Walking Back in Time: B.S. Abdur Rahman University
This institution is where Masood was trained to become the brilliant engineer that he is today. He doesn’t tell everyone, but I’m proud of him so I am going to talk about his past. Masood’s father passed away when he was a senior in high school, and given the financial constraints at that time, it seemed impossible for him to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer.
When he queued up outside the dean’s office to get admission that day, he learned that several students paid enormous amount of donations to get into the engineering program. He felt disheartened for he was seeking enrolment based solely on merits. But he still walked into the room, which was full of senior faculty members and officials who were interviewing students, and did his best in answering their questions. And by the grace of Allah, he got accepted! Not only that, he completed his engineering degree on scholarship.
B.S. Abdur Rahman University was then known as the Crescent Engineering College. It is located in the outskirts of Chennai city, so far from the city centre it seemed to me that it was taking forever to get there! But once we finally arrived, I felt a wave of relief from the terribly hot and crowded city of Chennai. This university contains lush green trees and I felt like walking in a garden.
Once we entered the building and walked along the hallways that Masood had spent three years in, I noticed that he drifted away from me. He seemed years away, back to the time when he was single, skinny and was dreaming of becoming a successful engineer. I stood back and watched him recall his years as a student. I loved watching him. When he did return from his past, he held my hand and smiled, “I can’t believe I’m back here. With my wife.”
It was a Sunday so there weren’t many people around. We walked around a bit, with Masood telling me stories about his friends and professors. We spent some time under the huge tree where he and his friends once spent most of their afternoons. Finally he took me to the canteen, where he had eaten a thousand meals before, and had mango juice.
It was the perfect afternoon for me. Alhumdulillah.
Update (October 29, 2019): I’m reading this post after so many years! The photographs are so cringeworthy. Did I take them with one of those Nokia phones with a 0.3 megapixel camera sensor? But I won’t delete this post because its contents remind me of that afternoon that means so much to me. It also reminds me that I’m better at taking pictures now.