Well, I did it. Sort of.
I say “sort of” because of the ceremonious-ness of today’s convocation. It wasn’t the real thing and yet it was. Which was why I didn’t want to go in the first place, it was just a thing that would happen in passing and that’s that. But in a way, I was glad to be there. There was a general sense of excitement when you saw everyone dressed up in short dresses, long dresses, salwar kameez, and sarees. That should clue you in to the fact that I have just done three years of English Honours in Delhi, in one of the most prestigious institutions in India called St. Stephen’s College.
I hated, HATED where I was sitting because I sat next to someone so completely exasperated at our nuisance of a Principal that every single word he said made her scoff and gag and have two-meters ‘rolling-eye’ conversations with her friend. The thing is, her reaction was incredibly justified. When someone insolent speaks for over an hour, anyone can, will and should expect such behavior. But I felt it was the formality of the situation and general manners that she shouldn’t have been such an annoying sitting partner. It was so bad that literally the highlight of my day was switching seats after we’d gotten our degrees as somehow the people in front lost theirs. It could have been that the angry ghosts of students past had occupied their seats.
Our chief guest was Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi a-la the 2015 elections.
Please refer to the featured image of Kejriwal handing me my degree. My brother said, “You know there’s always that one stereotypically buff woman? That was you, hulking over Kejriwal.” Ha. Ha.
All I could think of as he stepped on the podium was the incessant chanting of his supporters around the elections: Paanch Saal Kejriwal (Five Years Kejriwal). It really took me back to a time when my room mate and I went out to eat some heavenly pesto pasta in the evening to celebrate her birthday and an abysmal, really tiny crowd formed right outside the restaurant chanting and making generally annoying sounds.
I can’t believe how many synonyms of ‘annoying’ I’ve used so far.
Everything afterwards was a messy, hot blur of an afternoon filled with too many bodies to count. My social anxiety didn’t exactly kick in but I was ready to GTFO. All I wanted and needed was water. Seriously, they would parade these nice bottles of water being circulated among the professors onstage and we were left to look on with puppy dog eyes of thirst and desperation. And we had to sit like this for 2 hours.
We didn’t stay for lunch though my brother ate his because he had work right after. And my dad really pissed me off by complaining that he didn’t get any food despite the million times I told him to eat.
Apart from these little tidbits, I remembered most vividly the pictures that were being taken. We were probably the earliest arriving family which obviously (rolling mine eyes) meant that we had to take a bunch of pictures of me in my gown. And I hated every second of it. I’m one of those people that thinks in the moment that the pictures will turn out alright. But no. I’m not at all photogenic. I’ll stick to reality thank you.
This was probably the coolest shot taken. Damn, I love capes. If someone out there were to give me the fabric to sew a luxurious cape, I would wear that shit for the whole of winter and pose around the house like Jon Snow.
The only good-ish portrait of me.
And those are photographers outside the gates of college. There’s one thing any of you unfamiliar with St. Stephen’s College need to understand and it’s that our college never ceases to be out of the news. Let’s just say everyone wants to know what a short, white-haired gremlin of a man, inconspicuously roaming around the halls looking for unnecessary trouble is up to next.
So that was my day. How was yours?