The author is currently a student at NLUO, Cuttack. He enjoys remaining anonymous. He’s a misanthrope, because it’s very fashionable. He revels in the incoherence of the universe.
“He rages most of all at the thought that eternity might get it into its head to take his misery from him!“- Kierkegaard
Disclaimer: This piece is boring and inaccurate. Click on something more interesting. Move on. There’s no point in reading this. Also, all characters and institutions appearing in this work are fictitious and any resemblance to any character or institution, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
When asked to write about how my life at college has been, I sat down to pour some of my hatred and resentment. Might sound like an ungrateful twat to some. And maybe I am. Can’t help feeling what I feel. Or can I?
“They lure us into taking up the jobs by showing a lot of money. And make us work like donkeys. And you know what they say when they come to talk to us at college? Work is life. Making the clients happy is our ultimate goal,” complained a wise friend at a ‘tier one’ law school.
The friend bets that the only thing different at a tier three law school is the ‘jobs’ part. Right.
But you question. How do you hammer bourgeois sensibilities in a spirit so bohemian, so avant-garde?
Not to deny that we, at our ‘tier three’ law school, have our share of mediocre wannabe corporate cocksuckers, like every other college. Hard to believe this place hasn’t produced as many professional standup comics [shout out to Rohan]. We’re a factory of cynics, of sceptics. But, whatever.
For eighteen years, you labour under the delusion that you are reasonably well-adjusted, positively contributing, law-abiding and conformist of a person. Regular stuff, supremely comfortable, no glitches.
And then, you end up here.
After a while of questioning, of introspection, you conclude that life is pointless and give up on it and take on things as they come. You renounce the search for meaning because there is none, you give up on the Truth, you give up on the lies they taught you to believe in. It’s very liberating but very uncomfortable. Easier to believe in a lie than to not believe in anything.
Here’s how it starts. On second Tuesdays of May every leap year, zombies mated with butterflies whereof begotten were the people who take classes.
I’m kidding, of course. They mate way too often.
These people check your projects, give you marks, and judge you on how you look.
But I respect them. Very sincerely. And do not wish any harm upon them. Because they’re works of art. Their classes, of course, are the epitome of academic meaninglessness. Except a very few. Except the old woman’s classes [the old woman who, by the way, is cooler than most reading ever will be].
Are they prejudiced, you ask? Are they opinionated? Are they weak minded? Do they not get off at night without strictly adhering to the attendance policy? Perhaps. But you’ve got to look at the bigger picture.
What bigger picture?
Wait. I’m getting the image. Charming old man. Untucked shirt. Caressing your arm. Talking about how good a student you are, and how beautiful the girl you’re sitting beside is. Why is life so full of misery? Herein lies the answer.
And then there’s the question of growth. There’s two types of growth I figured one can hope for at a university- Growing as a consequence of institutional support and growing despite it (a.k.a. old men and women’s multitudinous mindless fuckups that make the lives of 600+ people hell).
I’ll talk about the good part.
This place encourages me to be empathetic. No kidding. People who’ve been abused often tend to become sensitive to abuse in general. Take it up politically, fight for the oppressed and the silenced. Not that I use empathy all the time. I can be a real bitch. Not very sure about the economic fruitfulness of empathy either. In any case, the empathy-meters have been fine-tuned, oppression-detectors recalibrated.
Another rather pleasant experience follows.
One night, she calls me, “Let’s go out for a walk.” Good enough. But why does she sound so mushy? Way too touchy-feely. We’ve done that quite a bit. This night is different.
We huddle in a dark corner of ‘The Park where sins abound’ (In fact, the administration makes sure the lights are on, even if the girls’ hostel has been unlit for the last six hours. Power outage. Not unknown.)
Whereupon she whispers into my ear, “I’m, like, really horny right now!” Very romantic. It’s going to be a night of uncomfortable-under-the-stars lovemaking. Oh stop, ye sinners. Don’t be lured by the apple. It’s very expensive. And of course, there’s always danger of falling from grace.
Alright. There’s stuff I need to tell. Been planning on talking about this for a bit.
“Let’s begin by make out? Lady kisses. Soft and sweet.”
“Hah!”, I laugh out loud.
“What’s the joke?” she asks.
“No, tell me. NOW.”
“Um well, the joke is contingent upon what is to follow”
I grow incredibly hot in the face and then, “Chuck it. I’m coming out. I’m gold star gay, woman. The idea of making out or making love with a woman doesn’t necessarily repulse me. It just doesn’t have the desired impact. And I’m psychosexually incapable of doing that.”
Coming out here, otherwise, has been a fairly pleasant experience. You’re safe in the beginning because they presume your heterosexuality. And then things follow.
Another day, another friend, another coming out. I would like to point out that ‘coming out’ is not a definitive event but a constant negotiation. I’m a wee bit perturbed by his nonchalance until he says, “I’m not very sure if I’m okay with gay people. I mean, I can’t be sure if I’m okay since I have an obvious bias towards you.” Aww. “Now let me ask just one more question before we switch topics. Were you ever molested as child?”
LOL. NO. Or if I was, I don’t remember.
X discusses, hypothetically, LGBT activism on campus, “We’ll picket, we’ll shout slogans. You just need to name it and we’ll do it.” Alright. Much appreciated.
Then you get to discuss this stuff in class. The old man again. Very unnatural, very perverted. Followed by a barfing session at the men’s room. Then you study the law of crimes- “They should be allowed to have sex. But the state ought not legalise ‘gay’ and promote homosexual values. Homosexual values will destroy the fabric of our society. Many unintended consequences.” I tear up a bit. Just a bit.
Anyway, let’s move on. Having a gaydar helps. And there are at least four men in my batch alone who ping on it. You don’t have to come out right now. I haven’t. Not anytime soon. I understand how helpful it is being adept at hiding our fragile masculinities behind unmeaning sexist banter. Ah, the things a closet forces one to do. But here’s a request, people. I’ve handed you the razors. Time to shave off your beards.
The court or the penal code won’t make me any less a fag than I already am. And while I’ll let them ponder on and rule on the legality of anal sex, I’ll have to go about my life. Find a suitable boy and work at a place where I’m least likely to be killed or abused or discriminated against. Reassurance is such a good thing.
And if you’re one of those hoping to join the law school someday (RUN, DON’T DO IT), here’s a wise old saying that’ll help- “It’s not you, it’s me.” Figure stuff out for yourself. Find the silver lining. Hope is a comfortable ally. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find your people here. I’m in one of those moods right now where I’d acknowledge I value my relationships with them and appreciate their presence in my life. And were it not for their company, life would’ve sucked way worse than it does right now.
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