a’MACE’ing Days

Some days are sweet, Some days are pain, But very few days are a'MACE'ing -Srinath Krishnamoorthy
Some days are sweet,
Some days are pain,
But few days are a’MACE’ing
-Srinath Krishnamoorthy
Follow his upcoming novel by clicking here–> Hope We Never Meet Again

Have you ever wondered, what is so poetic about an engineering college?

To begin this story, I would say I’m a confused guy. I keep asking questions… crazy things, like:

                             “Should I score marks… or should leave a mark in life?”

                            “Should I code in Java or should I decode my destiny itself?”

Insane and stupid questions. But answers were hard to find. And I have always felt that story engineering was far more fascinating than software engineering. So I decided to take a U-Turn in life. I quit my IT career due to my intense passion for writing. But then, I never expected to stumble across an ideal place to live my dreams. Dreams of romancing books, nature and words, all in one place. My search went on with hardly any luck… for that perfect place to begin everything. Everything that I would later want to define in this life as destiny.

Well, MTech was the perfect answer to every question fired at me by uncles and aunties and pestering neighbours: ” Ne ippo enna edukuva…?”,

         “Chumma irrupa lle…?”,

         “Joliyum kooliyum onnum ille…?”

“Adutha veetile Sheebaku bankil kitty… ninako?”

“Entammo…!!!”

Some random permutation of planetary positions somehow guided me to MACE.  But then, I just fell in love with this campus…and this beautiful town called Kothamangalam.

There are no hard and fast rules for falling in love with a place or a person. Some are love at first sight…others take time. The night before I came to MACE for the first time, I walked around Kothamangalam. Like I always do when I land up in a new place. Strolling around the town studded with beautiful churches and narrow roads, somewhere in my heart I did feel that “This is it… this is the place where my dreams belong…”.

Some roads just make you feel 'time'.
Some roads just make you feel ‘time’.

The road towards our college from College Junction, those big trees with big eyes towering above us for god-knows-how-many decades, those fallen leaves and flowers (which I strangely feel like great hopes of silent romances), our front gate, walking down that beautiful steep trail towards college canteen with the OAT by its side… the time we spend sipping tea with friends after college hours…it all fills my heart with an extraordinary sensation of nostalgia. This campus has given me answers to some very personal yet fundamental questions about life, love  and future. Feeling lucky to have met remarkable people here… fellow MACEians with outstanding intelligence… people with great organising skills… guys who can even make the impossible look possible…a campus with quality students and wonderful faculty that can make one feel proud that he/she is a part of this grandeur. Being MACE’ian makes you feel mighty and that is just ‘aMACEing’ !!!

MACE4

Like thousands of students who have come and gone… like the hundreds who are still there… I have also fallen in love with the fragrance of the first rain in our campus, with the dew drops that reflects sunlight from leaves and flowers as we walk towards our classrooms, with the ice-cold ITC, with the silent library, with the lonely OAT that gets jam-packed during Sanskriti, with that playground and with those quiet corridors.

Those walls, pillars and hallways always seem to burst with a million stories of love, loss and friendship. It may stand there for a thousand more years holding your…no OUR stories as well. Those pillars may murmur among each other the best or worst of our stories for timeless times.

MACE is indeed a timeless beauty. So is Kothamangalam.

The main juncture in the town (marked by the Kothamangalam Post Office) is where I feel nature and time split in two. You take a left turn for Kochi; a place buzzing with people and activity. You take a right turn and you are heading towards nature in its most classic form. I mean, how can we forget Boothathankettu, Thattekad, Edamalayar, Neriyamangalam, Munnar… the list goes on. Numerous evenings were spent driving around these incredible places with friends and those moments of excitement can never be forgotten. Kothamangalam is an astonishing sentiment if you know where to search it in your heart.

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Then there is excitement. Raw fun. I have never experienced watching a movie in a theatre crammed with students from just one college!!! It was a Friday and Bangalore Day’s had released. We all simply rushed out of our exam halls and dashed towards Ann Theatre. Watching that Matinee with a roaring crowd, I realized that almost every seat in Ann Cinema was occupied by a MACEian.  Laughter, cheers, whistles and loads of fun. Nothing can be more exciting than watching a movie like that. Unforgettable. I can assure you, this is an experience you can rarely have anywhere else on earth. We simply rock!!!

This Diwali, my first novel is getting released. And this would not have been possible if it was not for MACE and Kothamangalam. I will always be indebted to this campus and to you my fellow MACEians for all the love and support that you have given me till now. Thanks to my dear friends and respected faculty members of CSE department. Thanks to Appu and Jithesh for passionately sharing my blogs.

You may not know me by my name, but we are building a bond through words. If you happen to read my upcoming novel, we may end up embarking an amazing journey of words and lives. And this journey is something that we need to continue.

Yes, there is a huge wall of time and space between us  but we are all connected by one single thread called MACE.

