State of Fear

No Manipal story is complete without pages and reams of stuff about the Manipal Monsoons and the quintessential Manipal Auto Rickshaws. This picture by Earnest Edison taken opposite the Manipal Institute of Communication highlights the two essential components of any Manipal Story.

History is like the boring professor we had in school – always repeating herself, only for the words to fall on deaf ears. But, she’d always have the last laugh, when we came up short in every test that she threw at us.

Every time, we resolved afresh that we would listen to her more carefully. Of course, her tests always caught us by surprise and we had forgotten what she taught us last. We clench our fists, gnash our teeth, orate about her cruelty in our closed rooms, on our social network platforms, and went on with life hoping we’d get rid of her soon.

Hearing a news channel airing a ‘breaking news’ program, as soon as I stepped into my house, I realised that there we were again. Manipal- some would call it the modern Nalanda. The Oxford of the East. The town of dreams. Rape. Rowdies. Screams. Death. Sympathy. Concern. Apathy.

Concern giving way to annoyance. Texts, emails, twitter updates, Facebook updates, and now Google+ updates too.

It doesn’t take much to throw our university town into a frenzy. All it takes is a bunch of lunatics to target a student, and wreak havoc. News media and social portals have a field day. We oscillate between incredulity, anger, outrage and despair, sending our blood pressure to alarming levels. Absent-minded, we stir our bitterness into our coffee cups and drink them down.

We’ll hold candle-lit vigils, watching the fickle flickering flames. We’ll organize prayer meetings, letting our tears be one with the salty sea. We’ll attempt to drown out our fear by flooding social networks with our rants.Monsoon Manipal 7

Of course, we’ll tighten our security. We’ll install CCTVs at various points, allowing pot-bellied policemen to ogle at nubile girls. We’ll hand metal detectors to security guards, hoping their loud beeps scare away miscreants.

Then, a few months later, that cruel professor called History will throw us another test, and laugh as we miserably fail again. We’ll clench our fists, gnash our teeth, orate about her cruelty in our closed rooms, and go on with life hoping we’d get rid of her soon.

About Vishaal Bhat 366 Articles
Student,Teacher, Father, Pharmacologist, Chess enthusiast, Blogger and Right-of-center political views