Arriving at the Chandigarh Railway Station on July 13, 2007 after a diverted route through Meerut and many other railway stations, with a delay of several hours, on my very first visit to ‘The City Beautiful’, I was wondering what was in store for me. I could not help recollecting the old Tamil saying, ‘Mudhal Konal Muttrum Konal’ meaning that the first mess-up is a full mess-up!
I had heard so much about Chandigarh and its famous Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and the Rose Garden. But I never had a chance to visit the city earlier. I was curious to see the new place and its people and of course, to taste the famous Punjabi cuisine. Although I had seen Punjabis and had eaten Punjabi food, experiencing it in the land of Punjab was a different feeling!
I was taken straight from the railway station to the Institute. OUR institute, IISER Mohali, had by then started functioning from a building in the MGSIPAP complex in Sector 26. I was shown around the long corridor that led to a few rooms. We had not occupied any rooms in the first floor by that time. There were hardly any people to call it an ‘Institute’! I was in dismay!
Looking back at it, after 4 years of real struggle, with the pleasure of seeing it grow from its birth, to what it is like a toddler today, we both are happy that despite several ordeals and discomforts and unhappy moments, we are where we are today.
When we see the magnificent structures of the two hostels standing majestically from a distance, as we approach along the newly laid 200 meter highway, we feel that it was God’s wish that was fulfilled through our hands!
The real pleasure and the spirit in our life are the students of IISERM. Looking at them cheerfully fluttering like butterflies in the new campus, listening to them, raises my spirits. After all, they trusted us and shared their feelings with us in the last four years. It makes me feel that I have played a small role in building this institution. I feel like the little squirrel that tried to help Lord Ram in building ‘Sethu’.
Whenever I was in doubt, my husband would tell me, “We have come with a purpose. We will finish it and go”. He likes to quote the Sultan of Golgonda Fort, “Allah has brought me up to here; I will go wherever he takes me”!
Many a times it pains me to see that several students are not serious about their studies. Many do not care about the institute property. I wonder how come those people, for whom the institute has come up, are not willing to put in their best. For their own sake and for their own future! But when we see the ones who are serious, motivated and have a goal in their mind, we feel that it was worth taking all the trouble.
Through this little write-up, I sincerely request you all at IISER Mohali, to safeguard this institute and bring it to a global level of excellence. There may be many shortcomings, many inconveniences, but it is OUR institute. Take pride in it!!! WE must make it excellent!
I read somewhere, “Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections”. As I look back at the milestones that we have crossed in our journey, we have come a long way and we have a long way to go…
I will cherish the pleasant memories of IISER Mohali forever…