Typing this blog, images of a Sanskriti night flashes in front of my eyes. After a heart thumping, ground shaking dance, every light is put off. There is complete darkness.  The only things visible are hundreds of fluorescent bands. Green, pink and blue. In the name of love, unity and brotherhood, a hundred flashlights from mobile phones coming to life. There is just one emotion… one name… one feeling in every heart: MACE.

Maybe that is something aMACEingly poetic about our college- MACE.

***

Srinath Krishnamoorthy (1)

The Author of this blog is Srinath Krishnamoorthy. Like millions out there, he too is trying to figure out what needs to be done with his life. After a three-year stint as software test engineer in Tech Mahindra, he is currently pursuing MTech in Computer Science & Engineering at MA College of Engineering, Kothamangalam. His début novel Hope We Never Meet Again is scheduled for release this Diwali.

REMEMBERING SMILES

fINAL nAYANA

People go to big cities to grow. But as they grow…they shrink. I still remember those beautiful days!!! When people get into a KSRTC Bus (nammude swantham aana vandi) in Kerala, smiling at fellow passengers and in no time, they strike conversations with total strangers who are sitting by their side. They keep talking as if they were friends for years. From politics to the latest movies, people talk on and on. He /she may not share our destination, but even a long trip feels seemingly short when there is someone to share our journey. How many times have we felt that tinge of sadness when we say goodbye to a momentary friend…who we would never meet again in life? How many times have we felt: “Shit!!! My stop has come…so early…If at all we could talk a while longer “? Strangers.

But, in a big city, the humanity keeps flowing in but, people keep shrinking all the same. They do not look at who or what is around them. They get into a bus or train looking at the 5.5” screen of their smartphone, find a random empty seat…plug in their headphone and then cut all the connections with the world around them. Even a short journey feels so long…so lonely. We never look at who is sitting by our side. Sometimes the paradox of “If you want to be alone…go to a city” makes sense in some strange way. At a time when human beings are making every possible barrier nothing but mere history; a time when Global Village is no more a mere myth…most of us have limited our lives to 5″ inch screens of our smartphones. We never smile. We never talk. We never explore. Even people working in the same office, who see each other for years, seldom smile at each other even in a lift. Even neighbours do not smile when they see each other because they don’t know that they are neighbours. Next time, give a smile. Strangers.

final smiles

Do we realize that smiling does not cost anything? If holding your smile is as expensive as smiling itself…then why not make it free?? Million dollar smile is indeed worth a ‘million dollars’ when your smile can bring happiness in the lives of others. But the ego in people sometimes injects a false notion that they would actually lose a ‘million dollars’ if they smile. Strangers.

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The Author of this blog is Srinath Krishnamoorthy who, like millions out there is trying to figure out what needs to be done with life. After a brief stint as a software test engineer in Tech Mahindra, he is right now pursuing an MTech in Computer Science & Engineering in MA College of Engineering, Kothamangalam. His début novel Hope We Never Meet Again is getting ready to be released this year.

Author’s click by Dr. Vivek Vaidyanathan

THE HOLY COW

gOVERNMENT

Is there a beef ban in Kerala? No. Organizing beef festival in Kerala is as ridiculous as organizing Kiss-Of-Love in New York!!! When the youth of this country, who form the majority of the voters, wants to hear what the political leadership has to say about gender equality, infrastructure development, jobs, education, quality of life, medical care etc., these idiots are discussing beef and liquor. Politicians want to capitalise on vote banks and media wants to improve TRP. If beef ban is for votes, beef festival is also for the same. And caught in the middle of this cow dung is the common man. Let’s keep aside these issues and talk development. I mean, why run a protest against something which is not banned in this state? Something that is freely available. It could have been far more meaningful if they had organised the festival in a state that has actually banned beef and cow slaughter. Most of the college canteens across Kerala already serve beef. And if some college is purposefully not serving beef, they should be persecuted; ‘coz food is a fundamental right. The decision of what an individual should eat is his/ her choice alone. Governments exist to see how well people are served…not to oversee if it is beef/fish/pork that is being served in their plates. These are the choices left for the people to make and not the prerogative of the governments in place. College campuses are not temples and rightly so. A campus is a place to learn and explore. But is our campuses helping the students in that direction? Have we ever given a thought about the conditions of the campuses across our state and the thousands of students trapped in there? There are deep rooted problems in college campuses and SFI, instead of celebrating beef festival, needs to concentrate on that ‘coz its basically a student federation! Don’t call me right wing and don’t think I’m taking sides. We have to accept the fact that there are people in ABVP who love to eat beef and people in SFI who hate it all the same. So keeping politics and cows aside let us look at an average campus in Kerala.

1. First thing that comes to mind is uniform. I mean all your life we Indian’s are screwed up in Uniforms. Even though our climate is totally inhospitable for this polyester-tent-cloth …we are forced to wear it all the time. Only devil knows for what the heck!!! And once you get a job, you hardly have a choice about what you can wear for work. Even the length of your stubble will be decided by the MNC. So from school to grave, an average Indian gets screwed up being “in uniform”. No surprise, we are hard workers… ducks who follow what we are told like silent statues and not innovators.

