From the Desk of the Department
Milan Kundera has rightly observed that it is difficult to understand ‘Memory’ unless we apply mathematical approach. So, the ratio between the amount of time lived and the amount of time from that life that is stored in memory is something significant. No one has ever tried to calculate this ratio, and in fact there exists no technique for doing so; yet without much risk of error one could assume that the memory retains no more than a millionth, a hundred-millionth, in short, an utterly infinitesimal bit of the lived life. Except an imaginary device like ‘Pensieve’, it is not possible to preserve ‘events’ in ‘memory’ as it happened. However, there are dangers of having Pensieve and so not all Witches / Wizards in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter world kept it. It was Dumbledore who kept Pensieve.
This Memorabilia is something between Kundera’s mathematical approach and Dumbledore’s Pensieve. The Memorabilia 2017-18 retains and recreates infinitesimal bit of students and teachers lived experience in the Department of English, M.K. Bhavnagar University. At the same time, it is not as magically powerful as Pensieve wherein one can have a peep inside the dark memory which is to be hidden, ashamed off, holds super secrets and protects the privacy of those mentioned in it. Nevertheless, the Memorabilia 2017-18 has something more than what Milan Kundera refers as ‘infinitesimal bit of memory’ and something less than the power of storing dark memories by Pensieve. After all, we have to be ‘politically correct’ and hence abstain from ‘documenting’ dark-secretive memories even at the cost of imperfections.
Looking back at the memories created by the students of Batch 2016-18, I see yet another bunch of talented, beaming with spark, and confident young 22 students ready to perform in real life situations. Let me take an opportunity of this space and refer to some of the incredible talents they displayed during last two years.
Ajit Kaliya is a gifted artist. His paintings are not only aesthetically pleasing but are deeply meaningful. He brought several laurels to our Department by winning positions in Cartooning, Collage and Installations at University, Zonal and National Level Youth Festivals. His art can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/kaliya.ajit.5/photos_albums
Alpa Ponda is a very good in acting and in performing arts like drama. It was her vision and hard work that after many years, our Department participated in One Act Play, Mon0 Acting and Skit in the Youth Festival of MKBU. She also presented though provoking research paper on film adaptation of Devdas at M.S. University A K Ramanujan Paper reading contest. She being the leader of ‘Film Screening Committee’, has screened several films, plays and programmes with the help of other members.
Architaba Gohil is excellent in photography. On several occasions, she displayed her artistic photos in Daily Schedule. It was her concept of Photography competition. The Department organised first of its kind Mobile Photography Competition and ranks were decided through online public voting. She being the leader of ‘Art and Creativity Committee’ has envisioned several creative programmes with the help of other members.
Budhiditya Das was one of the most-remotest students Department ever had. Coming from the Eastern state Assam, in this Western part of India, she would have undergone several cultural shocks which, in turn, would have enriched her experience of ‘knowing India as nation’. As the leader of Library committee, she managed all the affairs related to keeping records of books and its distribution to students, research scholars and other teachers. Libraries are very important centres of learning and is the place were ‘soul of academic institute’ is located. Somehow, in digital times, libraries are fast becoming insignificant, an artefact of digital cultures erasing the essence of being human. Thus, her task is even tougher. She stood up to the mark and presented annual report / charts, which is worth watching in this Memorabilia. We hope, she will leave Department / MKBU / Gujarat with positive imprints in her memory.
Namrata Zala, the leader of ICT committee, has taken technology integration a step ahead. She and other committee members planned very useful workshop for fresh students so that they can learn the ‘know-hows’ of use of technology in Department for various academic purposes. This was a very idea, which Department will institutionalise it for upcoming years. With the able help of Dharaba Zala and other members, she managed to carry out very tough task of managing Laptop-Bank and other ICT related issues. This committee has the toughest job as we are not very good in technology and have to keep on trouble-shooting new errors, time and again.
