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My College Years: A Truckload of Tears N Hail Mary’s Said In Hundred folds


The year 2004 was one helluva year. I, Jini Maxin Fernandez, just-got-married-and-just-got-pregnant had committed the biggest crime of the year. I had dared to pursue my marriage, masters and a baby, all at the same time, very much against the conventions of the society. Not surprisingly, my in-laws suggested:  drop the baby, which was met with a vehement NOPE from my end. My father suggested: drop the degree course, and I gave him same answer as well. NOPE.

Yes, the road towards my masters’ degree was one roller coaster ride that went only downwards. There was a glitch at every step of my way, as if the universe was conspiring against me. But then God took pity on my truckload of tears and Hail Mary’s said in hundred folds, and sent me a guardian angel in the form of Malti Mam, our programme coordinator, who eventually became my torchbearer in those two grueling years. She compelled me to go on. Pronto.

My marriage and masters happened almost at the same time. It was the year 2004: three years after the Gujarat earthquake, two years after the Godhra riots and one year after my stint in journalism.  It was the year, I elected the goal of my life. Pursue a degree in communications and be the next Barkha Dutta in the making.

Little wonder, my masters and marriage were @ loggerheads. Both couldn’t and wouldn’t live together. On top of it, I got pregnant. It simply seemed out of character, to my in-laws especially, for a married, pregnant lady like me to pursue her masters so wholeheartedly. So happily – unhappily, with no other way in sight, i walked out of my marriage to marry my Masters. Though part of me wanted my marriage to work, but part of it couldn’t wait to put everything behind me.

My masters was all that mattered to me, after all.  Okay, i accept. My masters was rather more important to me than my marriage. Nothing could or should get in my way towards my PG. So, i landed myself at my parent’s place to finish my masters and have a baby at the same time.  

Amidst a growing rift in the marriage, and birthing a baby, i did my Post Graduation. It was year 2006, (second year of my college) when both my baby and study trip to Hyderabad were scheduled. As expected, my mother was at the gears and decided to take care of the baby so that i could make a peaceful trip to Hyderabad. And what a trip it was? (And sadly it was the only college trip i had so far.) Our college admitted only 12 students at that time and all of us got together for this trip. It’s almost 8 years now. When i look back, Malti mam, our trip coordinator, had scheduled us to visit a series of places. There was Char Minar, Ramoji flim city, Golconda fort and lot more on the cards. And, of course, we made it to all the places in our five day long visit. However, of all the places, Ramoji film city was impressive of all and for obvious reasons.

Our class of 12 students on the farewell day of our college

This film city is any filmmakers’ paradise. Replicas of world renowned architectural wonders can be easily found here, from Taj Mahal to Qutub Minar to  Delhi's Mughal gardens to Vrindavan Garden, Mysore and much more. The flamboyant locales, picturesque avenues and excellent flim-making infrastructure are sure to turn any sane person insane. Such is its beauty and splendor. Spread in 2000 acre, the film city is certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest film studio.

If you haven’t seen it, get going. Better late than never.

Even the visit to Golconda Fort was quite fascinating. The lighting and the laser show was a sight to behold.

I would always be grateful to my college for organizing this mind-blowing trip to Hyderabad. The best of all was to have the Hyderabadi biryani in Hyderabad. BTW I didn’t get to taste it, for I saved all the money to buy gifts for relatives at home.
***
As part of our curriculum we also made a field trip to one of the remote villages in Sabarkantha.  This was an emotional trip, a complete opposite to the former trip I undertook. What hit me hard on this trip were the poverty of the villagers and high rates of metal retardation being experienced by children over here. Only if I had a magic wand, I would’ve loved to wipe away all their pain and sorrow with a single whoosh.   


PS. – I have don’t have many firsts to my credit, but then I don't know whether I should be proud of the fact that I maybe the only mother to have successfully completed her Masters in Development Communication course from Gujarat University. Anyway. Luv and a huge hug to my generous mother without whom life would have been a real hell in my post graduation days. Of course, later on, i made peace with my enemy (read hubby) as well.

PPS - This post is my entry for 'My College Diary' contest held by travel blog My Yatra Diary in collaboration with Collegedunia.com' 

I would like to tag Ankita, Vishal Bheeroo, and InderpreetKaurUppal for this post.

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