It was my fifth sem. 8'o clock ,on a monday morning, I was still in bed. There was a knock at the door. Ireached for the door with great difficulty, still tottering under the after-effects of a marathon 10 n half hour nap (taken to celebrate the end of the 1 stcycle). It was my dept mate. " Arnt u coming for Bala Sir's (BS) llecture?" " Yah,I am." I replied with an element of half-heartedness .But not before an ideal start to the day, which for me is a brand new copy of THE Timesin my hand( I prefer calling it brand new even if it comes a day late). As usual, the total comprehensive news,colorful sports columns,excellent insidestories and international grafitti columns,news on why Cruise is getting married (as if we really cared),news about Mallika doing unmentionables in a doctored MMS clip and herphotos splashed all over the second page which would have made BT proud.
BS handled our welding lectures.Thankfully,there was a water shortage the whole day due to some pipe burstwhich ensured that all our lectures stood cancelled. The first 3 days of every week in the 5th sem were always a bit of a pain,since welding was the inaugural lecture.The wholemonotonocity of the shedule would drive us sick ,though the subject was fine . BS is a jolly man , a bit too jolly i guess. No sooner does he see you, there will be vociferous greets of "Hai daa!" and possibly a dose of BS chaat too even if you r an extra-terrestrial. Almost each day the lecture would be concluded by the now-so-famouspunch dialogue " For more on the pracesses, Please refer thehandbooks( "Handbook? Woh kya hota hai?").I m just giving u an overview". But contrary to that ,mortals like us thrive onclass notes.
The welding lab was ok with different welding processes. But the sameold welding Annas still ruled the welding bastions of the prod dept. Mind you, theywouldnt catch your hand and do the welding for u unless you had properly screwed up theweld on the first attempt and faced a sharp dressing down in Tamil. The fairer sex was always the winner , bagging 10 on 10 and eventually the S grade.
Iron and steel making and ceramics (2 seperate subjects) were taught by the "Gentleman" ( l fondly rechristened him, you wil find out why as you read on.) Gentleman always strode into the class with the air of an intellectual. He would start the class with a formal comment which is not some damn PJ u would associate with a college professor nor a rib-tickling gag but something laced in very chaste language. " Once upon a time I handled the Ceramics classfor you." A wave of giggles spread around the class as he flashed a smile."Due to time constraints,I had to "occupy" the ceramic lectures with iron n steel. But we can arrange for some extra 'slots' later." (as if to assure us that we wont be deprieved of lectures). All basic reactions and processes are "generic" in nature. The "concerned data" may notbe "necessarily memorized", but "some knowledge" of the "indicative numbers"should be provided.You are permitted into the class even if u r a few minuteslate but "extrapolation" of the time is prohibited. The class may be "sparselypopulated" but it doesnt mean that the class will be "adjourned". But In casethere is cause for the class to be adjourned causing "inconvenience" to thestudents, "the extra slots" are arranged for on the following day. The classrep is "intimated accordingly"."Suggestions on an open book test for the cyclesare welcome if a "consensus is reached" otherwise it will be a closed book test(lol, normal test).
Mech metallurgy was taught by HoD .He would bring with him his sea of stammer(aa...aa...aa aaaaah!) and set of on his lullaby- marathon with his beloved OHP projector for company,leaving the entire class flattened even before the class ended. OHP slides,lots of 30's on 30 in the cycles, cracks,stress,fatigue,failure and all theforgettable things of life constituted the subject. The subject was totally dry and if at all you were someonewilling to fall in love with it, you would have had to treat cracks like humanbeings. A chapter devoted to the birth of a crack,another on how crack growsfrom boyhood to manhood.Yet another on what is needed to nourish the crack. Thefourth one on good ones and bad ones, different sizes ,shapes... Then anumpteenth one on the last-death stage of crack and you thank god thatultimately the material has undergone failure. Whoa! its like studyingevolution and different life cycles once again!