This post was submitted to Ergo by Mayukha Chihnitha, a second-year (Batch of 2023) student of NALSAR, Hyderabad.
“You always do this to me. Why do you have to bring me here? I won’t get this university anyway. You are so cruel.”
I was very angry with God. I did not expect NALSAR to be so beautiful. It was 6th of May. I got NALSAR as my AILET exam center. I had never believed in love at first sight, until I saw NALSAR. Indeed, I fell in love with the campus. I was unable to get in terms with the fact that I won’t be studying at NALSAR.
I never wanted to study at NLU-Delhi so I did not take the exam seriously. I just stopped looking at the question paper and started to admire NALSAR’s spectacular library. I could just spend my whole weekend there. It was that stunning. I don’t know why but I just randomly wrote “Coca cola” on my table. I seriously had no idea why I did that. Done with the exam, time to leave NALSAR. I did not want to leave that place but I had to.
Two months later, I was there, at the NALSAR auditorium, listening to our V.C. welcoming the first years. I thought that day would be the happiest moment of my life. But I was wrong. I was literally intimidated and terrified by my fellow batch mates speaking fluent English with different accents that I could not even understand. That was not the environment in my school or junior college. My parents immediately understood my nervousness. Though they tried to encourage me, I could sense that they were worried for me. There were helpful and friendly seniors and my batch mates. I met my roommate and she seemed good. I got to know people but nothing made me feel better. I was afraid of everything. For the first time I thought, “Maybe, this is not the place for me”.
The first day of my classes at NALSAR was the worst day of my life. All my fear made me a deaf fool. I was unable to understand what my professors were saying. I was at the verge of tears. I did not know how I would be able to survive at that place. Culture shock was real. I broke down in front of my parents who came to visit me on my first day, before they left the city. They were more worried than I was. But the best gift they gave me was that they trusted me when I did not. I still remember my mother leaving with a layer of tears in her eyes. I’ve decided. I shouldn’t break their trust. “I will deal with this. I can do this.” I told myself.
On the second today, the true face of NALSAR hit me harder than ever. There was this person in my class, who thought that I cannot understand Hindi because I am a South-Indian and said something that I never expected to hear in a so-called ‘open-minded’ campus. That person pushed away a chair and pulled another one. The explanation given by that person to another person was that, “That fellow sat here. Do you think I would sit in this chair?” Yes. This was a remark made against a Dalit student. I myself being a Dalit student was shocked to hear this. I questioned my existence at NALSAR. After some of such detestable events, I was discouraged. I sat in the library, thinking if I should leave NALSAR. Then, I found the same table where I wrote ‘Coca cola’. This made me remember how much I wanted to be at NALSAR. I got this and I can’t let go of this just because some spoiled kid has issues with a particular community or someone doesn’t like my opinions. I earned this and I won’t give up on this.
After spending a few months at NALSAR, I found different faces of my campus. Caste discrimination which is very much explicit but no one seems to question. Body shaming done to all the body types and skin colors, accent shaming, which is done to the people who have good accents and who don’t and a lot more.
But the best thing about NALSAR is that it gives you a platform to speak up. It offers an environment where we can get to know people like us and help each other. It gives us the courage to speak up. I can say that NALSAR is a mother, who takes care of all her children, good and bad, bullies and the bullied, victims and perpetrators. Everyone learns here, the lessons of their lives. This campus is one of its kind. She taught me how to face my biggest fears, how to fight, how to handle and survive. Even if you are the only person to have an opinion and others are against it, you can still speak up without any hesitation. You might earn haters, but you will get them anyway. No need to silence yourself for that reason. No matter how drastic or controversial your opinion is, it is your opinion and you have complete freedom to speak up. You will get to know how to fight for your rights, how to raise voice against insults of all kinds and to thrive even when all the odds are against you. I don’t know what NALSAR has in place for me. But I am sure that it would teach me more. This is going to be an amazing roller coaster which I can only enjoy for once.
After an year at NALSAR, my only regret is that I did not pay enough attention to the classes in the first semester. I was most afraid of our Professor Amita Dhanda. Her knowledge, her ideology, the way she speaks, everything about her is so splendid that it made me nervous whenever she was in front of me. I idealize her so much and I realized this in my second semester. I will miss her classes. I should have paid more attention. All my experiences at NALSAR, regardless of them being good or bad, were amazing. NALSAR is a wonderful place to study and learn. People are malicious, not the place. We will eventually learn to deal with them. I have seen helpful and friendly seniors, wonderful friends and classmates, fortunately, a very good roommate and of course, some unwanted hatred and abhorrent events. This is life. This is how we learn and we triumph.
“ALL SHE SEES, ALL SHE KNOWS, ALL SHE TOLERATES, ALL SHE TEACHES, ALL SHE CARES AND ABOVE ALL, SHE PROTECTS, ALL OUR SECRETS, FAULTS AND REGRETS.”
DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect. We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.