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The Pandemic Campus - Chirag Maheshwari

My home is located in a small city called Bhilwara which does not have a decent connection. Since OCS activities were to take place online I had no choice but to book tickets for Delhi. My parents were initially opposed to this, but eventually they agreed. I came back to college last month (yay! Or not)

In the first week, I was quarantined in a designated wing of my hostel. Mess workers served me meals in the room and I was not allowed to go out. This time was pretty difficult, I was worried that I may have been exposed to the virus during my train journey. After this period of isolation, I was given permission to wander freely around the campus. 

The campus is extremely beautiful and serene these days. It is greener, and there are several birds that can be seen. It's a delight to go to the playgrounds in the evenings and feel the cheerfulness of children in otherwise a very distressing time. Most common areas are not open, although SCOOPS, CCD, Nescafe, Amul and a few shops near Nilgiri are. Ordering food online is allowed, and most outlets in SDA are now open.

As beautiful as the campus is, it is also strangely lifeless. Hostels feel very empty, most of them have only 30-40 students inhabitants as of now. The streets that were once filled with the commotion of students are now left unused and untravelled. It feels very odd to see places that once buzzed with the ecstatic voices of my peers lying deserted. The life of the campus, one realizes, is in the people and the friends.

Even after coming to campus, I still live like I did at my home. I attend lectures, binge, talk to friends, eat and sleep. Definitely, there are times when I feel lonely (special thanks to my mentor Varuni Sarwal, who despite having passed out, pays regular visits to the campus and meets me).

If you are contemplating coming back to campus as well, my advice would be to carefully think whether or not you will be able to live alone. If yes, feel free to reach out!

-Chirag Maheshwari

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