During my tenure of two years in junior college, I have seen many funny incidents taking place. Those were quite entertaining and we as onlookers loved to see those stories unfolding before our eyes. This was a college which was situated on Harish Mukherjee Road, opposite to S.S.K.M Hospital. This hospital is also called the P.G or Post Graduate hospital.
The two institutions were on both the sides of the road, just opposite to each other. As a result, we girls and the young post graduate trainee doctors used to share the same bus stop, metro stations and the same road. The incidents of eye locking and continuous sharing of the same path on many occasions, enhanced the scope of developing romantic relationships between the young souls. The close proximity of the vast garden of Victoria memorial Hall added fuel to the fire by providing a perfect getaway for those Cupid struck couples. Thus, the location of the college was perfect to nurture these relationships. No wonder our college authorities were so strict about the entry and exit of the students from the college campus.
We had a friend called Mala Chatterjee in our class – she was pretty and good in studies. When we joined college she was a simpleton but within a few months she started attending classes in full make up. Many of us named her distemper for that reason.
One fine day while coming to college we saw her walking hand in hand with a young handsome man and realized the reason for her transformation. On questioning her, she said, “His name is Saibal, he is a doctor doing his post-graduation in Thoracic Medicine in P.G Hospital. We are serious about each other and can’t do without seeing each other.”
All our practical classes were scheduled after 4 pm and the doctor’s duty used to get over around that time. So Mala happily started bunking classes to meet with her sweetheart. The students were allowed exit after 4pm, so she was spared of acquiring a gate pass. But, constantly neglecting the practical studies took its toll in the long run and she failed in the physics practical exam.
She had to pay a heavy price for having a good time with Saibal. Her parents were called and the fact of her bunking classes also came to light. In order to mend the girl, her parents became vigilant. It was a crucial year for her and she needed to reform her ways to get a reasonably good score in the Higher secondary exam. So, her mother started dropping and picking her up from college every day. Eventually she did well in her exam.
I joined a different college after passing my higher secondary exams and lost contact with her but later came to know from other friends that she got married to Saibal after her graduation. Thus, it was a happy ending to her love story. I am not aware of whether the college tightened their security rules after that incident, to prevent those kind of love stories from repeating.
Cover image is a painting by Aparna Mondal