I am glad that the parents don’t read Manipal blog because it will steal away my two minutes of stardom because admission times are the only times when parents feel I am useful.They refuse to buy that I was in Manipal selling pizzas and not doing a Ph.D for the future of their illustrious children. But having a heart of pure, unadulterated gold, it’s hard to say No!
It honestly amuses me to see how the very same parents who worry about the academic credentials and college rankings for other colleges, worry about the extraneous things when they discuss about Manipal. “ Sirji, kya yeh sach hai ki Manipal is dotted with pubs? “ I want to remind this gentleman that his son crossed at least three bars every day while reaching his school!
There are more myths propagated about Manipal than the twenty odd square kilometres deserve. I could name at least one myth per square kilometre of space. But as a gentle soul reminds KISS ( Keep it short , Stupid!)
1. MYTH #1 ( A LESSON IN GEOGRAPHY) – I have an inbuilt Robot inside my brain. It is so programmed that the moment someone mentions Manipal, I automatically blurt, ‘ No, it is not in the North East.’ The father or the mother stares at me with jaw open, ‘ Huh, but we didn’t ask’ Good for you. But not bad to remember it Mummy. You may need to repeat it a hundred times to the Chachas and Buas of the child who may feel that you have endangered the boy or girl’s life. The ULFA and other terrorists are in your brains, Morons. The only terror the kid will face is in the classroom.
2. MYTH #2 ( Grass is for Cows! Not really) – No, we are not talking about Wimbledon. The parents don’t really care if Federer wins or loses. In a hushed tone they ask about the drugs problem. “ We hear that everyone takes drugs all the time” they ask in a hushed tone. I tell them “Sir,I have seen more drugs in the IITs . But if your son gets admission there, would you even bother to ask that. You would catch the first flight. Drugs may be an issue. But not THE issue. If I were a parent I would worry about other important issues like getting a good branch, decent accommodation and good food for my ward.” The father is satisfied but mother still has her furrows creased.
3. MYTH #3 ( Rich Brats, spoilt brats and pubs) – Again the hushed tones. This place is a haven for spoilt brats who have no interest in studies. They are wild and arrogant. They spoil the other boys too. The seedha sadha boys get spoilt and start drinking and smoking. Guys! They may be rich but they are certainly not dumb. Why would they waste their precious dollars only to see your seedha sadha son spoilt? Peer pressure? Well there is only one way of saving your son from that. Keep him locked! Besides since when has being rich become a sin. Remember like you, their parents busted their asses to be where they are today only to see their son comfortable.
Luckily I did not go to Manipal with all such bags of prejudices. I found most of the boys and girls extremely charming and polite. Of course, they did play a prank or two. But come on. They are young.
4. MYTH #4 ( All Play and no work) : Next objection ‘that the focus is not much on studies’ but on other activities. But again that is what I love about Manipal. Come on parents! Education is not what your ward crams in the class. It is beyond that class room, in the real world. In fact, I would give more marks to Manipal for that. There are so many clubs, so many activities, the students are bubbling with confidence.
5. MYTH #5 ( There are more students in a pub than the library on weekends) By the time we reach this stage of discussion, I invariably remember an important piece of work and as much as I would like to help the parents, have to leave!
One thing I know for sure. Students will come and go, the Myth of Manipal will keep perpetuating and proliferating.