Posted by: Mojo Jojo | December 21, 2006

Entering MCC

The year was 1998.
I was standing right in front of the entrance of the Madras Christian College, where I was supposed to spend the next three years of my life. Beyond was a whole new world; it sure looked green from the outside, but then – who knew what the insides held for me.
The guys at the main gate would not let my auto in. So I lugged my stuff out of it and held out a couple of tenners for the driver, thinking that I shall let him keep the change. The guy looked like he didn’t know whether to laugh or get pissed – nobody dismisses an auto guy away with just twenty bucks in Chennai.
Of course, I did not know that.
“Eighty,” he mumbled menacingly and started taking off his shirt. His chest had a big tiger on it.
I gave him the money and started edging away. Tigers are not nice, especially if they are tattooed on someone who looks like Schwarzenegger’s meaner brother.
Looked back only after I had crossed the gate. The guy was chugging off in his yellow monster and I could swear he was saying something about someone up my family tree.
I sighed with relief and walked down the Thomas Hall road. This certainly didn’t seem like a good start to a whole new life.
MCC was beautiful – and scary! Huge trees stood on both sides of the path, their green boughs forming a wide roof over my head. Shafts of light cut through the air to form yellow botches on the weathered tar road below. And the sounds of birds were everywhere, like I had stepped into some weird wildlife sactuary…
Humanity, in general, seemed to be absent from the scene. Down the road, under the Zoology water tank, I saw – naw, it couldn’t be – maybe a lean cow or something. But then, there came another – a smaller one. And yes, they definitely WERE deer.
What kind of place was this?!
Now, if you guys have ever been seniors in college, you would know how to spot greenhorns. They are generally the ones with shaven faces and well-combed heads – searching confusedly for the water fountain or the stairway to the second floor with ‘I’m Lost’ writ large on the face. Which, in this case, was me.
Somebody tapped me on the shoulder, making me look up.
It was this tall scary-looking guy with shaggy hair flowing down his shoulders, and there were six (or maybe seven) rings on each of his ears. By his side was this woman who would have looked more like a woman if she hadn’t been so liberal on facial hardware. As such, she looked like one of those extras out of Van Damme’s Cyborg.
“What’s your name?” the he-monster asked.
“Jimmy,” I said, almost in a whisper. The scary duo glared at me as if I had committed some unspeakable offence.
This time, it was the she-monster who screeched at me: “What?! Don’t you have anything else to go with it? Are you a b*****d?!”
Now, where I come from – the ‘B’ word is taboo. Calling someone the ‘B’ word is equivalent to asking the dude for a swift kick right where it hurts. Therefore, I bristled and prepared to lash out in a fit of righteous anger.
But good sense prevailed, and I didn’t. Probably one of the reasons why I am alive enough to be blogging about this today.
“Jimmy Jacob,” I mumbled, hoping that this nightmare would end. And thankfully, the monsters seemed to have become quite bored with me already. They let me go, but not before giving me a look of utter disgust.
My destination came into plain sight. At first, it seemed like nothing much to look at… just a spread-out yellow structure with ‘Bishop Heber Hall’ written above its entrance. Little did I know then that five (not three) years later, I would be walking out of it with a tear running down my cheek.
My luggage and I crossed the hedge and it was with great anxiety that I climbed the steps to the main hall. Staring at me from the other end of a giant outdoor hall was a plaque with these words painted on it:
Nisi Dominus Frustra.



  1. Nisi Dominus Frustra…. yaaayy.
    actually when i started reading, i expected a rant abt being ducked for not knowing a certain guys department πŸ™‚ ha ha.. really love the way u write dude..and hey… am expecting a part-II after this ok.. dont disappoint me and everyman….the keepers of the black coffee tradition πŸ™‚

  2. what a fussy nostalgia piece. but like it πŸ™‚

  3. @ Mac: Ha ha, sure I will, dude. The thing about getting ducked for not knowing a certain guy’s department is just about to follow πŸ™‚
    And don’t worry. doing everything to keep the black coffee tradition alive. (Together now…)UP UP HEBER!

    @ RaMa: Hey, you liked it? Coming from you, that’s a compliment – even though u thought it was a ‘fussy nostalgic piece’ πŸ™‚

  4. @JJ – My bro entered MCC before I did..he had come to get me a form from Continuin Ed. The first thing he saw was a pig running from one side of the scrubs to the other:)

    Liked the conclusion man..good piece..and errm buddy, u need to get your own shoutbox? Coz everythin u type in urs, shows in mine..and vice versa πŸ™‚

    @Div – we shd put the black coffee joke up somewhere eh?

  5. @ shine: Really, that true about the shoutbox? Thought i could just swipe it from yours 😦
    Okay. give me a code i can use…

  6. @JJ
    everyman said that if i visit bangalore, i should visit ur black coffee pub..!! really?? do i have to? think i might pass on this one πŸ™‚

  7. @ Mac: Pass on my black coffee pub?! Don’t miss it for the world, crazy! And anyways, maybe we wont be meeting again for a long long time 😦

  8. Hey Jimmy, tear and all huh? Not bad man! Good stuff man! Full of nostalgia! And see? I do comment…:)

  9. @ PP: Yeah, you do comment. Only after I twist your shoulder and threaten to dump the Savera bill on you πŸ˜‰

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  16. Your nostalgia piece reminded me of my entry to BHH at MCC in 19-SEVENTY-1!!! More later…

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