Remember those aunties, uncles, and a whole host of other so-called relatives who popped up when your board results came out? You can bet your life on when the same questions will pop up like the pimples before your periods. Of course, it’s when after weeks and months of tireless running around and reading numerous pamphlets, you finally decide on your dream college. After the “Result enthaayi?” naadakam, the next drama up on stage is, “Eth college aa?”
The whole of 12th standard goes into dreaming about the kind of college you want to join. You might not have settled on the course you want to pursue, but the life that you want to have is pretty much chalked out; thanks to movies and your seniors’ posts on Instagram and Facebook. They make everything look so cool and so we prep ourselves to handle all that coolness. Then comes the fun part. The part where you spill the details about the college you want to join to your relatives. If you were someone who planned on moving out of Kerala for your higher studies,
here are some tips and tickles from your relatives that you must have had to endure.
Wherever you go, eat whatever you get
Sometimes we get this feeling that Amma is never anxious about our grades and performance in college. Not that she doesn’t care but the very first question when you answer “Hello” to her phone call would be “Entha kazhiche?” Food is the only concern she has. While your brother and dad might be interested in the fee structure, the syllabus, and the ambience of the college, your mom would have probably been looking out for the mess menu. If that is good to go, she is all in. Ever since you made the decision to move out, the comment “Kittnne okke vaari velich kaychonam!” goes with you. There is no good food or bad food. It’s just food. And apparently, we should be grateful that we have a mess to eat from every day. The ‘madupp’ associated with having a timetabled food course every week does not count.
Paisa does not grow on trees
As you decide to leave the comfiness of your home to go study, you are blessed with a bank account and also an ATM card (*The blissful sound of card swipes playing in the background*). Ah! It’s not that easy. Every time you swipe your card to buy something utterly useless but emotionally satisfying, the “Paisa aavshyathin maatre chelavaakkaavu” comment rings inside your head; something very unavoidable like the ‘Corona cough’ you hear before every call nowadays. The stories of every monetised bead of sweat haunt you. But then, we are a smart gen. We eat from the mess every single day to keep the budget balanced. That is probably the time when your team gangs up for that Kodai trip. The stuttering and stammering phone calls to your dad/mom and the events that unfurl are the stuff of legend.
Choose your friends after reading the specification manual
The main highlight of stepping out of the comfort of your home and staying away is the secret pleasure of building your tribe and vibing away. But this is also checked up on before you leave. College is the place where students of all types and backgrounds, stories and habits are brought under one roof. Therefore, there is no waving goodbye to your home without hearing “nalla koottukett okke mathi!” And their definition of a ‘nalla kutty’ is usually a person who wakes up on time, takes a bath (stress on this one!), prays regularly, and bags first rank in the class.
Remember your purpose (of life alla, of going to college!)
The usual occasion to ignite a comment like this would perhaps not be before going to college. It would have been administered in smaller doses while in school. Try showing a selfie to your folks with your newly formed gang where boys and girls stand with their shoulders brushing against each other, or one where your friend of the opposite sex has his/her arms around your neck. Three seconds later, “Padikkaan aanu poyekknne enna bodham venam!” comes and hits you square on the face! Also administered in a relatively higher dose when you inform them about your second fun trip in three months.
Plan out your life (well in advance!)
The ‘aashwaasam’ of finally getting into a good college doesn’t last for long. Within fractions of time, you are pressurised to schedule your five-year plans for life!
Which college do you want to do your PG in, what course you would like to pursue and with this, comes the added pressure of preparing for your PG entrance exam. Remember Aju’s pressure cooker reference from Bangalore Days? Ath thanne saadanam! Doesn’t matter whether you are in your first year of college or the last, two days after your homecoming you will be shot in the head with, “Ippazhe try cheytha naattil nalloru joli vaangaam.” If this is the moment you choose to tell them that you want to settle elsewhere, good luck with that!
You don’t have to ‘try’ everything
We have all been subjected to indirect coaxing when it comes to alcohol consumption. If your college happens to be in Bangalore or Mumbai, somehow the only picture that comes to your relatives’ minds is of you wearing denim shorts with a bottle of beer in one hand and a cigarette between your lips. Whether you choose to fit into this frame or not is out of context, but the image is definitely there.
That is also when “Just oru try il ninnaan ellaam thudangunne! You won’t even realise when you get addicted to this” springs up. This tip is inclusive of alcohol, drugs, relationships, and occasionally, freelancing or anything that gives you money from the internet.
Even while we snub at all these ‘uninvited’ tips, we must admit that our family might have been right, every once in a while. Whilst we stand ready to spread out our wings and conquer the world, all these seemingly make an almost negligible impact. It’s when we living on our own and learn lessons the hard way that we realise that we had been warned. But that’s okay. As they say, lessons learnt the hard way are seldom forgotten. So fly away and soar towards that dream you have been building up since you were a child.
What were some of the craziest tips you received when you decided to move out? Tell us!
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