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Cool…essence

by V Krishnan
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I’m sure I know the way from here,”
You may say on stepping in past the gates
For while Powai has changed almost year on year,
The campus instantly creates
A notion of knowing and belonging
That the flow of time can never corrode.
The cars may be newer but the bull is still snorting:
He knows he’s emperor of this road.

logo C88 batch.
The kids still move on motorless bikes,
But many of them sport Bluetoothed ears.
Do they live e-lives with tweets and likes,
With no time for cack and beers?

Pressures of the mind, pleasures of the flesh,
So unlike, never afar;
After failing to decode the RLC mesh,
You can still pass out in the RLC bar.

But no streaming glut of pix and vids
Can ever match the anticipation and the hustle
With which a senior’s airmail to the kids
Satiated a pent-up house’s muscle.

Now all own a phone with personalized ring.
Perhaps it is sad, none will ever
See how with a coin, chewing gum and string
You could talk for free, forever.

How many of us who got the grade
That’s the first letter of the world’s preeminent cuss
Believe in our hearts that it truly portrayed
A prof who was simply out to F us?

2nd sem Maths filled the casualty ward!
Professor Joshi, we wailed, had gone overboard.
But was Joshi really doshi, ‘Guilty, my Lord’,
Or were we one unprepared horde?

Systems breed behaviours; none
Symbolised this better
Than that avatar of evil under the sun,
The sinister RG punter.

“Rise up by pulling the other down;
Lock him out before the test.
To precede all in your academic gown,
Issue one copy, conceal the rest.”

While these acts, we may fear, will never stop,
They were rarely a cause for worry
‘Cos they were limited to schemers for the top;
Below, we had camaraderie.

This inventor, capitalist, corporate ruler
Is the hostel mate you had extricated
From the space at the back of the water cooler,
Hopelessly inebriated.

On the meeting of the genders we called the ‘social’,
The garbing, the shodding, the excess of spray,
The excuses for breathlessness, chiefly bronchial,
With empirical evidence we may say
That as much in life we may strive to endear
Ourselves, there is a reasonable probability
That this exchange we will overhear:
“Is he exciting?” “Well, he’s ex-IIT.”

It is now a quarter of a century on;
Let’s coalesce at the place from where
It’s a long time since we have been gone.
For a short time let’s be there!

V Krishnan
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