Tossing the hat

Tossing the hat

I guess I thought that this would never end,
And suddenly it's like we're women and men.
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us round,
Or will these memories fade when I leave this town?
- Vitamin C
Rekha Sashikumar receiving a medal from Madhavan Nair.
Spandan Katti, a dental student, is attired in black oversized gown and a funny hat, it’s the day she’s been waiting for, for the last five years of her dental studies. She finally has the
degree in her hand, and two medals of honour. Her parents are with her, mother already in tears and father very close to.

“It was a mixed bag of emotions, that of freedom from so many years of struggle, the joy of finally getting the degree, that of sincerity while taking the oath. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.”

 So what is it exactly that makes this day so
memorable? Says Rekha Sashikumar, an MBA student, who won the gold medal, “More than the medals, it was catching up after a year with my classmates and faculty and sharing my joy with them that made it so overwhelming.”

Remembering her convocation day, actress Aindrita Ray, who graduated from Christ College, says, “We were all dressed in lovely blue sarees and we clicked snaps, and talked about our old days, caught up with a lot of gossip, it was very special.”
Apart from reunion, the presence of parents is also something that makes a convocation memorable. Says Spandan, “My dad, who is also a doctor, was invited to speak at the convocation and he was so proud.”

But unanimously, all convocation participants agree on their favourite moment of the convocation. And no, it’s not receiving the degree. It’s the tossing of the hat, it signifies freedom from the shackles of education, and the freedom to climb the career ladder!

For Vikram Tanwar, the Dean of IIPM, Bangalore, it’s a very nostalgic event where he sees a batch of students pass out from the college year after year. “I see how in two years time, students gain so much exposure and go through complete personality change. It’s a moment of pride for the faculty and me. Convocation is the celebration of that positive transition shared by the institution, students and parents.”

But there are many students who don't get to experience the convocation ceremony, especially the engineering students in the City. “Most of the engineering colleges come under
Visveshwariah Technological University and they have
convocations held in Belgaum, and there only medal holders and toppers are invited,” says Suman Ramaswamy, who passed out from an engineering college two years ago.

Says Spoorthi, a final year BA student from Bishop
Cottons Women’s Christian College, “Sometimes the
convocations are held so late that most of us are not available to attend it even if we want to.”

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