I graduated from college in 2003, almost 8 yrs back. Coming back to college after such a long break is not easy, and especially for a rigorous course like this. I am having trouble sitting in the classroom for long hours, attending lectures from morning to evening and focussing on the discussions. No matter how hard I try, my mind tends to wander after half an hour of lecture, and by the time it returns, the discussion has already gone too far and I am unable to follow. I am not new to this, it happened all the time in school, college, even office meetings but I was able to join back whenever I chose to concentrate. However, the classes here are really fast-paced. Its like watching your first English movie, after years of watching Indian television serials. You have no previous experience to help you comprehend, you struggle with the thick foreign accent and by the time you get a hang of the thing, the movie gets over. I still can't watch English movies without subtitles, while for most Hindi movies, I think I wouldn't miss anything even if the volume is turned off.
Back to studies, apart from listening skills, it seems I need to re-develop my writing skills as well. I have simply not written anything except for my name on some bank papers in the last so many years. Writing in ruled notebooks is a major challenge, I am not able to stick to the bottom line and my letters just fly all over the page. Also, my handwriting is not what it used to be, and I keep making mistakes while taking notes. I think we can ask the instructor to be allowed to take notes on the laptop, but then it might not give me the feel of actually studying, which I so like. For now, I am giving it a decent try, but the examiner is going to have a tough time when he/she marks my answersheet. On a slightly different note, it has made me realise how difficult it is for Pari to write in a 4 line notebook when she has started writing just a couple of months back. I feel really guilty about all the times I have scolded her for not writing neatly.
Coming to Pari, I am really missing her now. There are a number of students, all of them obviously men who have come to the campus with their families. Strangely, most of them have daughters, and the children are always running around the hostel when we return from the classes. When I mentioned Pari to one of my classmates, he said what I am doing is commendable. I heard it as condemnable. Probably because thats what I think of leaving my daughter behind.