Disclaimer: The following article is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead, or to any thing is purely coincidental. If anyone’s sentiments have been hurt by this entirely fictitious story, we’re sorry for your lack of a sense of humor.
Like most kids his age, Henricks Durina was an energetic young man. At 21, you’ve got to be. 3 years earlier, he had taken a major decision- To do a course in engineering. From where he came, kids had to pick one among three choices. 1) To become an engineer, 2) To become a doctor or 3) To be a failure in the eyes of society. While a majority succumbed to the pressures of peers, parents and placements, his motivation was different. He wanted to make the things that used to fascinate him. The countless TV remotes he had dismantled out of curiosity, the remote controlled toy cars he’d take apart to see what made those magical objects listen to his every command, those calculators, keychain digital cameras, broken printers, telephones and basically anything that a 5 year old found fascinating. He lived on a drug called curiosity and it would take some beating to take it away from him.
College life invited him with open arms. In one of those hands was a syllabus copy and in the other a stack of photocopies of notes, local author textbooks and the like. “The two things”, someone advised him, “that’ll get you through this ‘journey’”. Unimpressed by the short cut being provided to him, he snatched both and threw them aside. And so it began. Life in college.
He loved his college. Who wouldn’t? There are fables about the German clock-work-esque organisational precision about it. You’d struggle to find a needle out of place and every student was as disciplined as an army officer. The rules were straight-forward, simple and written all over the place. While climbing stairs, everyone was supposed to walk to their left to avoid colliding with people coming down the stairs. A rule, everyone accepted as practical and followed without exception (unless they were running to somewhere regarding a matter of extreme urgency, like to the washroom).
The elevators took students up but never down so that everyone had the minimum exercise of climbing down a flight (sometimes 6 flights) of stairs in this age of comfort. The students loved how much their college cared for their health.
The gates to this temple of knowledge were open to everyone. Although, after 10AM no one was allowed inside through one gate (you could leave at anytime in the true spirit of the freedom of movement.), for security reasons. After all, prevention is better than cure. You never know with 20 year olds sometimes. One of them might just turn up with a weapon ( only after 10AM ) and do unspeakable things in the campus. Ofcourse, they could just enter through the second gate, but what self respecting student-terrorist walks in through the second gate? Pfft. What a sissy that would be.
Every college had an identity. So did this one. I mean duh, obviously. But what was different about it was that the identity of the college was that the students had their own identity and they weren’t afraid to show it. No I mean that literally. Everyone had an identity card and wore it, proudly, around their necks no matter where they went. The uniforms had the college’s logo, shining in all its glory, letting everybody know which college the smartly dressed boy or girl was from. On the days that they didn’t have to wear the uniform, they were free to wear anything they pleased! (Obviously subject to reasonable restrictions). The rest of the world sported shabby, dirty looking faded jeans and in the interest of restoring the fashion sense of the world, students were told not to wear those inglorious pieces of clothing to college.
The world is struggling with the problem of e-waste. In the interest of the long life of our planet and its citizens, the computer mouses (the kind with a mouse ball in them) in the college hadn’t been disposed (or even retired from service for that matter)ever since Leonardo Di Caprio last received an academy award.
The campus was like a Roman city. Vast, well planned and beautiful. The architecture was awe-inspiring. Every class room had windows at the back (through which light sometimes fell directly on the blackboard at the front of the class, making it hard to read what was on it but hey, curtains would ruin how it looked from the outside).
There was a building under construction in the middle of the campus that some people thought was an eye-sore but Henricks didn’t think so. He might not be able to see it fully constructed by the time he graduated but then again, Rome was not built in a day. Maybe when his kids were old enough to put their kids in engineering college he could attend his grand children’s graduation ceremony there.
More about Henricks will be up as soon as he’s done with his tests. Which happen every two weeks or something apparently. He does get enough holidays though. Atleast 48 a year (coincidentally, those fall on sundays every time). Hopefully, I’ll catch him up one of these days.