"5 New Benches" ; In front of the Central Canteen; Dec. 12, 2012 (Photo: Khalid Jaleel)
"5 New Benches" ; In front of the Central Canteen; Dec. 12, 2012 (Photo: Khalid Jaleel)

My Jamia Story So Far

[The following article was first published in the 2013 edition of ‘Episteme’ — Dept. of Political Science’s annual student magazine — under the title “The Story So Far…” We republish it here with permission.] 

— By Sampurnaa Dutta

A mesmerizing campus bustling with energy. Warm welcoming people and a cordial ambience. That’s Jamia for you!

Sampurnaa Dutta
Sampurnaa Dutta

It all happened once graduation was over. College was a space so blissful and protected that three years just whizzed past without even realizing and then the big question-what next?  The desire to pursue post graduation in the course that I love, political science, brought me to Jamia. The ecstasy of clearing the written exam was soon quashed by the fear of an interview looming over; in my case the first ever in life. Much against my anticipations, the five member panel was friendly and supportive. What’s more, I cleared the interview and here I was-officially a student of Jamia Millia Islamia!

The first thing that bowled me over was the systematic and efficient administration. The entire process of admission takes place in the most student friendly, hassle free manner. To top it all, the person responsible for the whole process amuses you with his jovial comic behavior! He is no wonder loved by one and all. If you happen to bear the prevailing stereotypes, you are in for a surprise.  This place welcomes and accepts you the way you are. Cultural assimilation prevails here like nowhere else. One of the instances that caught my attention at the earliest was the gracious way people greet one another. It warmed my heart and I soon learnt to do the same.

One thing that you would never want to miss is the food! Often you would be asked, “Yahan ki biryani khayi?” Once tasted, you can never get over it. Be it the central canteen, Fx, or Engineering Faculty, food here is something worth relishing.

"5 New Benches" ; In front of the Central Canteen; Dec. 12, 2012 (Photo: Khalid Jaleel)
Students at the Central Canteen in Jamia Millia Islamia; Dec. 12, 2012 (Photo: Khalid Jaleel)

Academically, professors don’t pressurize us to the point of breakdown. Classroom studies take place in a relaxed manner giving ample time for self study. After all, where else would you have a four day week and enjoy an extended weekend every week?

My stay in Jamia has been enhanced by the numerous people that I have come in terms with. Coming from different parts of the country and the globe, each from a different walk of life, has a story to tell. Experiences that we happened to share introduced me to world views that I didn’t even know existed. Sitting in the canteen while sipping on chai, you hear things that make you go, “Aisa bhi hota hai?” From loving batch mates to doting seniors who pamper you silly, you name it and you have it here! Not everyone is as warm and friendly though. A lot of times animosity and negativity exists like anywhere else. But it’s all part of life, and trust me, these little complications are worth having!

From graduation to post graduation, I have come a long way. Amongst a host of other things, Jamia has taught me to be patient and accepting. Several things here function in a much different way from what I had learnt so far. I had to unlearn several things and relearn them to fit in here. While working for several events in the university, I realized that I could stretch my limits to an extent that I wasn’t aware of earlier. In the process of adapting myself to the work culture here, what I have always retained is my individuality. While respecting viewpoints which are diametrically opposite to mine, I have ensured that my outlook and the principles and convictions that I firmly believe in remain intact. A lot of times, it has backfired but I am not complaining.

It’s almost been a year in Jamia. Friendship, bonding, jealously, competition, success and setbacks, I have had it all. Good, bad, ugly- each of these experiences has taught me something or the other and I’ll carry them with me forever. An amazing second year with many more experiences is what I look forward to. While enjoying myself to the fullest and making the most out of the two years of my stay here, I wish to make a mark for myself and do my tiny bits in making this place a little better than what it already is. An experience of a lifetime and a significant milestone is what Jamia is to me.

[Sampurnaa Dutta, class of 2014, is a postgraduate student in the Department of Political Science]

[Views expressed herein are the author’s own.]

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