I went back to college the other day while I was in Kochi. Well! Not as a student and neither as a lecturer, but just as a visitor to the fashion design department, where I spent quite a few quality years of my life. When I walked in through the dull blue gate, which looked familiar yet so strange, I felt a pang of excitement. Or was it just plain nostalgia confusing me? Anyway, the feeling was great and my heart slapped faster against my rib cage. Instead of going straight up to the department, I walked right into the Gym Plaza which is like an open auditorium except for the ceiling.
I sat down on the steps to calm my racing heart and to relish in the memories of my sweet past. Here I was, after six long years….coming back to the college, where I had set up the fashion design department and had started off the course with just three students on the roll. The then principal Sr.Tessa and the Home science department head, Mrs.Kumari were pillars of strength and independence during the inception of the course.
The design department had been shifted to a new platform and now breathed so much of space and light. It looked completely ravishing with the addition of brand new machines and body forms,the ones on which the garments are test fitted. It was really so heart warming to meet my former student and the current captain of the ship, Mrs.Lekha. Felt proud that she had taken over the reins so effortlessly. I also met the rest of the faculty who were doing a wonderful job.
The most stimulating experience was when I walked into a class brimming with young spirited girls. I couldn’t actually contain the inflammation of joy that I felt facing the crowd. After so many years, I stood facing young happy, chirpy faces. Standing amongst teenagers gave me such a high! I just plunged into the audience voraciously, having got a podium to speak after a long period. It was an interactive session on careers.
From the relaxed faces of the girls, I conceived that they too relished the experience as much as I did. The department which kicked off with just three girls now housed more than a hundred, with the addition of a regular degree programme on fashion designing from the M.G.University, Kerala.
I felt very proud to see so much of evolution at the department which I had set up. Walking through the various labs like art, pattern making, and construction, I spotted some amazing fashion illustrations of promising talents. It was really so moving to spot two posters still adorning the walls, which I had got done during my tenure.
Wished I could lose myself here yet again. The lyrics of an old popular song, “Hotel California”, came to my mind…..”You can check out any time of year, but you can never leave!” True. I can keep getting in and out but can’t really leave this place. My heart is stuck up somewhere in the corridors of this college forever!