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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume3Issue 01| January 09, 2011 |


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Busy Days and Bylines

Omar Rashid Chowdhury
Photos: Nadim Siddique

Residential hall

As the last slanting rays of a winter sun strikes the red bricked cafeteria walls, I sit under a portico looking down over the entrance to the auditorium. Another busy day comes to its end. Yet there are bylines demarking short phases of pleasant repose. A day of boring classes, anxious class tests and lab quizzes, files and reports, incessant gossips, clueless chatters, class bunking, loud hard rock music in the rag corner, twenty-nine card decks scattered over café tables, facebook and again giving in to another onslaught of classes and labs. That is typical BUET.

Central cafe and auditorium

Within these monolithic buildings, where a diverse array of machines resides, fords of flamboyant joy and humour flow by too. In the concrete lab or machine lab, while noting down data, jokes find their way in. In the differential equations class, sudden feats of laughter rack the class room. Yet these are all very common sundries of a day's work. The solemn solitude of studies in the academic buildings, students have their own world full of loud notes. The buildings resonate with an E-minor chord while the students add a clear C in the solo. And the solo is sweet!

It is another set in the café. In the first weeks of a session, the terrace is lined with tables of recruiters for different clubs. Music played in rag corner, a porch at a side of the café, often sets off a chorus. The café tables are full with “die hard” card players and irrelevantly chattering and laughing and munching students. From pundits with a C.G.P.A of 3.98 to regular class bunkers, the topics are endlessly versatile!

BUET Shahid Minar

The day starts with different beats for students of different departments. In the first weeks, the situation is better with no awaiting class tests and labs. As the weeks go by and the syllabus unmasks its true gigantic form, students fail to catch their breath. The academic buildings and labs are filled with hurried footsteps and mute classes with tests going on. Students fumble to complete lab reports and graphs in the off hours. Luminous laptops litter the tables in the café, displaying presentation slides. Site explorers sweating over field data complains about each other's 'carelessness'. It turns into a nightmare for the freshers. Suddenly they have to submit lab reports regularly and be prepared for surprise tests and viva. Civil and mechanical drawings add to the threat. Those with practical surveying courses experience tough days of lost labour. Studios practically turn into residences for architecture students running around with new models and projects. All the while lab quizzes and tests loom over everyone.

Mid-term break comes with exhausted sighs and exhalations of relief. Exhausted group of freshers slumping on the café chairs, a common site in BUET, gradually discover the sunny side of the back bending studies. And that is the vacations with the 'aroma' of sleep! Hell breaks loose as term finals start. Sleepless nights are spent as a battle to finish the exam syllabus issues.

Inside central café

Along with all these haste and hurry, a wide range of activities of different clubs go on all around the year. Flurries of enthusiastic activities circle around departments celebrating their respective days. Debate tournaments see students from different institutions. Cultural festivals, project exhibitions, conferences, job fairs, gaming competitions, Olympiads, concerts, colourful rallies, indoor and outdoor game championships, film shows, photography exhibitions the range of activities are as diverse as it can be.

Life in the residential halls has a very different feeling. The day finds a silent refuge as night sets in. In the halls dusk begins at about 11 pm.Students stay up to four or five in the morning. Taking brief peeks into facebook, blogs, movies while studying chothas, BUET jargon for notes, for exams, completing lab reports and presentations, they now and then crowd the late night hall canteen. Solitary guitar or violin is heard. The canteen, teeming with students even at two or three in the night, hums with gossip and laughter. Groups wander to the Shahid Minar in the campus or the Polashi road crossing, have tea and again run to rooms for studying. And it starts all over again as a new sun sheds the veil of darkness.

The heart of BUET throbs loud all along. It is nourished by this life with deep, broad hits of hurry contrasting with light, thin shades of jovial respite. Reminding us of past generations, it urges to carry on the legacy. It is a legacy of humble service, precise knowledge and excellence. As I stand and begin walking with sun streaking the sky crimson, I feel the heart singing all around me.

(The writer is a student of BUET, Department of Civil Engineering)

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