The newspapers have announced the results of the higher education survey, and Hey! My alma mater, Miranda House, is right on top there as No. 1 college in India.
Ahead of Stephen’s, ahead of Hindu, ahead of LSR. For those who went to DU, it is obvious why this feels so good. MH, after being queen of the campus in the ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s, went to playing 2nd, 3rd and nth fiddle to these.
It is such a long time that I passed out that it takes an effort to remember what college was like. Lovely old red building and green lawns. A fiercely dedicated and committed faculty at the Chemistry Dept from where I graduated. We had Dr. R. Usha, Mrs. Sunita Narayan, Dr. Popley, Ms. Adarsh Khosla, and many others. Good infra, good labs, no shortage of equipment or reagents.
For some reason, MH students who took Physics as main or subsidiary had to go to the main University Physics Dept for classes. I never quite understood why, and not sure if the situation still persists. But we had no complaints—it was lovely walking across the DU campus, especially in winters, with a riot of flowers blooming in the lovingly tended Univ gardens. And it sure made us feel grown up and important, to go to the Dept for classes!
The saddest thing I think was this paper called ‘History of Science’ a compulsory subject for all Science students across the University. What should have been a fascinating and mind-enlarging foray into understanding the spirit of science and the spirit of enquiry, was reduced to a thin ‘kunji’. I think it is a real loss that generations of students did not take this seriously. But students will be students. Maybe the system should have ensured that it was taught better.
I do remember I enrolled for the NSS, but nothing much ever happened. Of extra-curriculars, I cannot recall much. And anyway, being ‘sciencies’ we were a bit lower down in the pecking order overall, and were probably not included.
But the taste of the college canteen samosas and kaddu sauce (passed off as tomato sauce), remains etched!
I recall an interesting story about the name that my father told me. Apparently the college was named by Sir Maurice Gwyer, who was Vice Chancellor of DU from 1938 to 1950, and who founded MH in 1948. He named the college after his favourite Shakespearean heroine, Miranda of The Tempest!
B.Sc (Hons) Chemistry, 1977-1980.