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June , 2017
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what's in a name01

‘A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet’, they say. Putting this hypothesis to test is IIIT’s administration, which decided to rename the college buildings and even some of the major roads, so that one can now find the Nilgiris, the Vindhyas and even the Rohtang Pass bang in the middle of IIIT!

The decision to rename the buildings came after some of the faculty members felt that the college buildings did not have enough character. The previous names – Girls’ Hostel, IIIT Main and Guest House were apparently not good enough. So, on 19th November, 2008  the students woke up to general consternation at the announcement on their laptop screens – the renaming of buildings with the general instruction that “We will all use these names from now, while we are addressing the location“.

The day soon arrived, when Girls’ Hostel became Parijaat Niwas, NBH ( New Boys’ Hostel ) became Kadamba Niwas and IIIT Main took up the name of Nilgiris!

While most were furious at the ’seeming stupidity’ and used the choicest of words from the dictionary of 4-letter expletives, a few were content to use this opportunity to make jibes at the opposite sex and instead of expressing anger, settled for a laugh instead. One can’t really blame them, considering that the abode of the fairer sex came to be called ‘Pari’jaat Niwas or that the gentlemen of NBH had the monstrous sounding ‘Kadamba Niwas’ as the name of their worthy haven.

This issue was also discussed in the student Parliament, where the faculty said that if the students had a problem with the names, they could suggest alternatives but the student body was not done expressing anguish over the demise of the much loved ‘GH’, ‘NBH’, ‘OBH’  and lashed out at the idea of any name replacing the old ones.

The erstwhile Block B. Credit- Seargent Arbit

The erstwhile Block B. Credit- Seargent Arbit

Most students continued using the old names in the hope that if no one used the new names, they might simply die out. But the administration was not to be outdone by such puny tactics and every time the announcement for an event came in the mailbox, it always referred to the venue as ‘Saranga Hall’ or the erstwhile Room 119 of the main building. Of course, the bracketed expression “(the old room 119)” added as an afterthought, made the whole thing pointless. This renaming has created some confusion considering that, earlier, the flag hoisting ground was unofficially referred to as the ‘Kalakshetra’ ground but post-renaming, the Felicity ground has become the new ‘Kalakshetra’ whereas the flag-hoisting ground now goes by the name of ‘Sindhu Kshetra’.

The latest update on this ongoing battle of names is that the new names of the buildings have been boldly painted in blue against white so that unless one chooses to walk with eyes shut, one cannot ignore the names. So what do the students have to say about this? Gaurav, a 4th year student unhesitatingly calls it ‘the biggest crap ever’  while Anika (UG3 ), who is not against the idea of renaming feels that , “If they had to rename the buildings, a better theme could have been chosen”. Mudit (UG3) on the other hand, feels that the decision to rename the buildings was not only unnecessary but goes against the grain of reason. After all, “By IIIT Main, you understand that one is talking about the Main Building of IIIT. What do you understand by Nilgiri 1?”

The main buildings ( i.e. the academic office, the research blocks and the upcoming main building are named after mountain ranges, whereas the lawns are named after poets- Tagore, Vemana, Ghalib. The hostels have been rechristened  Parijaat Niwas ( GH ), Palash Niwas ( OBH ) and Kadamba Niwas ( NBH ). The ‘most ridiculous’ feature though, as it appears to Rini (UG3 ) is the inclusion of ‘Rohtang Pass’ (in the ‘Himalayan Range’ ) and the Nathu-La Pass (which runs between IIIT’s Vindhyas and Himalayas ). “We might as well start organizing tours of the campus for those who can’t visit the country in reality. After all, we’ve got Vindhyas, Himalayas, Nilgiris – what more can you ask for? Touche!”

The current students have definitely taken a stand. Now it remains for us to see whether the new crop of students entering this college would abide by their seniors’ wishes and continue to call the buildings by their original names or would the sight of the names imprinted upon the buildings make an impact and Nilgiris and Vindhyas would become the order of the day?

What’s in a name? Ask the IIITians!

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