One of the big mistakes I made in my 21 years of existence is opting for a Graduate’s Degree in Electronics & Telecommunication from a Mumbai University college. Make no mistake, my college is grade A college, though having the college trust being affiliated to the current Maharashtra CM & father of popular Bollywood Actor might have had something to do with it, but that’s another issue.

I have grown skeptical of the kind of formal education in Bombay. This is not only because of what is taught but also a lot do to with who teaches. We all have our anecdotes of our college lives. Sometimes though, certain events just anger you to a whole new level.

I was sitting with a few friends of mine sometime ago and we were discussing about the kind of weird run-ins we have had with our teachers and thereby I remembered this little incident that happened a couple of years ago. My professor – who we shall call as ‘The Douche’. I have no clue what his first name is & only know the abbreviation of the subject he teaches. All engineering subjects have  long and dreadful names for no reason. The subject he taught was PRP (Probability Relations something).

It was term end & we had to submit our files (another issue why I grudge Mumbai Univ for not knowing the ground reality) The rule says that we need to have atleast 75% attendance in the subject, but our college is considerate enough to let us through if we have around 60% (Our staff too knows that no one likes to sit for their lectures) However, if your attendance is less than 60% the professor has the right to mentally harass you, even though you chose to stay away from his class and thereby did not disrupt it by any means. Ego prevails. Me & some my friends had an attendance of less than 60 and automatically became legible to mental harassment.

The way these professors take out their personal frustration is quite funny. As I earlier mentioned about file submissions, this is every professor’s favorite method of torturing and getting back at students. If the class is too disruptive we are handed huge assignments, if a particular student is causing disciplinary problems or has less attendance like in my case, they keep on postponing the submission. It was the last day of college after which we would break for preparatory leave. Around 10 of us stood in line at 3 PM, almost 5 hours after the rest of the class had submitted and gone home.  Why? Because our attendance was less and the prof wanted to teach us a lesson, get back at us & show that he is in control. Ego prevails.

My turn came, my index did not have the marks of two internal tests, hence The Douche told me to get out of the line and fill in the index. Ok, no big deal. But, the next guy (a good friend of mine) went for correction, his index was empty (other than the Experiment names) The Douche happily while inquiring about my friend’s family filled his entire index and signed his file and sent him. I went after my friend but The Douche told me to wait, the same with the next guy, an empty index filled and submission accepted. Me got pissed by now, waited patiently. The guy after had the same fate as me, he was told to wait for some reason I don’t remember. After this The Douche said that the ones who are left should come next morning at 8 AM. Ego prevails.

I don’t think I need to put in words my thoughts for the prof at that time.

Now this is the kicker. The two guys who had empty indexes but submission accepted, though had attendance less than me, had enrolled for The Douche’s private tuition! A fact later revealed by my friend. That was the sole reason why The Douche accepted their submissions and not ours! Not to mention the next morning too The Douche made us wait till around 2 in the afternoon for the submission.

This is a day in the lives of students of Mumbai University. God help us.