Thursday, December 30, 2010
JUST BEFORE THE STORM - PART 2: Everything was going on so well… - by E/81/214
Read PART 1: First in the batch...!!!
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST
Prospective engineering undergraduates chose Peradeniya over Moratuwa for several different reasons. For some, it is the natural choice being the closer one to their homes. Some had their siblings, classmates, friends already studying there leaving them with no second option. But for me, it was the aesthetic, poetic, romantic and the seductive feeling naturally associated with the name Peradeniya that did the talking. All the novels, short stories, poetry and songs about the Hanthane mountains, the Mahaveli river, the Lovers’ Lane etc, I had enjoyed over the years had created an extremely impressive picture about the University as a whole. This, together with the excitement of being away from home in the early adulthood, made it nearly impossible for me to consider the alternative option of Moratuwa.
The beginning of the academic year 1981/82 was considered to be a good one comparatively. The great boycott, that probably gave birth to the ‘staff-eka-lamainta-honda-nehe’ label to the Peradeniya E-Fac, had just been won by the students. I had read Henry Warnakulasuriya’s article in Youvun Janatha with great enthusiasm. The atmosphere in the faculty was cordinal and we had a warm welcome from the senior first year (a.k.a. Thunkaal, i.e., 3/4) batch. The new student common room was declared open by Professor Thureirajah who later became the Dean of the faculty to the great joy of senior students. Everything was going on so well…
Our seniors kept telling us that you need to get though just five subjects in the first year, only. There is a lifetime of chances for the rest of the exams. We took them seriously and what’s more, continued to misguide our juniors for several years to come.
We learnt a few skills too. How to draw a casting curve using a five cents coin; how to maintain impressive 10mm margins in coursework reports while borrowing the content from elsewhere; how to make a glass-print as good as the original; and so on.
The common room with its Carrom boards and TT tables provided us with an oasis in the middle of “Kammala” desert. This is where you make a few friends, learn to appreciate the decoction of water, sugar, tea and tin-kiri by Ananda and the team while rest of the world is toiling inside leacture theatres or labs.
Everything was going on so well…!!!
READ PART 3