Posted: July 6, 2013 by Ankur in Writes...
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It has been now one full year since I moved into the sprawling campus in the university of Hyderabad.For a person who has lived all her life in the home and her mom doing every little things for her,from washing clothes to cooking food living alone seemed a little scary.But I had firmly decided to move out after my graduation since I mostly wanted to escape from this city(Bhubaneswar) where I have been living since 2 decades!A very long time.And secondly,I did not wanted to do my masters in a state university where teaching style is not upto the standard. Moreover,University of Hyderabad is one of the best university in India.

So on 23rd June last year,I made the really small one room hostel my home for two years.For someone who has never imagined to live in so small a room it was really depressing for the first one week.There were moments where bouts of emotions were so strong that I would go into the washroom and cried my heart out.I never wanted consolation from anyone in the campus since I decided I had to deal with this all by myself.I never showed anyone how emotionally fragile I was in the first two weeks.Then slowly and steadily I changed a lot or I guess the word evolve is more appropriate. I carried the mantle of my own life and made my own decisions.Soon I was doing everything on my own….washing dishes (when I did not felt like using the utensil provided by the mess n cleaned by them),shopping,hanging out through out the city,bargaining,travelling all alone sometimes, in a completely new city(but never getting lost,thankfully!) I traveled all alone to my cousin’s place wi thout having any faintest idea regarding the bus numbers and their routes.,booking cabs,dancing in pub with my friends,sweeping and cleaning my room,doing my own laundry(when I was not satisfied with the way the laundry fellow washed my bed sheet,I washed it myself!),eating whatever I felt like and at any time from anywhere!I girl who was scared to go to the toilet alone at night actually slept peacefully with lights off when her roommate was not there. I did things that I never did at home and my parents who would never accept it(like tasting beef!).I told people everything on their face if they are causing problems and made friends from every states and diverse cultures from India and abroad.

But whatever I did I took the permission of my parents.where there was things which they did not approve off(like going out with friends late night to a club) I had to convince them to let me experience it once and my parents actually allowed it,although they may not approve it but they thought I have every right to experience everything in life and the ball is always in my court,since I am old enough to decide what is right and safe for me.I am actually very lucky to have such parents who actually allowed there daughter to do everything out of her own free choice,this is very unlikely about most Indian parents who believe in keeping the children with a lease and treating them like a pet dog!I had my first peg of alcoholic drink,vodka, it tasted too bad. Many people I know in the campus do all sorts of things behind the backs of their parent’s back,while back home their parents sadly believe that the lease is still their hand.I cannot do this not because I am a &lsq uo;very good fellow’ or quite ‘moralistic’ ,rather I cannot live a double life,like most middle class people I cannot be a hypocrite and hate it like anything.If I do something out of free will I am not scared of telling that, by yelling at everyone who wants to know.Nobody’s opinion has ever mattered to me,other than my parents.And I always thought I need to tell them everything.And thankfully my parents never ever bury me under their advises unless and until I seek them.

I went around the city of Hyderabad with friends,eating out in different restaurants and trying new dishes,going around the major landmarks in the city and trying to grasp its contradicting cultures.Sadly am not able to visit Charminar due to communal tensions in the area since a month. The moment you enter from the new city to the old city suddenly it hits you! the sharp differences between a westernized,global Indians and the so called conservative,primitive culture still clinging to whatever left of their old world.I have no complains regarding such ‘conservationism’ if people who practice it are really happy and not doing it under any compulsions.As far as I discovered that people in the old city are quite happy and comfortable in keeping the flag of their tradition high,which actually made me happy too.Dividing people as ‘modern’ and ‘conservative’ is a colonial construction and a westernized concept where people who did not adhere to the ethos of ‘westernization’ are branded as ‘primitive’ or conservative’.I know friends who are quite very modern and secular in their thoughts,warm in their behaviour and smart in asserting their opinions,hard working to the core but are quite traditional in their dressing and I love the way they are.I admire such people for doing what they really feel they should, instead of being slave to the dictates of fashion and peer pressure.From them I learned that life should always be lived in our own terms and one is not born to please others.

