Monotony in life is a guaranteed fact, especially once the semester gears up for the last couple of months. Days are spent in one infinite loop of classes, mess and hostel. Quizzes, assignments, presentations and term papers are constantly knocking on our doors. In such a situation, it is only natural that we might all get bored.
Assuming this to be true, I have made a to-do list that might slightly help you kill boredom when it strikes you while in the campus. Go ahead, make my day.
- Star gazing
Many among us are nocturnal creatures. For night time is the best time. The time when everything is calm and cool, the time when the moon and the stars lights up the sky.
You cannot see the stars so bright and beautiful from any part of urban Chennai apart from our campus. In the city, the smoke, dust and soot coupled with the bright lights form one large impermeable cloud for the starlight to seep in. Luckily for us, hamare pass jungle hain, to clean up the air and make the atmosphere as perfect as it can be.
Climb up one of those rooftops (or watertanks) with a couple of friends and some packets of potato chips. Stare into the night sky and realise your insignificance in this universe. Boredom wouldn’t annoy you again for quite some time.
- Midnight Strolls
There is nothing more thrilling than walking around the forests at midnight with some horror music playing from the earphones plugged into your phone. The possibility of you making it back alive is fairly good, unless you are kidnapped by a blood-thirsty vampire from Translyvania, or if you get a notification saying that Trump has been elected the President.
Now that the summer is already drying up our throats and brains, a stroll while the sun’s still above, is unimaginable. Again, night time is the best time. So the next time you are fed up by the mails announcing the deadlines, simply get out of your hostel and walk around the campus. It’ll definitely lighten up your mood (Expert advice here). But don’t forget the deadlines!
- The Bus Ride
The yellow box with four tyres is the circulatory system of IIT Madras. Our own bus service! If night is for strolls and stargazing, daytime is for the institute bus system. Get into a bus preferably from some stop where crowd is sparse so that you can find a seat. And let the summer wind blow all over your sweating face. It feels divine. Stay in the same seat for an hour as the bus moves over the forests, partial forests and the not -forested areas. Boredom will be gone with the wind.
- Into the Wild
For many of us the early morning alarms are the screams that come from the monkey attacks (metaphorically, of course!) in the hostel. Occasionally you’ll also run into a herd of deer grazing in the lawns outside the hostel while you’re on the hurry to attend the 8 am class.
We all have something which many of the other universities and colleges do not. Wildlife! Monkeys, deer, forests and lakes! They are a part of our lives, just as they are the part of the Guindy National Park. I should say that we are blessed people to have these innocent creatures roaming around all the time (not including the monkey part here).
Occasionally, take a walk into the forest, where these animals live. You could also carry a camera. The forest is exciting with all those flowering trees and chirping birds. Also, remember that the spring’s here already (says Facebook!).
- Find the Railway Track
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that all IITians in possession of social skills know about a railway track in the campus. In fact, I have heard about this from a lot of people, without having met a single human who has found it. The railway track is a legend. So why not ascertain its existence by yourself!
- Give your cycle that much delayed repair and go cycling at midnight.
Since legally, we aren’t allowed to use powered vehicles in the campus, cycles are our Lamborghinis and Porsches. They are our buddies who accompany us everywhere whenever we demand. If animals and humans can have right to a decent life, cycles too should deserve the same. Let us all prove our humanity by being fair.
Take it to the cycle shop near the Tapti Hostel, pour some oil to the chains and give it some fresh air! Pun intended. Follow this with a late night cycle ride. Your cycle will be forever grateful.
- Go on an insti grub crawl
Food is bae. Hence, a walk across the hostel zone exploring all the eateries is very agreeable indeed. That’s right foodies! Start with the IRCTC canteen followed by small grabs from Quark and later into Himalaya, Guru, Ramu at Vindhya and Campus Cafe. Once this is accomplished, you’ll understand that life isn’t boring after all. Samosa, chocolate mousse, filter coffee, barbeque chicken, masala dosa, lollipops, and what not! Well, the challenge is to keep it all under 100-200 bucks. Else, trust me, you are a failure at life.
- Engage in a small talk with a non-academic staff
Its human nature that we tend to limit ourselves to people whom we are acquainted with. So if you ever get tired of your friend’s continuous whining about how bad his/her F slot quiz was, go out to that security person in front of your hostel. Poor akka/ anna, stays outside the building all the time in this scorching heat. Ask him/her about their family, hometown, favourite dish or maybe even monkeys!
- Check your smail and attend an event
You know you are in IIT Madras when your phone vibrates every 20 minutes with an smail notification. Smails are real, they don’t hang in air. Our institute has diverse events every single day. Simply walk into a lecture or a lit-soc/tech-soc event . Sit in the air conditioned hall and relax. Doze off. It’s all good as long as you don’t offend anyone.
How many times did you pass by the ball badminton court without ever giving it a second thought? Go there, team up with a regular and use all your gully badminton skills to learn this (apparently) Indian native sport. If you are too lazy to play , the ongoing Schroeter season gives you plenty of matches to watch. Hit Sangam, SAC or the institute grounds and pick a side to cheer. Once the match gets over and the lights go off, stay back to star-gaze at the sky and reflect on life, universe and everything.
- Visit the Kid’s section in the library.
In some way or the other we all claim to be adults. This is true especially when we are denied entry into various places ‘not suitable’ for non-adults. Though not often, there are times when we need to get back to our ancient age: the childhood. The kids section in the library is one area where you could feel ageless. A revamped kid section is now functioning in the Central Library. Walk in, grab Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Panchatantra tales to give yourself a cup of nostalgia and joy.
Boredom is your body’s own way of telling you “I don’t want to sleep anymore”. While sleep might be a cure, it can also turn into an addiction. Finally, I’d like to wrap up my Robin Sharma-like lecture with a non-statutory warning. Thanks to CBFC for this. Boredom is injurious to health. Beware.