By Sumedha Biswas:
Dear Christ University and all your wondrous glamour, I cannot fly.
I write this as an exceptionally annoyed 2nd year BSc student of your esteemed college who is falling behind on your lovely 85% attendance idea as you were so kind to not declare a holiday when the entire city was in a state of chaos.
The bandh or strike, whatever you prefer, was declared by BMTC and KSRTC drivers who desperately want a hike in their salary and the State Government refuses to give in. And so on and so forth. While they continue their arguments and protests, the entire city’s been caught in a fix. Majestic bears a deserted look as most city institutions have declared a holiday following the State declaring a holiday. This may come off as a little surprising to you but I and all my fellow students are actually a part of this city and state.
I have lived in this city for the past twelve years and I live about 25 odd kilometres from college. My daily form of travel includes the metro and two buses. If not for two buses, I occasionally take an auto. Yes, I live far off and travelling sucks the life out of me.
On Monday, my Dad voluntarily offered to drop me and pick me up from college. That evening, it took us three hours to get home. Can you imagine what happens when there are more cabs and private cars on the road as opposed to buses to an already overcrowded traffic-infested city?
On Tuesday, or rather today, I had six hours of class which I had to happily bunk. I couldn’t possibly ask my Dad to sacrifice another meeting. With auto drivers quoting outlandish prices which I can’t possibly afford with my allowance and buses off the roads and my much dreaded horrible inability to fly, how was I to visit your fine campus on this very fine day?
Now, as it turns out, the Government and the employees still have some issues to sort out and most schools and colleges have another holiday tomorrow. Of course, I am entitled to stay home again, miss out on precious knowledge and of course, lose some more of my holy attendance.
I can’t help but point these things out to you if someone hasn’t done it already:
1. I understand that a huge chunk of the student population lives in SG Palya, Chick Lane, Tavarekere and surrounding areas BUT there are others and yes, we do exist. The student community grossly depends on public transport and what are all of us supposed to do? Stay home and brood over our inabilities? If the entire college is always going to run keeping those who live in a 2 km radius in mind, you could’ve just declared it as a compulsory residential college.
2. While we understand that there are deadlines and schedules to be followed, from the student’s perspective, it almost seems as though you do not care about our safety.
3. Not all of us can afford our own private transport, hiked auto fares or anything else that you expect. We all come from different backgrounds and it simply isn’t possible or rather, it simply should not be expected from us.
4. When you enforce your attendance and related marks idea, will you consider our plight on days like these?
You have done this before, we have accepted it before. There have been days when you’ve expected us to pay you a visit on All-India strike days, on days that public transport had been entirely shut down and we’ve all accepted it mutely. But right now, on this fine Tuesday night, I am incredibly annoyed, as is a lot of other students and parents by your oddly clingy behaviour.Goddamnit, Christ University, I really can’t fly.
This article was first published here, in the author’s personal blog.
Image source: Wikimedia
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