Our university held a convocation on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, which by the way was for 2009 university graduates; almost two years after the fact. But as they say, better late than never. So if nothing, we have that to be grateful of.
To hold the huge crowd expected for the occasion, a stage was especially erected in an open lawn in front of the Ansari Auditorium. They even invited the Dalai Lama to deliver the commencement speech. The whole affair was executed on a grand scale.
It must have been very impressive I imagine. I say I imagine, because I was not allowed in, and can only wonder what it must have been like inside.
You’ll be surprised to find out that students (besides the one who were being awarded their degrees) where not allowed in. And you’ll be even more surprised to know, or should I say shocked, as I was, that neither was anyone else. I mean, not even the families or friends of the graduating students.
I’m guessing, besides the graduating students, the only people present at the convocation must have been faculty members, people from the university administration, and of course the Dalai Lama himself and no one else.
As the guard at the gate informed me with a frown, if you’re not wearing a gown, you’re not entering the ground.
So that’s how it was, when the big moment came, graduating students had no one to share the moment with. There was no one to cheer for them; no one to look to; and no one to wave to.
A ceremony which marks one of the greatest achievements in a student’s life must have felt like a roll call at prison.
I guess when I graduate and go to my graduation ceremony — assuming I’ll still be hanging around in Delhi for the next two years after I graduate — I should take along my camera, for that would be the only way my family and friends can share with me, one of the proudest moments of my life.
How so unfortunate, and how very sad.