[This was published a good seven years ago in the 1999 issue of the Edmundian – St. Edmund’s College Magazine, which also happened to be the special platinum jubilee commemoration issue. The self-praise might seem exaggerated to others, but I wrote (somewhat amateurishly) what I believed in and am reproducing it here, unedited. Many batches have passed since, some facts may have changed, but the core remains.]
In this world there is always something which is better than others. We Edmundians belong to the better category. This is not only due to our academic brilliance but also due to what we call the “Edmundian living.” It is this living life the Edmundian style that makes St. Edmund’s distinct as it is. This philosophy may not be easily comprehended by someone who has not spent a few good years of one’s life within its colossal campus. The Edmundian spirit can only be experienced and not heard, seen or read about.
When a student first steps into this wooded mammoth campus he initially is in a dilemma in finding his way in and out but gradually he knows this campus as the palm of his hand, every nook and every corner, the many fields, the main five entries and exits, the numerous corridors and rooms etc… etc.
In its glorious three quarters of a century of existence St. Edmund’s has produced thousands of successful individuals in every field of life and they will not disagree with me when I say that they had spent some of the best years of their life out here.
The main charm of being an Edmundian is not essentially attending lectures and sitting in the library drowned in texts. By this I do not mean that our lecturers are not good or our library is not up to the mark. In fact, our teachers are amongst the best in the field and the library is a wonderful place to be in and moreover we also have a gem of a librarian in there. These things are nevertheless important as they form the core of an Edmundian’s life but we have varied interests in other fields too. To pursue these interests the time offered by off-periods and breaks are never enough, therefore more often than not we have to resort to bunking class. This indeed is also an art which most of us Edmundians have mastered. This includes calculating the amount of bunkable classes, proxy attendance and escaping ‘unhurt’ when accidentally coming face to face with the Principal or other teachers … the tricks of these trades are highly sophisticated and are well guarded secrets from the administration. We are therefore able to get away with this but not initially when we are yet to learn the tricks of the trade but once it is learnt we become absolute masters.
We often fantasise about many things in the college. One fantasy being the thought of lighting up all those fireplaces in the older part of the college on a rainy winter day, another being playing the Edmundian Open on the concrete tennis courts and the third is, mainly of the students of the arts stream, to have females in their classes too.
Without trying one’s hand at the handball alley and a few cricketing strokes in the adjoining field and the basket ball court and now buried under tonnes of mud, the so called Dhobi Field, one does not become a full fledged Edmundian as all these are a part and parcel of the Edmundian’s way of life.
The library and canteen may be amongst the favourite hangouts within the college but their respective disadvantages being that in one silence is required and the other is located right at the heart of the college. Therefore, the outstation venues like Down Shop and Volga who take the cake in this category. Other hotspots within the campus being the triangular lawn besides the office (which I think should be given a name) and beneath the trees in front of the New Hostel.
One drastic change which has come most recently in the lives of many Edmundians is the opening of its wrought iron gates to the fairer sex. It has ended an era of male domination in one of the best colleges in this part of the country and therefore may have hurt the egos of a few but the coming of the girls brought about a variety in the campus and gave us guys an additional reason to be present in the college regularly and also cut of drastically our mandatory once a day visit to Don Bosco Square.
The vast diversity in the student population of St. Edmund’s, their immense talents, their carefree and fun loving ways and the support of a meritorious faculty and its exquisite campus makes the Edmundian living the wonderful experience that it is.