Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5 reasons I wish I could turn back time

This is long overdue but I recently realised I had not written about my a wonderful last year. Hmmm. Strange. So this post is a sort of an ode to my college. The one place, till date, which I felt inspired for the reasons I will be stating below. Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, was an experience I will never forget. It had its ups and downs, inevitably. But in the end it was worth everything.

Here are the top 5 reasons why that place changed who I was forever.

1) N Kalyan Raman, writer and translator: If you know a little bit about me, you will know why he is reason number one. ACJ was a bit boring the first few weeks. I found myself questioning if this was the right course so often. Then, I met him and my stay at ACJ changed drastically. He was a breath of fresh air. His sarcasm and detailed remarks have pushed me to work like never before. Now, I double check my statements before moving to the next one. I always research before I write about a topic. And I read and read more than I ever have. But all this any other teacher could have done and accomplished. So why is he so special? Cause he was smart, geeky and cool, all at once. He inspired me to be me, which was so rare coming from a teacher. But importantly, our conversations were what made ACJ so special. They were varied and always interesting. He was so well read, I was always left speechless. And he never made our relationship of one superior to the other. He was and is still very important to me. He no longer teaches at ACJ. ACJ lost out on a beautiful man.

2) Covering Deprivation "trip": The students of ACJ are all taken on a "trip" to a rural-falling apart place in the country. The class is split into groups and each group goes to one place. Our team went to Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. This trip was amazing. I know India has its rural roots, but travelling there and listening to their woes is really heart wrenching. Suddenly, it was no longer about the stories we needed to find. It had transformed into just listening to them. I was moved beyond expression. I realised that maybe rural reporting is what I want to do. I have always felt a connection to development issues and this seemed to be the right place to channel it. To add to the joys of learning, I made three friends on this trip. One of them went on to be a man I would have multiple great conversations with.

3)Lessons I learnt from moving away from home: Some of these I might have learnt in any situation away from home. But ACJ hurried the process, I choice to think. For starters, I learnt how much I loved my own company. I learnt that I loved reading and writing the most. I learnt my weakness. I figured out who matters in my life and who doesn't. I learnt the power of having a loving family and a few great friends. I learnt that I was not a sissy girl and my parents had done a pretty good job bringing me up. I learnt to adjust and live with three different people. I learnt to try to love myself. :)

4) A girl and a boy: This is the story of two people. One I met only because of the other and one I met purely by accident I would think. I will name them soon, but for now Il just describe them.
The girl: She was a discovery in that place, where I had given up the hope of finding people who thought like me. But she was like me, in some ways. And we were poles apart in other ways. That is what made us click. We spent hours discussing the world, Chennai, our thoughts and our cynical feelings. I read what she wrote and she read what I wrote. Our writing confessed emotions we were too scared to talk about. Somehow, she always understood. Over time, our relationship matured. I know her well now and I love her quite a bit. I guess she is fond of me too. He!He. She is Janani. <3
The boy: We till date have the most up and down relationship I have ever known. He is talented, smart and opinionated as hell. Those are the reasons I adore him. There I said it. We don't keep in touch with the other, and now that he is miles away, its going to only get worse. But whenever we do talk, it is always great and the conversation just flows. So, I try to not complain about keeping in touch and let our relationship stay that way. I miss him a lot. And sometimes I wish we had spent more time together. Nevertheless, I can easily say, he is one of a kind. Did I mention he can be frustrating? Yes. And his name is Ananth. :) <3

5) Dissertation: I might be the only soul at ACJ who loved her dissertation this much. It required lots of hard work and many hours of reading, writing, editing and re-writing. Something I have learnt I am really good at. I loved my dissertation. The topic was new to me and the amount of work I put into it, seemed so easy and natural. Topic: "For I could not wait for death. An analysis on suicide". I worked through literary and non-literary suicides. I discovered my love for literature and confessional writing. I learnt how intricately different lives of all those writers who committed suicide are. I spent oodles of time discussing my topic with reason number 1 (which made me love my topic and him all that more). I learnt to do what I am good at. It was disappointing the grade that followed, but I would never exchange the work I put in for anything else. It made ACJ liveable and I am positive I suffered withdrawal symptoms right after the submission.

So, that was 2010-2011. The year that changed me and my life forever. It also made me see the world differently. There are multiple other things that I should probable have added here, but i refrain from extending the list and boring you. These are all the things I remember when I think of ACJ. My fondest memories of why that place will change anyone who goes there.
It might not be the best Journalism school in the country. But it will definitely be a place that has a lasting effect on how you view writing and journalism.
Peace out. :)

P.s Thank you Priyanka for your award. You are far too kind. :) Link back here. Will do that post next. :)


Kunnu said...


An Immensely likeable post. :)
College always shapes a life of a person and his perspective towards his own, his friends and in general towards life. Most often, it makes us, what we are. There are always a few teachers who rise above the teacher-student relationship and guide us through our journey...And we develop friendships...which we may not get anywhere else.. Its good to know that your college was special to you :)


Prathm said...

A couple of those could be reasons why I have wanted to join ACJ but Kalyan Raman leaving just put me off.


Love the post babe. Living away does teach you valuable life lessons and alters you forever.

Chintan said...

this is a post from the heart....I love reading your blog, I can connect to it. Somehow it's like am reading my blog <3

Red Handed said...

You know wht is the best part about your current post? Everyone can relate to it. Its like my college story. Final yr and i am sure i will miss my college. Ok more than college i might miss hostel. Not Might...i Will miss it. So many changes in these five years!

Keep writing!

Parth Jhala said...

Straight from the heart! Reason no 1 was the best! Everyone needs a mentor they can trust and believe in during their formative years! So glad u found yours! :)

Priyanka said...

ACJ, wow. Never knew that. That's a dream destination for me.

And yeah, you come across as a very soulful person, one who has great depths hidden in her heart. All five moments are not ones which every random person chooses, you chose to ignore frivolity in life and pick enormity of these in your life - depth in character.
Not that you need a certificate from me:P Just saying.

Good read.

R-A-J said...

Hey Srinidhi, lovely post.. took me back to my college too... I guess the vice versa is also true to the saying that behind every successful man, there is a woman :)

Nice read :)

Srinidhi said...

@kunnu: Welcome to my blog. :) Thank you for your comment :)

@Prathm: Thanks for reading babe :*

@Chintan: That is a huge compliment since you are a great writer. :) :*

@Red: That is so true. We might hate it, but we definitely miss it. :) thanks for stopping by girl :)

@Paarth: he is more than a mentor. :) Thanks :*

@priyanka: That is a really sweet comment. Thank you so much :) You make me sound very nice :)

@R-A-J: Haha! true that! :) Thanks for dropping in :)

Chintan said...

so you post something and then delete :|sigh....i came to read the new article as it appeared on my reader..

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