A Severe Case of Whining (Inklings Day 2)

Orion and Onion. Two very different things of course. One makes your eyes water as soon as you see it. You think you have come prepared, knife in hand. But oh no, you have severely misjudged your adversary. You are now at its mercy. Tears stream down your face…

The other is the delightful Onion.

Beautifully constructed over a large area, Orion is a sight to behold. At least that’s what they tell you in your first year. You are innocent. A naïve cut-off clearer. You take the bait. You believe that this is the closest thing to ___________ (insert whatever you believe is the name of the fountain of knowledge). However, you don’t really have that many classes here in your first year. You must make do with LHC. The first time you hear this acronym, you are thrilled. You are like (cue your British accent),

‘I must say I’m impressed. I knew this place was the pride of India, but it boggles the mind that there is a Large Hadron Collider here’.

… Until you learn the hard truth, that it stands for Lamentable Heart Crusher.

You have now reached the end of your first year. Somehow you clear your exams. You hope against hope. Surely, next year will be better. You say,

‘Forgive us Meta people (are there other departments also stuck in LHC?), we are leaving. Sorry that you are stuck in this Lachrymal Horror Chamber’.

And you move on…

Orion is pretty big. But you are not daunted. You think you are ready. You are conscious of the fact that this building is special by carefully analysing the nomenclature of buildings in college. Whereas the others are simply stones, this is the hunter, the terror of the sky. In retrospect, I strongly advocate rechristening this building ‘The Big Dipper’. I believe it would be a fair representation of most people’s grades. But let’s get back to your story.

You skip up the three steps and enter the lobby. Once again, you have been deceived. You do not know it, but you are now in the belly of the beast. You look around. Kids your age all around you (unbelievably adept at hiding their inner turmoil).  

You know your class is on the second floor. The lift looks tempting until you see your Professor enter it. Orion, the shrewd con artist that it, is deepens this thought. It tells you that you burn 0.735 calories every stair you climb. You who have never been health conscious suddenly think you are a hurdler. Without even bothering to convert calories into watts, you bound upward. You channel your inner Buzz Lightyear saying, ‘To infinity and beyond’. Of course, you are but a foolhardy youth. Having not yet done MAIR34, ‘Real Analysis and Partial Differential Equations’, you do not know that infinity is much more complicated than you think. Crawling up the last few stairs, you reach the second floor. You regret your thought process from start to finish. You decide then and there that the lift is the only way up from now on.

You think that the lunch break will be a welcome respite from the intellectual void that this building offers. You eagerly wait to discuss whether the quality of meals has improved with your friends. You think that the break provides food, not just for your tummy but also thought. But everything is against you. The weather seems to be Orion’s ally. You are in no mood to travel to the mess and back. God forbid, you don’t have a cycle. If you are in luck, the temperature is below 40o C and you don’t come back weighing lesser than when you left.

Can we also take a moment to meditate on the wonderful acoustics of an Orion classroom? A hall which can seat 180 people comfortably, for classes that have a strength of 50 people, of which 40 turn up on good day and the 4 people at the front see that the Professor’s lips are actually moving. You begin to question to question if this is a classroom or a really bad ventriloquism act.

The heat of this place does tend to make you thirsty. Fortunately, there are 4 water dispensers on every floor. That is a grand total of 12 water dispenser in Orion available to the public. You are a fledgling. You think that should be more than enough to quench your thirst.

Of all the various theorems and laws you learn in college, none is more at action than Murphy’s. Orion, the beautiful gift that never gives. One would think it would be obvious at this point, that there is no chance of cups being near the dispenser. But you are still learning. In the off chance that there are cups, water is certainly not in the taps. You do not yet know that water should be collected from the leak at the bottom of the dispenser. I find it difficult to describe how rare finding water in an Orion water dispenser tap is. Imagine a blue moon and Halley’s comet appearing at the same time. Now combine that with the event that the college administration takes a decision that is beneficial to students. And that does not even come close. If you drink water from an Orion tap, my advice would be to prepare a will as soon as possible.

Orion is a constant reminder of how you should count your blessings. LHC at the very least, had air conditioning. Here you hardly have air. The fans are so high up that you do not feel any wind from them. You sweat your way through second year.

Orion slowly drains you. You are in your third year now. It would be a mistake on your part if you were optimistic. You are numb. You are no longer acquainted with hope. You ask yourself what went wrong. There are so many answers that you are reluctant to decide on one. ‘Orion’ is like a ‘big’ ‘void’. Let me try putting that in letters.

ORION VACUO SR.

Unfortunately, it is a bit too late to recognise the alerts, as you jumble the letters to form

O CORONAVIRUS.

(Also, if you did not spot that calories cannot be converted to watts as they represent different quantities, Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a true engineer.)

– Anonymous

Feature Image Credit: https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/DoMS_NIT_Trichy

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