State of Fear

manipal university monsoon
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.

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.


  1. very well written…good use of vocabulary…but I have an honest question….is there a point to this article ?
    Would you just prefer that no action be taken in such cases ?

    • Dhruv Seth Thanks for taking time to comment. I have not mentioned anywhere that I prefer no action be taken. I was lamenting that the action taken is no where near what is requited.



  2. I am an ex MITian…passed out in 2006….During our days mainpal was such a peaceful and safe place…but times have changed…its so sad to hear that such a gruesome incident took place in our beloved city, Manipal and that too it started off within our university campus….its shocking!!!!….justice needs to be delivered..I just reached manipal today morning from bangalore and was greeted with this devastating news…I still in a state of shock and can’t believe this incident has occurred….I was supposed to leave tonight back to blore but i have changed my plans… we all need to get together and show our support in full strength along with the local people, who have marked this day as a “Black Day” and are condemning this incident. Let us join together and make sure that the culprits are given rigorous punishment. Let it be an example to upcoming frustrated, perverted and sadistic people, what would be the consequence if these kinds of inhuman thoughts or needs comes up in their minds. These culprits need to be punished like they punish rapists in the Arab countries, So that next time even if they look at any girl they should think twice what people of manipal will do to them. we the public of manipal say the culprits caught, should be sent to the gallows so no one else dares to repeat such a sad incident or even think of doing such a thing once again in the coming future.
    People of manipal i request you stand up for this cause. Let us make manipal a safe place for everyone who ever comes here, whether a student or a resident or to any one who comes to this town which was built on values by our late founder …Dr.T A Pai and Dr. T.M.A.Pai. We pray Justice is served.

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