Saturday, 17 October, 2009

Oxford Diary: Matriculation....

Today was the matriculation ceremony for 2009/2010 batch of students who formally got enrolled/ registered in the Oxford University. The ceremony happens for each college, so Indranil's MBA class belonging to various colleges of the University matriculated with their respective college members starting from undergrads to Ph.Ds and D.Phils. Various groups have various gowns to wear and you are supposed to understand from the gown to which group commoner, graduate etc a scholar belongs to. It is a formal ceremony, Indranil had to leave early in the morning for his college. I went later in the day to Sheldonian Theatre where the ceremony was taking place. Guests were not allowed inside. So writing down my experience of standing outside the theatre.

Sheldonian Theatre where the matriculation ceremony took place.

Queues of students outside the theatre waiting to go for their ceremony.

To begin with it was a pretty chilly and overcast day. Indranil was grumbling a lot about going out around 7.30 in the morning, that too in his formal tuxedo. So I have been up since early morning trying to pacify an irritated husband and cursing the university for this early morning affair. He had to go to his college for the college group photograph and roll call. From the college, they were made to walk to the Sheldonian Theatre. According to Indranil the photograph session was hilarious with the students all creating ruckus and the walk along with all the others was nice.

When I reached the theatre, a batch of students were coming out. It was a very British, very sombre affair. So many students were gathered, yet there was hardly any commotion or shouting. Just some good natured jostling. On the opposite side family members and friends were waiting. They were also very silent and well behaved. Except for a family of parents and young girl next to me. The parents kept teasing their daughter and the mother and daughter were playing some pushing game which was really amusing to see.

I was wondering what would have happened had this been an Indian affair. Lots more sound for sure, many more vivid splashes of colour and some over enthusiastic parents sneaking in to catch a glimpse of their progeny getting matriculated. Saw a couple of Indian parents and the other was actually wearing a purple and pink monkey cap. Seriously it was not that cold, she should consider her child's dignity, if not her own.
One funny thing was amidst all that soberness, someone had painted one of the statue's lips pink. It looked really incongruous and funny.

One young undergrad student sauntered by, who to my amusement had a 6 inch ruler stuck with a black tape in place of specs handle. He looked as if it was the most normal way to wear his specs....oh the student had panache I must say. The joys of being a bindaas student! At odd moments like this I miss it, I must say.

As the students filed out, families waiting for them started clicking saw one young student rather red faced, posing for photographs on the parapet as his proud mother and grandmother fawned over him. He seemed like he was caught in a nightmare, looking for ways to flee. Remember those late teen days when such behaviours on part of parents were the greatest social catastrophe. In whichever country or culture you belong to, some things are constant.

Finally Indranil came out, I was waving like mad to make him look up so that I could take a photo. To no avail, the lady next to me, saw my frantic waving and suggested that I shout his name. That also did not help. Once out of that place, we walked along High Street, the entire place was filled with students wearing gowns. There was festive air all around with some guys playing lively music at one corner, while in the other corner there was a brave musician who was on the tightrope while playing his fiddle.

There was a beer festival happening in the Town Hall which Indranil wanted to attend but it was too early in the day to start guzzling beer. So instead we loitered around some more, looked for cheap deals for a printer and its accompanying jazz, finally found one. Then in keeping with the rest of the morning, we went in for formal English breakfast for our lunch.

1 comment:

  1. Off the topic....You looked so stunning on your wedding!!!!


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