Wednesday, 9 May 2012

My alma mater - A Student's Reminiscences

Three months to go. Reflecting on my two years at MCC, I can’t help but marvel at the way my perspectives, opinions and principles have sharpened. 

As I entered the College gates to enroll for the masters programme in English Literature little did I know that I would go out of those very gates a more confident, sensitive and strong woman than when I entered. The beautiful and breath-taking campus seems to whisper to everyone who enters her gates. It is a whisper that beckons you, a whisper that gently draws out an individual’s
strengths, weaknesses, abilities and talents; it is a whisper we might not hear until we have set foot into one of the classrooms, the halls, the cafeteria, or even while taking a walk through the campus; it is a whisper that rustles through the trees asking you to give the college a chance to find the secrets it holds within its lush and tranquil campus. This whisper has pulled me through my two years at MCC.

Jane - neighbour's envy, and English department's pride!
I came into MCC thinking I had my life figured out; I thought I knew all there was to know, but then to my amazement I found out that I had a lot of learning as well as relearning to do. The experience of MCC is different from that of any other college – it seems rather clichéd to say this but it does hold true. Not only did I realize that our Indian traditions and our value systems are to be upheld and cherished, but also realized that this college has made me reflect on the set of values and principles I uphold. It has been said that a “college is not just a place of education” but a place where “through the learning experience individuals are, and will be, able to re-define themselves.” 

When things weigh you down, when friends you thought would support and encourage fail you, yet there is always the unexpected surprise of a stranger who will give you a helping hand and point you in the right direction. The redefining of the individual starts at MCC. The various perspectives seen in any given situation, varying from the very conservative to the extreme liberal and the in-betweens, are seen here. The different ethnic and social backgrounds are represented here. In opening my eyes and trying to figure out what I will make of my life, I have realized that my decisions will affect people around me. By throwing me into the midst of so many different traditions and value systems I have been able to redefine and define my own value systems and traditions. I have found that some things I held as high principles were not important, while others I held high on my list of principles are indeed vital. I have realized the value of good friendships, the comradeship each of us shares with the other in the classroom, the halls, the various cultural activities, the flexibility and the relaxed atmosphere of the college, these have helped each of us redefine ourselves at our own pace. 

The potential that the college has is mind-blowing. By the end of our stay in MCC we realize that we have been given the opportunities that others do not have, the opportunity to think and form our own opinions, the ability to listen without judgment. Even the friendships that have blossomed here will be ones that help us along our journey of life. No matter where I am, MCC will always hold a special place in my heart for it is here that I have evolved into a woman who has self worth and the confidence to face the many obstacles that life throws at me. Thank you, MCC, for making me see life without the pink tinted glasses, for throwing obstacles I never thought I would overcome, but to my surprise I have. Thank you for the turmoil juxtaposed with the equanimity from which I found out who and what I am. 

Although many of us are still uncertain of what the future holds for us, we are confident that we will make it. So, it is not with a heavy heart that we leave MCC, but with a heart that knows that we will be able to complete the journey we have embarked on. It is not ‘good-bye’ but always, ‘until we meet again’ that we leave Madras Christian College and assured we are that the secret whispers will always welcome us back into her arms.

Samanthea Laitflang, II MA English Litt., (2002-04)
(Reproduced from the MCC Magazine Vol.LXX)


  1. Quite right: MCC transforms you to heights you wouldn't have imagined when you entered its portals.

    Sam was my junior while I was in my MA. Sweet girl.

    Thanks for these pages from history that you're engaging us with, Rufus Sir.

    Joy always,

  2. My pleasure always :-) thanks for the note Susan.

    We have to get one from you too soooon. We've started a student magazine 'Cornucopia' published once a semester.

    Here, we plan to publish voices from the past, of all hues and colours. We have planned a series of interviews with former professors too.

    The next issue is slated for August. Why don't you give it a shot?