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The Kariavattom diaries

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The Kerala university campus, standing large at a beautiful place called Kariavattom in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram district, (Kerala) is one of the oldest universities in our state. A wet evening with a gentle breeze will make one fall in love with this beautiful campus. The sung and unsung stories of life here, resonates every corner, luring the unintended dreamer into a perpetual loop of commitments and sentiments. It has an enchanting awe which brings you back again and again like a Penrose stair unless you are good at the emotional detachment. This campus catches one’s psychological urge for attachment and shall forever seek your time and energy there. But all these are governed by the rules; some hidden, some super conspicuous, and some just pop out of nowhere.

  • You are red!

“The campus shall propagate, breed and decree left politics.”

No matter whom your dad is kiddo; once you are here you are a ‘red recruit’. It’s a general rule here in our campus, though not sought in public. Everyone is a ‘communist’ here, whether you like it or not. You see, eat, sleep, think and spit red. This is evident as soon as you enter this campus. None others shall dare the red unless there is an election. But an interesting fact to add is that the election result is obvious – The red always reigns! An Even interesting fact is that most of the time it is a unanimous victory without an opponent.

  • MH rules!

“There shall be a hostel for men who shall function as the powerhouse of the campus and they all are comrades.”

Men’s hostel for postgraduates is literally the soul of the campus. The daily colors, moods, festive and brawls, all are born there. These men are the uncrowned kings of the campus. And undoubtedly, the first rule applies here too and is often the corollary of the first.

  •  The ‘Hymavathy’!

“One shall hear, fear and witness Hymavathi”

This is one story that everyone should know and visit at least once while on this campus. The story goes like a love story which tragically ends in Hymavathy going AWOL (There are different versions which you can adapt.). The story might differ from person to person, but anyways, you must know Hymavathy and pretend to believe that there is her ghost wandering the campus for ‘no reason’. The pond of Hymavathy is a must visit place in our campus for every enrolled student. The first visit to the pond will always be a memorable one for everyone. It’s beautiful!

  • The nightlife!

“One shall own the night or the night owns you.”

This rule is something which applies to the hostellers. The nightlife at the campus is a must for every hosteller. You can experience it willingly or unwillingly, is a personal choice. The nightlife for ‘willing’ comes through birthday celebrations, night library, stroll to the nearest hotel at midnight, second shows; while the unwilling experience it through late night ‘Party programs’ like hoisting the flags, banners, posters etc. So the first rule is almost universal on our campus.

  • The ‘pheromonal’ effect!

This is one of the hidden rules for many of the students. Once you have spent a year there, just like the pheromones that attract ants in finding their way, the campus keeps on urging you to come back. It is either driven by personal commitments, sentiments, party affiliation or just for the mere love of the campus and friends. It’s not a ‘rule’ but it ‘rules’ many of us.

  • The ‘misplaced’!

This is one general phenomenon across various departments of our campus. Every department has its own pool of ‘misplaced’ teachers, just to waste our time lecturing, reduce marks and built tensions. It has now become an unsaid rule. Such discrepancies are evident in the presence of an equal number of good teachers.

  • The ‘void’

“Every department shall have its own deficiency in the number of staffs or teaching faculties”. I know it sounds crazy but it’s real – all thanks to a few imbecile officials.

The rules are still counting and as I told you, it keeps popping out. Despite some of the negatives that the campus boards, we have more positives. A few positives include the first exposure to a real-time research, the ever improving infrastructure, the untold competitive spirits, life skills, a good number of teachers and infinite friends. These are more than enough reasons to fall for its call to come back.

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