The Campus Diary, Amar Singh College Srinagar

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The Campus Diary, Amar Singh College Srinagar

By Ubair Fayaz Fazili, A liberal arts student from Amar Singh College

By Ubair Fayaz Fazili

I just came back from Delhi, a whole week later and somehow it is that I had hoped the world would be different but it was not and despite everything, it isn’t all bad either. I left for college early in the morning; in my hands was a carton full of books that I had promised my friend I would deliver for him in the hands of a mutual friend. It took a lot of efforts till college and at the gate, since I have an unconventional fair complexion (just saying it out loud because the situation demands it), seeing that my blushes were so widely inevitable to ignore, the gatekeeper commented: che chui yuttuyi draamut, pagah kithkani khasakh che border’as. It took me awhile to process why he said what he said and then it hit me, my beard is like that of the ex-militant who had just surrendered, is it so obvious?I just came back from Delhi, a whole week later and somehow it is that I had hoped the world would be different but it was not and despite everything, it isn’t all bad either. I left for college early in the morning; in my hands was a carton full of books that I had promised my friend I would deliver for him in the hands of a mutual friend. It took a lot of efforts till college and at the gate, since I have an unconventional fair complexion (just saying it out loud because the situation demands it), seeing that my blushes were so widely inevitable to ignore, the gatekeeper commented: che chui yuttuyi draamut, pagah kithkani khasakh che border’as. It took me awhile to process why he said what he said and then it hit me, my beard is like that of the ex-militant who had just surrendered, is it so obvious?

The stories of my complexion are inevitable, if not for my hair which bailed upon being blonde, I would be taken as a foreigner for my face value and I have been a couple of times.

Never mind, Amar Singh College has its own welcoming ways, a parallel tree line of poplars on the road that enters and as you go on  the left falls the library wing and on the right is the ongoing construction of our new building. The strangest thing is, I don’t know if it is an architectural or an engineering slight but it looks stupid to me. There are six windows, two on each side of the building. There is a staircase adjacent to the window, blocking it completely, which makes me think that the purpose of windows gets defeated. I mean, how do you explain having a staircase so close to the window that the whole point of having a window goes naught? It makes me laugh every time  but then, that isn’t even the best part of my day, my highlights lie in the zone of the heritage building, when our circle meets for the first class— English Literature. Now, we may not like what we are taught in it, how we are taught and by whom, but one thing is for sure that all of us together is a strange, beautiful coincidence.

It was pretty awkward when the professor saw the Fifty Shades of Grey set; I just kept a straight face. Ethically speaking, it came as a shock to her which was funny because the whole related-to-sex-talks are a familiar taboo in our society. “This is personal” she remarked, picking up that series like they were plague, like her fingers would be severed if anyone comes to know she touched them and her face which was inquisitive with the hunger of books was gone altogether.

After class, Amaan, my six feet three and couple inches friend took me to his newly opened café, which his brother owns actually. It’s a Harry Potter theme oriented café and we have all been pretty excited about it. We had been looking for a hangout place, perhaps the search is over.

Aman, in his own multiverse will not judge you so you are free to talk about anything. He asked me about my Delhi trip, so I told him everything—  the whole Delhi trip was about one person, that I had promised my friend that I’d be there on my birthday and everything that happened in and around it. In a way talking about my relationship gives him an agenda about women as a whole. And yet, it is funny as hell.

There are some professors that we really love and one among them teaches us functional English. So we kept the pizza that his brother offered us waiting and went for a class. It turned out pretty good, she doesn’t bore us. I mean we interact and that makes things funny because Amaan is a wisenheimer. I basically do the role of a side kick, it works for me.

While we were heading back to the café, we met Asma on the way and took her with us; she’s super on Urdu and a pizza buff. Also, I call Amaan Kelso because he’s tall, has long hair like Ashton Kutcher in The 70’s Show but intellectually he is something else. 

Faisal and I have a collective goal of going to the Principal and tell her how it hurts to be treated as leftovers when it comes to opportunies— the English Honours are our staunch rivals but only we know that they almost always are in all the events that we barely even know of. Ubaid and I only talk about the degrading morals of writing on Instagram and are united about condemning it. Three of us, we don’t like the college Canteen. I remember eating a rancid Chicken Patty and thereon I took solace in leaving the college gate and having Nestle Vendor Tea around the corner, opposite Town Square mall.

Amar Singh could be a better college if it did some things like: letting Arts students have the liberty to use Bukhari Hall for Stand Ups, Narrative poetry, Theatre and Drama and all the things that are potential game changers for Art. There is a projector room that is under lock and key and used under very keen observations of peers that are in charge of it, only used on occasions where Professors come and knock themselves wise using it— not bad at all but students should have the liberty of screening their own movies inside it. All things considered, I myself and fellow Humanities students feel like our college should scrape off the whole Humanities program if they can’t offer the exposure it demands but that’s only one way of looking at it.

Anyway, Kelso was sick for the while I was in Delhi, he had cough but regardless of that he went with his couple of friends and had an ice cream alongside Dal which is actually a pretty dumb thing to do. For this reason, he couldn't come along to Delhi and give meaning to the promise he made to his girlfriend and the sadness of it was perpetual in his heart. His mindfulness of being conscious to not prolong his sickness was disrupted by an ice-cream. Anyway, his brother bought us a six slice, taste-checking pizza and Kelso gave up after a slice because he felt full in so many ways, his desire to eat was lost like the promise he made to his girlfriend. Asma and I ate four in total but some was left, it was pretty good.

On our way back, Kelso spoiled my hair and I am always correcting my hair because it is all over the place usually, but then he says messy hair looks good on me and that made sense because Asma says so too but even then I amfirmly in denial of it. Anyway he said I could be his chic-magnet and I promptly agreed to be that. Kelso plans to make me act gay just in case somebody comes up to me and its fine by me. Asma was hysterical and walking on a road full of people ready to judge anytime made it extra special.

It doesn’t take much to notice that I’m the epicentre of the group and why shouldn’t I be, I have made myself compatible to each one of them and sometimes I look at five us together, five utterly different personalities brought together by god knows what. However true that most of them became my friends on incidents and they can’t shake the enchantment off, it’s funny and right in its own way.

This peice of Writing by Ubair was published in the March Edition of Captured Illusions.