• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

A story on student life in Gauhati University days

After our graduation in 1978, Tanuja, Mintu, Sudeshna, Shyamasree and I were admitted to the Masters Degree program in Economics of Gauhati University. With the exception of Tanuja, the rest of us were middle class, to whom education was important as it could mean the key to a good job ! Every morning the five of us would assemble in judges field to take the connecting bus to the university in Jhalukbari, paying 25 paisa each way.

Those were the days when the student movement in Assam was at its peak, there was tension in the air, with meetings and “bhashanbaji” every second day. We would see the leaders of the All Assam Students Union debating in a couple of tables at the university canteen. They looked earnest, seemed to believe in themselves and other students, and ready to launch the students movement that would later shake Assam and India. Leaders like Prafulla Mahanta, Brigu Phukan, Atul Borah name them and we used to see them almost every day !

We were all fairly good students and faithfully attended classes, lectures and sat for our exams. And amidst all this managed to have a lot of fun too. All of us were perennially short of cash but that never prevented us from watching all the latest movies! Once we went for a horrible movie called ‘Maang bharo saajna’ and all of us came out halfway much to the discontentment of Sudeshna who was enjoying it ! And an occasional paratha meal in our favorite joint ‘ Robin Cabin’ in Fancy Bazar was an elating experience. I never had better parathas in my life! The Robin Cabin parathas would come with a tasty white chutney which was a topic of fierce debate too, in guessing its ingredients.

We would take the university bus to Fancy Bazaar, window shop, roam there to our hearts content, and make the best of our limited resources. Sometimes a whiff of romance would touch one of our lives and this would be our topic of interest for a while. Mintu got a job in Reserve Bank of India and Tanuja got married. Soon after Mintu got married too and this was indeed an interesting episode in our lives. Being a Brahmin she chose to marry into another community and faced a lot of opposition. But she went ahead and went on to have a very happy and successful marriage. With Mintu and Tanuja gone, it was Sudeshna, Shyamasree and I mostly in our final year! But nothing would dampen our spirits, even postponement of our examinations. Those days were the best days of our lives, full of happiness and excitement, doing the best we could within our limited means. Maybe that’s the power of youth!

(The article is solely the opinion of the author. The views expressed here are solely personal and not in any way connected to any organisation or any political party ).

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