There’s a lot to hate about the Delhi School of Economics.
|Delhi School of Economics Campus|
Its course content in the first year- mostly revolving around mathematics.
Teachers who appear inaccessible.
The huge class size.
The (initial) daily struggle to get good seats.
Some of the teaching assistants.
The weekends. When followed by a mid-term.
The exams themselves, especially when the professors play tricks. (Beware when the teacher announces something as ‘not important from the exam-point-of-view’. That is exactly what will be tested in the form of a question worth 35 marks).
The pressure, the lack of time to really absorb what you’re learning.
But thankfully, there’s also a lot to love.
The Good Professors- God knows that every institution, however great, has its share of mediocre faculty. This is true for D-School as well. However, the brilliance of some of them in the classroom will startle you. There are professors who can explain the most convoluted concepts with the most ridiculous examples (so imperfect capital mobility becomes akin to taking coins out of your torn pocket slowly). There are others who will revel in students questioning assumptions and explanations, will go back and think through those objections, then physically search for students in the corridors, to clarify the concepts again. A few professors will discuss things in class that appear more advanced than the (considerably difficult) texts. And then yet others who understand your life is difficult anyway, without “wasting valuable hard-disk space” memorising things.
The Very Efficient Photocopy Shop (till some kill-joys entered the fray)- Prem Bhaiya knows more than you do. Period. Your life’s going to be much easier if you curtail the habit of arguing with him about readings. And bear with it when he incredulously asks, “Padoge kab??”, when you want to buy LADW after the math mid-sem is over. He means well.
The Ratan Tata Library-is certainly well stocked. But as with everything in DSE, it’s the people who make it as good as it is. There are catalogues of course, but don’t bother with those if you want a text-book. The two elderly gentle men at the desk have an encyclopaedic memory of every book that has passed their hands. And they will take it as a personal insult if you can’t locate a book that is less-asked for (as every non-text-book is likely to be). On the flip side, they issue books for a very short time. If you are a regular though, you only get gently chided for being late.
The Infrastructure- the Lecture Theatre is fantastic. The loos have been recently beautified (and get users from as far as Ramjas). The air-conditioning in the CDE will put an end to your constant whining about how hot/ cold it is in Delhi. The speed of the computers could be better. But the staff certainly couldn’t be (especially now that I have realised their shared dislike of a certain faculty member).
The D-school canteen- According to some students the quality of the food is unsatisfactory. Ignore them, they are stupid. The food’s fine (though unholy rumours abound about the source of the meat in the mutton dosas). The ambience is better. The service, if nothing else, is entertaining.
Ask Baba how much you need to pay. He confidently says, “Pachasi (eighty five)”
“Kaise, Baba? (How come)”, you ask.
“Arre, pachas hi (fifty only).”
JP Tea Stall and its Iced Tea- I have already waxed eloquent about it before. And I have nothing new to add. Unless you want to know I choked up just a little, while having my last glass there.
The peer group- there are 180 students in a batch. It’s very unlikely you won’t find friends here.
Though very lucky to find the friends I did-
· A Bong who shares my enthusiasm for films and music (though her tastes are more evolved than mine will ever be). Also an authority on photography (in our group, anyway).
· A Bong enthusiast who thinks she speaks better Bangla that I do (she most certainly does not) and whose studious look belies her chatterbox self, as well as her appreciation of Prakash Raj
· A smartass with an enviable collection of ‘videos’ and a brain that can solve problem sets from courses she did not have
· A freakishly quick reader, who frequently uses words like ‘syapa’ (though in her defence, D school provides for many occasions for such words to be used). Also thinks that the world is divided into good people and rapists.
· An introvert who can be incredibly fun to be with when she opens up. Also, what notes‼
· An eternal optimist, who maintains ‘sab ho jayega’, when I assail her with my whining. Likes JP iced tea, so didn’t take long for me to really like her.
Besides the 180 are going to include people from your college, most of whom share a similar work ethic and a passion for discussing Singham. Their reassurances of also not knowing any linear algebra, helps as well. As do other people you find (even if it’s a little late in the course to know them very well) to talk to due to courses you have in common, during lunch hours or when you are killing time at JP.
Overall, even though it's not something you ever believe yourself to be capable of feeling during the two years at DSE, you are going to miss the place only a few days into your hard-earned holidays.