I’ve always been happy I chose Architecture for my course. Often, people are found regretting the decisions they make, when it comes to career. I for one, have still found no reason to shrug or lament and am quite glad that on the morning of the TNPCEE exam, I sat down firm and refused to leave for the centre!
Of all the beautiful things that blend together to form my course, the best is NASA. NASA is the National Association for the Students of Architecture (He he… We are no space scientists!) NASA conducts its zonal and annual conventions every year and what fun it turns out to be!
The zonal convention took place at SRM Institute of Science and Technology (Kattangalathur) on September 10, 11, 12. It is the MOST UNFORGETTABLE and THE MOST ENJOYABLE three days I’ve ever had in my life. It went like a dream… and all through; it was as beautiful as a dream.
I thought that this dream factory of mine should hold vignettes of that trip. So here goes…
Well, for starters, students from second year onwards are allowed to participate in NASA from my college. So it’s just this year that I went along with 44 other people. No staff, I stress. Initially my family was very apprehensive about sending me without staff to some alien college. After a lot of convincing with-‘she’s coming no… why do you worry?’ ‘He’s there to take care of me’ etc, they let in.
What followed was a month of strenuous dance practice. Yes, I was part of the folk dance team and for a whole good month, I didn’t attend classes! ;D Every day I went to college, waited for the other dancers to assemble and then all of us would go to our college hall and practice. It was SOOOOOO cool! I had the time of my life! I LOOOOOVE dancing-first thing. Second, I love bunking classes. Third- I got the BEST ever dancer in college for partner! Fourth- I loved the medley we danced for( Andangakka, Ennadi Rakkamma bit of Chandramukhi, ‘Shake it-move it’ bit of Ennadi Kappakazhange, ‘I think it’s time to come back to normal’ from Vaadi vaadi vaadi kai padatha CD and last para from Vechukka Vechukka va iduppula’) Fifth- The steps were toooo good!
Well, I made some awesome friends in the seniors, got closer to my own friends, had a lot of fun, pulling leg-sessions, eating, marathon ginger-lime drinkings etc. I also found out one great secret- folk dance tires you and makes you sweat. Western dance strains your muscles and makes you feel as if you just had your first session at the gym! I personally prefer folk.
Well, our cultural programme (our dance, 2 western dances and a song) turned out great and we won the third place. Now about the other stuff… Zone NASA is all aout cheering your ppl, making your college’s presence felt-both by winning and by yelling it out. We have slogans like ‘Adho paaru light-u, Hindustan-u weight-u!’ and we have our own creation- a college dance called ‘jigu-jigu’. Oh my god, I cried myself HOARSE that my voice was cracked for a whole month (and no exaggeration that!). Well, we came overall third which was quite good! It was super fun- staying together wid my seniors, staying up till 3 in the night having a LOVELY UNFORGETTABLE conversation with Sweetie Pie Anoodha till 3 in the night, awake till 1 am and discussing the next day event with the entire unit and then separating to our respective hostels, dancing together with each other during rock shows, during the walks to breakfast, lunch and dinner –loudly beating the drums(incidentally, our college is the only one in our zone to have a female drummer! She’s in fourth year and man she’s COOL!) Yelling out all of a sudden ‘give me an H… give me a C… Give me an E… What is it? HCE! I can’t hear you? HCE. Etc’ at the top of our voices; grouping together with all other colleges and yelling AGAINST SAP-Chennai(Anna Univ’s very own college.Anita, if you are reading, iu beg your pardon :D ) ‘S-A-P Sap-u, Vekka porom aappu!’ and all! Oh Boy… it was FUN!!!
Well the million memories I have of Zone NASA can never be equaled by any other! It was just simply a wonderful experience that I wished, would never end! But it did and it took 3 months for me to come off it. But then it was time for NASA. This time, the life of our college, the fourth years, could not come due to exam-clash and hence it was a tad less spirited crowd that went. But all the same we had fun. No… NEVER as much as Zone NASA. For one- we did not take part in the culturals. Also, it was an annual event, held at Academy of Architecture, Mumbai and hence there was a Northie domination! We did not have such a great footing in the national level and our cries of ‘HCE-HCE” were drowned by ‘Hulla-bol’s (which I personally found VERY irritating!)
So with all these shortcomings, but with the positives being- more students from my own class were coming and that we had a train journey to have fun in- we left on 27 morning at 7 by Dadar Express.