2. Regarding gender equality we are centuries behind 😦 All class rooms are under strictly monitored by the dean / whoever dumb ass over the CCTV. ) If you talk to a girl or a girl and boy sits together, 500 rupees fine is slapped on them. Even separate college buses are assigned for male and female students irrespective of the places they get down. I mean WTF?

3. Regarding human rights…wawooo we are yet to approach 5000 BC!!! In many colleges, the dean comes and catches you if they find you talking or dozing off during a boring lecture by looking at the CCTV footage. C’mon man… the dean himself would have dozed quite a number of times during his college days. So we are watched all the time!!! Girls are not allowed to have mobile phones in hostels and if the college authorities have even the slightest of the suspicion, they will raid the girls hostel as if hey have hidden an Al-Quida member in their bags. And they shamelessly check every bit of the female student’s belongings. And none of the political parties seem to have any problem. Student organisations are neither bothered about quality education, student rights nor standard of infrastructure they have in their campuses. But all of a sudden, they seem to have problem with beef. In a time when Beijing University is planning to install condom vending machines across it’s campus…we are stuck with banning mobile phones in campus… pathetic!!!

4. Have we ever wondered why every student who comes out of colleges across Kerala has no option but to bundle up his certificates and go to Bangalore or Chennai or some far of- god forsaken place in search for a job? To be blunt, most of the SFI students who have participated in Beef Festival is going to end up doing a job in an Indian state that has banned beef. There, they will never complain…not even crib.
I’m from Palakkad. It is just 40Km from Coimbatore, which in a few years has transformed it self into a metro. It is a major IT hub now and is a city that offers millions of jobs. Whereas, our district, which is far richer in every possible resource is slogging like a dead snail. If students who get educated in Kerala are left with no scope of finding a decent job within the state, then there is something seriously wrong. All our neighbouring states, irrespective of banning beef or not, have developed in leaps and bounds but we are still squirming under the flimsy joke of secularism and equality that politicians are feeding us. They have just three things in mind VOTES -MONEY-POWER. Are we blind to the fact that money and power is still getting concentrated on a selected few and we are made fools day in and day out by media and politicians so that we never address the real issues? A fly-over goes up in Coimbatore or Chennai in 4 months…whereas even after 40 years things do not get done in Kerala. Why ? Still we are concerned with beef and chicken. We are all intelligent enough to understand the political motives behind a beef festival… but we need to be more intelligent in tackling matters that really matter guys.

To conclude… I will tell you a small story. I went to a hospital near Olavakode with my amma today. I saw an old man almost 80, walking with a urine bag and walking stick…he had his T-shirt worn upside down and his dhoti (mund) was almost falling off… Me and a nurse rushed to support him. We asked him where his wife or children were? He said no one is there. All are away…all are away. After making him seated, he desperately rested his head on his walking stick, as if he was done with living alone. I saw at least 5 cases similar to his in that 2 hours I spent in that hospital in Olavakode. I felt pity. If those children had a good opportunity to flourish in Palakkad…at least in Kerala… the situation of the old man could have been quite different. Imagine the case with 35% of population in next 10 years with no one but only their shadows to take care of them?

Let us open our eyes to reality. When the youth of this country, who form the majority of the voters, are eager to know what the political leadership has to say about gender equality,effective sanitation, clean drinking water, good roads, infrastructure development, jobs, education, better quality of life, medical care etc., these idiots are debating beef and religion.It is good to have freedom of expression, but each citizen should use that freedom to unite this country. To build and not to break. Politicians want to create a rift between the citizens based on communal lines and make use of that as a vote bank tactics. Irresponsible media channels run two penny worth talk shows that could result in outright communal riots. We need to give serious thoughts on why they always discuss Temple, Mosque and Churches these days and not about good roads, sanitation and creating job opportunities. Everything is done to deviate the attention of the common man from the real issues at hand. It is really sad to see that politics in India is now only about getting votes and not about nation building. Are we not shaming ourselves in front of the world? As responsible citizens let us keep aside these trivial issues and discuss ‪#‎talkdevelopment‬ ‪#‎jobsinkerala‬ ‪#‎sanitation‬‪#‎drinkingwater‬ ‪#‎betterroads‬ ‪#‎India‬ ‪#‎genderequality‬ ‪#‎healthcare‬‪#‎welfarestate‬ ‪#‎unity‬

Democracy in India can be summed up in four words :

WE VOTE.

THEY LOOT.

Sad but true. Hope you agree that we have a lot to think before we go out celebrating festivals… And a lot to think about before voting…I guess… 😦

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WRITTEN BY

SRINATH KRISHNAMOORTHY

(srinathtk86@gmail.com)

Photo Courtesy : Vivek Vaidyanathan

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