Rinkal Jani, as a leader of Daily Schedule committee, has displayed astonishing and incredible punctuality. She never missed to ask about the Daily Schedule and all Daily Schedules were very well managed. Special attractions of DS were those Special Days celebrated with varied academic, non-academic presentations made by students. So, the days like Hindi Language Day, International Women’s Day, Guru Purnima etc were very well accomplished under her able guidance. This committee members have to come early to manage several things. She and her committee members stood up to the expectations. Throughout the year, DS became wonderful assembly of ideas and personal presentations. This year they came up with an idea of Slums Visit. It was eye-opening to listen to their reports about the lives of poor slum dwelers and their cravings for quality education for their future generations. All credit goes to Rinkal and her committee members.
Megha Trivedi, with a sheer talent for academic work, is promising talent and can have bright career in academics. Her performance in presentations was remarkable. As time ripens, her habit of hard work will give her the fruits of success in real life. She was leader of Gardening Committee. Memory tree plantation, cleanliness of the vicinity of Department and maintenance of planted trees were the responsibilities of this committee. If you are impressed by the ‘green’ outside the Department building, thanks to her and the Gardening Committee.
Mansi, Kavita, Mital, Riddhi, Krishna are silent workers. Being in the committee of Bulletin Board, they took care that the poems of students, paintings on the occasions of festivals and quotable quotes on notice board are presented on the bulletin board. What they missed was news about latest happenings in India and around the world.
Matangi Bhatt was the leader of celebration committee and he was quite enthusiastic about it. They celebrated festivals like Holi, Christmas and Kite Flying. It was she and her committee members who deserves a big big thanks for all festive colours that the Department celebrated.
Komal Shahedapuri, the leader for entire academic year, managed everything with meticulous care and consideration. This was the year, in which as Head of the Department, I received least complaints from students about each other. The credit goes the leader who manages everyday affairs of the Department. With additional responsibilities, she was very punctual in all her tasks and activities in personal capacity also. Many students stand with an excuse for not doing the tasks on time on grounds of one or other works. She, to the best of my memory, never gave an excuse for not completing the tasks or activities. In addition, she and Megha Trivedi has taken additional project work which requires filed survey also.
It will be odd to use the cliché, ‘last but not the least important’ but let it be used to write about Documentation Committee and its leader Surbhi Gausvami. It is, indeed, extremely tough to remain on your toes throughout the year and keep records of all that is happening in and around institutes, which is busy doing lot many things and almost every week ‘something happens’. She very well documented happenings on Facebook and thus gave a very good social media coverage to the activities of Department. What makes social media post significant is - a small but sensible writeup with the photos of the events – and she was able to do so effectively. Komal, Megha and other students also helped in social media documentations. This Memorabilia is also edited by her and the team. It requires lots of perseverance and persistence in working throughout the year for documentation and then organise it in such a presentable shape. It was a tough call, and I am glad to say that Surbhi and her team have done far better than expected. (Visit this for the evidence of the work: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100016979435748 )
I may miss out some students like Arti Vadher (who has excellent talents if used appropriately, she can achieve unimaginable things in life), Kiran Vora (again a gem of person who outshines others in Presentations but rather inactive at other times), Binkalba Gohil, Mital Raval, Kailash Baraiya, Riddhi Maru and Dharaba Gohil (who silently does work in their capacity and are ready to help others), and Krishna Khamal (needs to remember her for her never-say-die attitude in learning digital skills), but they were also an integral part of all the good work other committees / students / teachers and Department was able to do during this academic year 2017-18.
As this comes from my memory, there are all chances that things may not be recorded as perfectly as the Black Box. There may be imperfections in my memory and what-so-ever documents supports my perceptions of the students may just be an illusion about them. We never know what we do not know so none can say with a particular amount of certainty in what they say from their memories. One thing is sure – the passing students have contributed a lot in making of me as a teacher and has given innumerable proud moments to the Department of English, MKBU. You all have added great value to the brand image of Department of English which previous students has established and strengthened. With a promise to see that none of your contribution in strengthening the brand of Department of English will ever be weakened or maligned, I hereby, give rest to my fingertips. - Dilip Barad.
The Memorabilia 2017-18 can be downloaded from: https://www.slideshare.net/dilipbarad/memorabilia-201718