About the city of Hyderabad I would sum off as one of my prof. said ‘there are many ‘Hyderabads’ in one Hyderabad,so go ahead and explore the city’.As student of Sociology and wanting to do journalism in future, I feel its very important for me to understand the people,place and the culture around me which will I believe help me to understand myself better and help me in my career ahead.Now let me move on to the most important stuff the reason am here!STUDIES.I must say that the course outline is quite tough and huge.The things which we can complete in one year,we had to complete within four months.The schedule is very hectic and I have to spent most of my money on photocopying the study materials.Just three weeks before the semester a prof. actually mailed us more than 600 pages of reading material!I cannot go out every weekend as I have to appear for innumerable internal tests.By the time the internals are over,the semester hangs heavy on your head and one actually get very limited time for fun if one is truly devoted to studies.I had to work so hard this time which I had never imagined.I really do not care what will be my grades(CGPA)since I tried my best and gave all my efforts,the rest is not in my hands.And now am at home enjoying my leisure.I do not want to tell anything about the mess food since it is so depressing that it will make my mood bad and I feel even more surprise that I have adjusted to it so well that I haven’t lost any weight,which I want to. 😦 

The campus is 2500 acres in area,largest in Asia!And suppose a student stays in the campus for many years and never venture outside then he or she cannot see or know what Hyderabad is!since the campus itself is like a small town!Everyday the same life,even if the entire city is in chaos or there is civil strife the campus will remain the same!Its actually funny to see students and also my roommate who never read newspaper,they are so unaware of what is going on just outside the campus that you feel we all are staying in a different planet! It makes you feel like as if you have a cocooned existence.But the moment you step into the campus after roaming outside for long you feel as if you are home!For those who rarely go outside feel that ‘the university is Hyderabad and vice versa’….so most of us need to go out at least thrice a month to escape from boredom.The nearest market is called ‘Indira Nagar’.Its like a long market lined with mostly f ood joints(MC Do,Dominos,subway,etc).Be it chinese,South Indian,North Indian,continental,cafes,icecream parlors and cookie stores,bakeries,sweets,junk food or street food you will get it all,and there’s a small store and boutique,gift shop,showrooms for specs and shoes,ATMs,cellphone stores,spencer,groceries et all!!Take an auto and you will reach the place in 15 minutes and get or do everything you want.The price of food ranges from 700 in hotels to 20 rupees on the street and I do what my mood dictates!Then the next hangout place is the ‘food court’ inside inorbit mall in Hitech city and the multiplex inside the mall.Have your food in the ‘food court’ and then take a packet of over prized pop corn and munch as you watch movies.If any student want it cheap(and most does!) then theres a theatre called ‘talkie town’ where tickets are only 55 rupees and in its first floor there are 3 to 4 food joints,including ‘dosa plaza’ which boost of 255 types of dosas!If you want a quick bite to satiate your hunger then the food court in the campus (known as gops after a shopkeeper Gopal!!) can only come to your rescue anytime.If you are too lazy then you can always or too busy then you can have home delivery from Dominos(if you want junk food) or from Green Bawarchi(if you want cooked,tasty food).’Kairali’ a roadside restaurant that prepares really nice and cheap Kerala food is one of the favourite of my Malyalee room mate and to some extent mine.A lot of options!huh?But ‘Indira Nagar’ followed by inorbit remain my favourite.

I cannot end this without telling anything about my really nice roommate,Haritha. In such a few months she has really been a good room mate and a person with whom I have always enjoyed talking.Even if the lights are on or off she can sleep.Staying in a hostel since the last three years she can adjust to almost everything unlike a novice like myself.Haritha and I and one of her friend and one of my friend!hang out together. I am really happy to get a nice roommate who is not only friendly but also cheer me up when I am homesick or nervous due to exams. 

So here I end this about my new life where I have adjusted and blended so well that I wonder how can I??!!

Abhinita Mohanty

University of Hyderabad

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