(This was the article I wrote for my school magazine on the 12 years I spent at BEL institution. Incidentally, BEL School and Pre-University College celebrated its 25 glorious years since inception through this edition.)
“Stand-at-ease”… “Attention”… “Bharat Mata Ki”… with a spontaneous “Jai!” from a thousand mouths – if you are wondering why I am uttering these, so typical of being school assembly counts – well, go on, this article is penned for you. For those twelve precious, but lost years (1992–2004), these very words heralded the dawn of every morn. The sort of bonding that I share with BEL Institutions goes much beyond this page of writing, slightly intruding into my emotional zone.
Turn your clocks fourteen years back to the very first day of June, 1992. You’d get a sorry picture of a cute kid gazing at one of the huge school buildings in awe, with a parent on his either side. Anxiety turns to fear for the first time in his life – fear of having to spend years together with strange books and equally strange people. But far more surprising is the pace at which the school and teachers win him over by creating a homely atmosphere. Within a day or two, school-going turns out to be an activity of great pleasure and not to mention – big fun for him. No prizes, though, for guessing that this kid was me.
Well, I am VIKRAM Subramanya currently pursuing third year of Bachelor of Technology in Computer Engineering at NIT-K Surathkal. I’d much rather prefer to introduce myself as a pure BEL product, proud of having undergone its tests and trainings for a record 12 years. Reason for this being my belief that, had the sound BEL foundation not been laid so early in my life, I could have possibly ended up without a chance to give the first introduction at all!
Years sprinted faster than most of us could even comprehend. 10th board result turned out to be the license to step into a bubbly college life, as much as to deprive me of the love and care of my BEL School. Much to my disenchantment, I was left to come to terms with the sheer number of options that now lay before me for a Pre-University College. But comfort would only come from some remote corner of my mind – “Hey, why am I worrying so much, when, after all, there is my college – the BEL!”
Choice for the college definitely became a lot simpler with the mere mention of the word ‘BEL’. Alternatives faded further into the dark and my decision got reinforced after a five minute chat with the Principal Mr. B.K. Gopanna, a towering personality who has always commanded the kind of respect in me that none can. And hence, the BEL tag would safely hover around me for two more years…
Strange as it seems, Day One of the brand new college life did precious little to boost my confidence. Be it an hour of Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics, every question was shot back with an answer at a lightening speed. So far, so good! But it wouldn’t take too long to spot that all the answers stemmed from only one particular corner of the classroom. And with the associated harshness came the realization that I was nowhere near that ‘answering’ group. The segregation line between the State and Central board syllabi had never been more distinctly visible. Fortunate enough, this unhealthy trend saw its premature demise, many thanks to the sensitivity and vast experience on part of our lecturers.
There goes a saying that one’s worth is better realized in its absence. The coaching facilities, faculty and infrastructure in “our” BEL College can give any college worth its name, a good run for its money. Two full years in the college have exposed me to a rich set of friends and lecturers, whose caliber finds no matches in its range and class. I can easily dare a bet on BEL College going places in the foreseeable future.
Tears of joy in the shiny eyes of the lecturers better explained my triumph in CET 2004 than the newspaper columns, announcing my 5th rank to the rest of the world, did.
The warmth of the reception that knocks me on each of my visits to the college, even to this day, should stand testimony to the elegant values so widely prevalent in the BEL College. Quote from our Physics lecturer often keeps lingering in my mind. It, sort of, sums up my entire stay in this college – “I’d rather have you guys transformed into noble human beings than into physicists short of values.”
~ Vikram Subramanya