Commencement of college life reflects varying personalities. One comes across many disparate types of students having different attitudes, qualities and ways of projecting one’s own life in their own diverse terms, which may be offbeat or clichéd. Even though no two persons are the same, one can broadly classify them into several categories. The categories which one may chance upon in the multifaceted ambience of one of the most famous educational institutions- Jawaharlal Nehru University, are the following…
The Political:- Colloquially known as the Jholawalas, this type is the predominant type of students dwelling inside the campus. They are the kind of students who are common in the campus but unique in the country, to the extent that even a complete newbie to the campus does not take more than a day to recognize this particular species of scholars by more than an unadorned glance. They are the people who genuinely take some time out of their busy life schedules juggling studies, theses, dissertations, friends (and in some cases, girlfriends or boyfriends) to make sure some real visible effort is made to be able to see some changes that they want in the administration and the society’s ways of running the cases of the various groups of people, from the denizens of JNU all the way to the citizens of the country. Characterized by a kurta, a pyjama, converse slippers and a cloth satchel (from where the term Jholawala comes), this type is the icon of JNU culture and on seeing one of these guys in a public place, you may have some doubts about his political affiliations but, not about his affiliation to the university named after our first prime minister.
The Intellectual:- This is another most common type of JNUite one encounters in the campus. But even this group has two subdivisions- The Real Intellectual and The Fake or Pseudo-Intellectual. Essentially there is not much difference between them, except for the fact that you really want to avoid The Real Intellectuals for spending your free time if you yourself are not one (unless you are having difficulty in sleeping). While on the other hand, if you really are not a Real Intellectual and looking for a nice, laughter-packed comedy session to pass your free time, a cup of tea in front of your favourite dhaba inside the campus with a Fake Intellectual is what you need. But even then, you must remember not to contradict any of the “facts” that he states before you about the world in general. Just sit back and relax, take a sip and enjoy. There is one thing which remains to be mentioned though. The members of “The Political” type of students can be classified among The Intellectuals too (it cannot be said whether Real or Fake), but the inverse is not true; all of The Intellectuals do not belong to The Political Type, because apparently some of them do not have the required “intellect” the political parties of JNU require.
The Studious:- Students of this type are mainly the ones who their friends think are apparently determined to get the value of the fees they pay to the university up to the last paisa (no matter how less they apparently think it is). Most of the students one encounters in the campus of this type presumably have one primary goal in life- clearing the UPSC examinations. On one hand, one can always find them in the library, while on the other, their rooms itself look like a library (albeit a bit more messed up one). These folks have their own reasons for which they got categorized in this branch of JNUites. Some of them are because of their single minded perseverance towards their aims in life, while some just study for the sake of studying or as a means of a diversion from the various trials and tribulations of life (when alcohol or cigarettes do not work). Normal and mediocre kids have an obvious fear to be classified in this category as and when they get good grades, primarily because their friends see a potential “treat” coming their way (especially when an A+ is emblazoned on their answer sheet). But one thing is for sure about these guys. Always expect this dialogue before an exam from them, “Kuch bhi nahi padha yaar, mujhe kuch nahi aata. Please help kar dena meri…!” (“I have studied nothing friend, I know nothing. Please help me…!”)
The Good-for-Nothing:- This is the latest type of students that have lately sprouted in the campus, helping it to keep up with the changing times and trends of the 21st century. Till recently, it was thought that every university in the country has this type of pupils except some “elite” universities like JNU but this university is not an exception anymore. The deciding factor of this phenomenon is, of course, the fact that attendance is not mandatory in the classes. One can always find them chilling at PSR, in front of their favourite dhaba or any of their private, self-discovered hideouts. Though these people are classified as “Good-for-Nothing”, they have a charm of their own, a charisma in their lifestyle because of which they are envied by many and those many who see them, think they could really take a break sometimes from their humdrum routine of classes, dissertations, political rallies and examinations. These people do not have any dress code unlike most of the other types; you can find them in all types of attires throughout your entire college life. Befriending some of these guys may add some well needed hiatuses from someone’s busy schedule, especially if their workload has stretched them to breaking point to the point where they consider doing something stupid. So, one can say that, even though some say the “Good-for-Nothings” are just a burden on the university’s resources, they form an integral part of the student community of JNU.
The Casual:- Just take a walk around the campus now and then and interact with the people you meet with. If you ask them about their aim in life and the rejoinder you get goes something like, “Dude, it’s a pain to think about the aim, ‘cause all we wanna do is play a game.” , then you may safely assume that you have met one of the archetypes of the casuals.
As they are proven connoisseurs at shuffling their academic and personal lives, they have numerous rendezvous all over the campus, where it is impossible that all the places ranging from PSR to the library have not been graced by their presence.
Unlike the good-for-nothing, these people are much talented in one or more areas of their choice which can be anything. Jeans and loose T-shirt is the general fashion prevalent in this type, while in winters a hoody may be donned. They are the persons who are centrally located between the studious and the good-for-nothing. Though they do not have any proper plans for the future, they are par excellence in their studies as well as their “extra-curricular activities”, which makes them quite an expert in multi-tasking, a rare talent much required in today’s fast-paced environment. As they are proven connoisseurs at shuffling their academic and personal lives, they have numerous rendezvous all over the campus, where it is impossible that all the places ranging from PSR to the library have not been graced by their presence.
The Delhiite:- “A home away from home” does not exactly apply to them. Rather, “Away from home in their home” seems more appropriate, owing to the fact of their notably shocking under-representation in the campus. These people make the bulk of the day-scholars of the university, due to the ignominious policy of the administration of not allocating them hostels due to their apparent proximity to the campus, which can be clearly seen as an unjust policy of depriving them the opportunity to enable them to experience the happening life occurring inside the JNU campus. Because of this they miss some of the unique occurrences that take place in the campus like political meetings and rallies, seminars and the amazing night-life of the campus. But even though they miss most of the study discussions etc., that take place among the campus residents, the grades of these guys still manage to remain par excellence in most of the cases, whether owing to the availability of home support or because of some other reason, one cannot tell exactly for sure. However, it has been seen that they are the recipients of a certain amount of jealousy from most campus inhabitants, primarily because of the “cool-factor” that most of the Delhiites have which, of course, is ingrained to them as talking or breathing. More than them, all these factors make up for their scarcity in the campus as these unique qualities enable the Delhiites to make their presence felt despite their under-population.
All in all, the campus of JNU exhibits one of the most delightful rainbows of personalities in the campus for any college-goers. It is truly a remarkable quality of this institution and certainly an even more remarkable adventure in itself to explore this fascinating demography of one of the famous and reputed institutions of the nation. In no way can this be an exact classification; some students here are so unique in their own way that you require a lot of insight to categorize them which, at times, is not possible at all. They make college life a lot more exciting and a much interesting experience for the newcomers to the campus than the more premier institutions of the country and a lively exploration is in store for them that is both enigmatic and intriguing.