According to Wikipedia, I was a graduand till a few days back. Who are they to judge, you might ask. The fact that you ask that question implies that you have been living in a hole for the last few years. Welcome back Rip Van Winkle, we now have colour televisions and internet. Wikipedia is the new bible. Where was I? Ah, graduand. An eminently Commonwealth word, it refers to a student who has “completed” his graduation but has not yet graduated with a formal ceremony. And the university solved that problem with a convocation (or convo as we cool people call it) ceremony on the 20th of January.
With most of our class being in Bangalore itself, there were many of us in the train that took us to the alma mater. A fun journey as all train journeys are, we reached the ‘city’ of Kozhikode on the morning of the convo. Some noobs had turned up the previous day itself as the official website had told us to be present there for some rehearsal and registration. But our mole in the college had told us that it was all bullshit, so we sauntered in on the relevant day only.
The necessary registration and collection of gowns/robes was done. The dress had a caution deposit of Rs 1500/-(one thousand five hundred only). Shocking. It is not as if we are silly immature people who can’t be trusted to tie our own shoelaces. Oh wait, we are. Then we proceeded to our… oops erstwhile (*sniff**sniff*) hostels to dump the bag. Some people had to carry out their daily routines while the rest of us less disciplined folks waited for them. Then we were all ready for breakfast.
But waiting for one of our flock stuck in Bombay resulted in our delay in going to that hallowed thattukada, our haunt for three years, the place which fed us and kept us out of shape during our college days, that abode of the master of tea-making Vasuettan and the excellent Chechi. Words fail most of us while waxing lyrical about the food there. Some people have stopped drinking tea anywhere else after tasting a sip from Chechi’s, fearing losing that divine taste from the tongue. The person with the best vocabulary of “nice words” in our group slung poetical rhyming swear words at the delayer for delaying us and we ran there fearing that all was lost.
Our fears were almost realised and we had to make do with the second best options available but the divine tea was there to compensate. Feeling very sated and at peace with the world, all at the cost of 20 rupees, smiling benignly at all and sundry, we then proceeded to meet the favourite teacher(s). A lot of fun was had at the expense of some people who give lifts to girls on bikes as well as some people who go to gym when some people are rumoured to come to Bangalore. But alas I can reveal no names.
The convo was scheduled to begin at 3:30 in the afternoon(duh!) and after quick showers and a lot of time deducing how to wear the robes, we went to the Audi. There we learned that the robes have been wrongly worn and after long duels and almost endless namecalling, we finally decided to wear it just as it is. And then I entered the audi.
And then I entered my mistake. The chief guest coming from Saddi Dilli had his flight delayed as a result of the awesome fogs due to the awesome climate in awesome Delhi and it was no fault of the Delhi which is the awesomest place that I know of. But I digress. The nub of the matter is that he was late and some of us were left stuck in the hall with no entertainment other than sitting and twiddling my thumbs while watching grass grow and paint dry. You might wonder why I did not take my awesome iPod but then you were not aware of the stupid rule that no cameras and stuff were aloud. Then you will argue that the 0.3 megapixel camera in the iPod does not qualify as a camera and then I will grab your throat for blaspheming about an iDevice for I am an Apple fanboy. But again I digress.
The ceremony finally began two hours late with loud trumpets and the academic procession entered the halls with great fanfare. The next thing I remember was people going on the stage to collect their certificates. The speeches were said to be excruciatingly boring and infinitely long. My name was finally called and I went on stage all humble and bowing and promptly lost my hat. But being the resourceful person that I am, I converted that mishap into a curtsey and got my photo snapped without further problems. The degree told me that I got through with a First Class with Distinction, talk about awesomeness, which gathering from the expressions on people’s face when I tell them my marks, I would hardly have considered possible let alone probable.
The fact that we were stuck in the hall for around 5 hours left us ravenously hungry and the juniors were blessed from the bottom of our hearts when they provided us refreshments. Then I ran around making hasty farewells and searching for the friend who had promised a ride home (his not mine). The aforementioned friend having been found out, gathered Yours Truly and the one who got mocked for the bike incident and took us to his home. And the convo trip that most of us had been waiting for ended.
A huge thank you for all the friends and teachers who enabled me to stumble through four years of college with a degree in hand to show for it. And I am now a graduate, fellow homo sapiens. A graduate from a not too shabby university in India. Bring on the world now. I will shove that degree in their face. Or burn it along with the rest of the stuff when the world ends in 2012. Whatever…