On our way to Bombay, our entire unit was spread across 3 coaches- S1, S8, S9! So we had fun, but a little less than on the return. We played Dumb-c with one of my friends inventing film names as she liked. Sample this- Sarojini Naiduvin Kaadhal Kavithai!!! :D Then we played bluff. The film-inventing genius- Ahu- who declared that she was superb at the game, threw 8 spade, face open, and yelled, ‘One seven’. What a good laugh we had!!! OMG, train journeys, with friends, is the best one can ever have!
At night I was put up with the seniors. At 4 in the night I get up, with chattering teeth and cold hands and see, in the distant bay, some familiar outline waving at me. Specks-less me(lens-less too, duh!) failing to recognize, flayed her arms wildly, groping for the specks case! By then, this senior of mine walks up to me and says, ‘ Hi! What happened?’ Very embarrassing situation, I must say!
The next day onwards, we had a nice time and some great food(chapattis, cutlets, a sweet during lunch and dinner, jam sandwiches and yummy tea in the mornings with saabudhaana occasionally, salads, two tasty side dishes, rice). I attended the lectures of great Indian Architects like B.V.Doshi, Kamal Mallick, Hafeez Contractor and Ashok Koengkar, etc. Nothing has inspired me more than B.V.Doshi’s lecture on what architecture means to him. He’s such a simple man and I’ve made up my mind to do my professional practice (3 month work in the 8th semester) under him, even if it means suffering in the heat of Ahmedabad!
I also participated in the Architecture Quiz with my Bhutanese friend and class mate- Singay! We didn’t qualify but I got lucky with the audience question again! :D Guess, I’m never lucky with the main quiz itself.
I wanted to BADLY go for a Dance workshop. It turned out to be a ball dancing workshop. So due to the lack of a good dancing partner and my own hesitation at such a form of close dancing, I dropped the idea! He he..
New Years day was spent there. It was good but not as much as I expected it to be. My Unit secretary and designee had to return due to family reasons and so, two of us had to step in. I stepped in for the designee, my class mate. So as the clock struck 12, your gal was stuck in a NASA Meeting with her senior friend! Beautiful beginning, I thought! Once we went back, there was cake smearing and juice throwing and running about and yelling and fun-stuff within our unit. But it took us a horrible two hour travel back to our accommodation (at Santa Cruz) from Dadar. It generally takes only half an hour, mind you! Reached at 3:30 am on Jan 1st to our accommodation. Slept at 4:30, got up at 7:30, rushed to the college to collect our sheets and caution deposit, rushed to Linking road for a frenzied half-hour shopping(bought a jute bag and pretty bangles), got back to accommodation, grabbed our luggage, got on to the bus[snatched perk mini and an appy for breakfast-that’s ALL that dumb shop stocked! X( ], reached Dadar station, got on to the train and let out one loooong sigh of relief!
The train journey back was super fun. Non-stop playing of 5 cards, anthakshari, teasing, fighting, talking, lyrics discussion etc! Best part was the WHOLE unit became closer. That night, again, I was put up with the seniors. This senior of mine who was awake at 4:30 in the morning on our train to Mumbai was asking me if I get dreams. I answered in the affirmative.At four-thirty in the night I get up. And guess what? That senior is awake! This time, he was feeling cold! :D I asked, ‘Um… Is it you? It is not a dream right?’ He said, ‘No!’ Again… EMBARASSMENT!!! God… why only me? :(
Next day, we continue our card games. I try to study; Fahem refuses to let me study! X( We have our everyday fight. He keeps teasing me and bugging me. Manickavel, kavi and Sudheer join. God… ‘Orrible time (as Anu would say) but fun! We reach our dear Chennai. I was not looking forward to reaching, I was not sad at leaving Mumbai either. It was a great trip, yes! Memorable and full of fun; but not something I would hold on to for three months. THAT, only Zone NASA could make me do!
Well, the year started with a great train journey, a horrible exam, a tiring 12 hour exam followed that and without even a 15 hr break, my next semester starts. The year ahead seems to be a mixed bag and I hope I’ll be equipped to face come what may!
Year 2006 may see us host Zone NASA. I’m hoping we do. Till then, with excellent Zone NASA memories and good NASA ones, I shall keep Churning my dream factory!