I remember this particularly difficult problem in my first year. I just couldn’t solve it so I called up my friends. We spent hours in the H15 common room poring over it, all of us BTing out over the same problem. We never solved it, but I didn’t care. I was happy for a brief while, the rat race forgotten. The hustle bustle in the wing right before 11:59 PM, people running from room to room trying to finish their assignments. I didn’t really care for the deadline or the grades at that point. I was just happy seeing all of them cramped up in a room fitting into every nook and cranny. Or the scramble before a 2 PM labs, mailing your graphs to that one friend going to the stationery shop, wishing you could sleep after the Chole Bature and cursing autowalas under your breath because you got late. Or the immeasurable relief that inevitably follows a submission two seconds before the deadline. The whole wing just sighing in collective relief knowing that you probably don’t have to worry about deadlines for at least a few more days. Back then I wouldn’t have really thought that I would miss all of this. But boy, was I wrong. That was heaven.
Reimagining the post-COVID world
Illustration by Derek Monteiro