband.I wanted to send my children to this college but was worried that if I express my feelings, my husband would either join me in deciding against it or he may scold me for casting aspersions on the students of his college. Either way I would be doomed. After all he too was also a student of this college!Then one day my husband brought some ten magazines of his college students. Written, edited and published for the students, by the students. Boy! Was I stumped! I didnot get up from the place till I finished reading all the ten magazines. They were extremely intelligent, articulate and well written articles. There were witty jokes, tongue in cheek humor, technical discussions, results of inter-college competitions, photos of VTU rank holders from the college and yes – of course – the photos of the girls and the boys on the ramp in fashion shows! I was so happy and relieved that I decided I will never share what I thought of BMS with the other three members of my family! Hope they don't read this!
I had a lump in my throat when the students of the biggest technical college, dressed in western and Indian classics taking their guests to the dais to the beats of Dollu and Janapada dance. What a beautiful blend of Arts and Technology!
The three eventful days passed and I heaved a sigh of relief because I could not bear my little daughter toiling day and night throughout the month and was worried about her health and endurance. When she came back in the night and sat with her legs up with a sense of exaustion but her eyes glinting with happiness of the mission accomplished, I asked her casually whether she has her camera safe and she replied in the affirmative.But within ten minutes she was desperately calling her friends asking whether any one of them had her camera. Alas nobody had a clue and a silence fell in the house with the spirits dampened and the mood continued to the next days. I felt really sorry looking at her sad face and somehow the subject of fest was studiously being avoided in the house, each not wanting to hurt the other.
A day or two had passed when my beaming daughter informed that her senior student had called to tell that he had found a camera in the campus lawns and on learning her name and number promised to return it the next day. And true to his words, he returned it and went off without waiting to hear words of gratitude.We are at that time of the age when if we so much as keep a plastic cover on our compound, it will vanish within no time and here we had a boy who, being very well aware that he could have kept the camera with nobody finding out was sincere and honest in returning it.
Nowadays it is constant refrain that the present generation is insensitive, selfish, careless who never respect their elders and et all. But let us be receptive,open our eyes and look around. This is a generation of Mary Koms and Kejariwals, students who plunge into anti corruption movement, who throng to join in a fight against the rapists, who shed silent tears at the plight of Nirbhaya, who don't hesitate to take stand. This is a generation of children who dress in denims and tees but have a golden heart. This is a generation who motivate the people to come out and vote, who know their Modis and Rahuls as much as they know their Sachins and Dravids. This is a generation with blazers and ties .... along with their dhotis ...... Serious when needed and letting their hair down too..Watch This ......