A tale from the 90s

A tale from the 90s

A tale from the 90s
This picture is taken in 1993 with my classmates at Jyoti Nivas College. There were 14 students and almost the same number of teachers. Sixteen plays, 125 poems, 16 novels and oh-so-many critical essays ‑- the list of reading we had to do was endless. After all, we were the first batch of MA (English) students at Jyoti Nivas College. But we still found time to have our share of fun.

I still remember watching ‘Roja’ in Pallavi theatre – the fascination of listening to A R Rahman’s music in Dolby sound and the company of my friends is unforgettable. Popcorn was not affordable, so lunch boxes were passed around in the auditorium after the lights went out. The balcony ticket was only Rs 12 and ‘Gandhi Class’ was Rs 4.

We watched as many movies as we could during the course, using the pretext that these movies were adaptations of books.

We would come to the college by the college bus. The sign board on Hosur Road read ‘Koramangala 5 km from Bangalore’. Yes, unbelievable! Our college road just had one vegetarian restaurant, ‘Sukh Sagar’. You could see rabbits running around while you had ‘Chinese bhel’ and more.

The walk to the bus stop for buses 164 and 166 to Shivajinagar or to Double Road were filled with animated conversations about Shakespeare, Frost, Kafka and Ramanujan.

The current principal Dr Sr Elizabeth’s office was our classroom and Sr Nazreen, the then administrator, was our friendly advisor. We would disturb herduring the lunch break with our stories. Sr Rosarita, the librarian, made our long hours of reading and research in the library a pleasure. Pratiba, my friend was to marry the owner of the petrol bunk near St John’s College. So one day, after college, a bunch of us went to the petrol bunk to ‘see’ and interview the groom-to-be. Today, Pratiba and Lokesh are a happy couple with two children.

The viva was conducted in the University campus and I remember Asma, another friend of mine was pregnant and due to deliver that week. She successfully finished her viva and had her baby exactly a week later.

Those were happy days but full of challenges. We took all challenges in our stride as we had each other. The bonding in class was amazing. Next year, our friendship will turn 25 years. The memories are still fresh, be it the movies we watched, the classes we enjoyed, the dramas we enacted or just our never-ending conversations. Everything is etched in our memory as happy snapshots.

Naureen Aziz
(The author can be contacted at nowaziz@gmail.com)
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