The impending visit by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) team has totally reformed the college authority. For the last few weeks, the renovations have been occuring at war scale. The pavement has been tiled, the parking refurbished, the garden turfed, the fences tangled in tinsels and ribbons and styrofoam cups with smileys drawn on them, the lampposts around the garden have finally been blessed with white globes. A few days ago, there was a mass cleaning operation in the new building, and nobody was allowed to enter the area. The whole place was smelling of antiseptic once we went in. It reminded me of Hope hospital in my home town, where OTs are cleaned up in a similar fashion after the occupants die, because doctors are like, “oops! Maybe I left my helmet inside his gall bladder. ”
Anyway, the fixing up is only getting crazier with each passing day. People are growing trees everywhere, and by everywhere I mean even on the darn concrete pavements (don’t ask me how because I don’t have the slightest idea), and sticking up their complicated latin names along with other complicated details alongside them. The walls have been painted with thematic subjects. A battery of frames have been put up, with drawings of the great leaders of Independence, and three green arrows pointing at each other, calling out, “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. ” The classrooms have been bestowed with brand new projectors. The notice boards have been upholstered with red velvet and bordered by magnificent colours. Often, you’d see a political science teacher standing near the xerox shop, asking the lanky labour to hurry up putting the tiles. Our history teacher is always attending meetings, and when she is not, she asks us to prepare a few more borders for the noticeboard, or things like that.
I have been burdened with so many responsibilities, and no compensation, that at times I feel like stealing my neighbour’s bitch and taking her for a morning walk inside the college. There she would poop at twenty places and then four hundred people will die because she craps undiluted Sarin, and NAAC team would thus award my college a grade Z minus or something.
I mean it’s pure slavery. I go to college at 9 am and return after 3 pm. I spend my time writing SHYAM LAL COLLEGE on different sheets, which is superboring after the first sheet.
Mam has been planning to make some bookmarks, folders and cards to be gifted to the team. We are also going to set up stalls where we shall sell things that no one would ever buy. Nobody buys bookmarks for God’s sake, they get those free on Amazon. Who the hell uses bookmarks anyway!
We are to work on Sundays as well, because child labour laws aren’t applicable to 18 year olds. Mam had asked us to fill up the feedback form and the mentorship form on the college website. I opened Shyam Lal College’s website for the first time in my life. Even my UC Browser was like, ” dude, wasn’t I created for incognito porn searches? ” She also conducted a mock session asking us the questions NAAC team members would ask.
“What are the problems in your college? “She asked us.
“It’s full of problems, like a commode is full of shit. “I wanted to say, but I swallowed the analogy. She looked at us as if to say, wait for me to answer this question in the most spectacular way, and then said, “There’s no Boys’ Common Room? ”
What the fuck! Is there even a thing like that!? I mean like, really? And its absence is the problem with our college!? Not the lack of an auditorium or the problem of stinking urinals or the problem of goons and thugs flocking up every now and then? The problem is we don’t have a boys common room! The only purpose a boys common room would serve, in my mind, is being a porn theatre. Well, in that case, Mam is right. Otherwise, we are expected to sing hymns for our college. Mam has even made us memorize a short biography of Sri Shyam Lal, the founding father of the college who is famous because he founded the college.
Studies have taken a downhill. There are fewer classes and more of aesthetic works. And that too, when the exam is just a month away. In appeasing the stupid NAAC team, more valuable purposes have taken a backseat. I hope all those NAAC blokes are doomed.