Described by her friends as one of the “nicest and bestest” people that you are likely to meet in the insti, Amala Bonnie was one of those rare people whom junta unanimously agreed can ‘do no wrong’. A quiet person who has juggled infi responsibilities including being Sharav’s GenSec , member of the Speaker’s Core Committee, active in the Christian and KKS Committees, part of the NSS managerial team and the driving force behind IViL, Amala recounts her memorable life in insti and what IITM offered her as a person in this ‘Through the Goggles of a Graduate’ article.
Some people have told me that five years is a very long time to spend in a college. Now that the five years of insti life have come to an end, I realize that the long time spent at this same place brought boredom never. Insti is a wonderful place and post the graduation, there is just a “thank you” that needs to be said.
A unique multidisciplinary MA program, in what seemed to be a beautiful and vibrant campus, is what brought me to IIT-M. The first semester did have its share of homesickness, but two months into college, insti became home. I will always remember insti for two things – the people and the opportunities it gave me.
Getting to know people who put in their best to pursue their interests make some of my most remarkable insti memories. There were seniors who in our first week told us about insti and shared their love for this campus and its activities. The positivity that they held and passed on to us kept me optimistic and at ease in those first months of being in a new place. There were seniors who by being who they are, showed us what it means to be true to one’s convictions and principles; seniors who noticed in each of us what we were slightly good at and encouraged us to nourish those skills. There were classmates who were a motivation to read and learn, for whom learning was not for better grades. Rather it was to be able to turn out to be knowledgeable and wise because that ought to be the outcome of one’s college years.
Most importantly, there were friends for a lifetime made; because five years is indeed a long time spent growing up together to be better people, understanding each other’s principles and ideas, and supporting each other in the process of self-nourishment. Five years might have had its share of quarrels amidst the happy moments, but getting back together makes the ties stronger and what that gives, are friends to count on whenever we need them.
A university ought to be a space where its students shall be facilitated in the process of evolving into individuals of integrity, where students are considered to be capable of choosing and deciding on their own what is best for them. This space to err, correct themselves and be mature, to learn from one’s mistakes, is very important in self-discovery and learning. And for being this, IIT-M will always be thanked. There have been situations where we had to assemble and protest against what we believed to be suggestions that would have curbed the freedom we enjoyed, or unreasonable regulations. Yet, even in those situations, our explanations and arguments have been paid heed to. The students of IIT-Madras were always treated as responsible individuals, though we may not have lived up to that expectation many times.
The past five years have also been a learning experience when it comes to working with people and working as a team towards goals set as a team. It was truly an enriching experience to interact and discuss with many about how is it that we could make something better. Interaction with teammates, each with a different perspective with regard to how an organization could stay committed to its cause and improve its effectiveness, or about how certain issues could be tackled, situations be improved and a new way-to-be be developed took place; yet coming to a consensus and working together towards a shared vision soon turn into memories, instilling a sense of motivation while taking up new tasks and embarking on a new direction.
Insti being self-contained, we may not really have had the chance to know what the real world is like. But I believe that we have been equipped with the skill and uprightness to face whatever the outside world shall present us with, both the good and the bad. I would miss what was always taken-for-granted in insti: the late-night discussions, 4 am tea sessions, a beautiful campus and co-living with nature. Yet, since it is time to be off home, I end this note saying “Thank You”.