Category Archives: Student Life

– academic ramblings in general

UOH Security: protecting the unknown from the known

An international student’s account – Part II of… ?

Guyanese proverb: “Nah tek fiyah stick ah nite fah wah yuh can see ah daytime!”
(English translation: Don’t wait until it’s too late to see the things when there have been clear warnings!)

The inconsistency, choice of when and how to implement rules and proud display of authority to us lesser minions from the UOH security really irk me. Don’t get me wrong, I work with them as much as possible, but, my friends and I have been harassed too many times in the name of “security.” Considering part of the food ban edict stated that they are ensuring our “safety”, I decided to address this aspect today.

Prelude: At about midnight on Friday, October 13, 2017, two friends (who are alumni from UOH) dropped another current student and I back to UoH as they had to go to Citizens’ Hospital. We approached the Main Gate security and showed our UOH IDs, as custom. Out of courtesy and considering the “security” of the campus, I asked the friend driving to tell the security that they will be exiting via Gopanpally gate due to the need to go to Citizens’ Hospital. (This is when the fun started – we should have just kept our mouths shut! Lesson learnt!!!)

  1. Two of the security guards objected that it is not possible, even when we explained the need to go to the hospital and factored in the distance and time it would take to do so via the Main Gate. At this point, not before, the guards checked for and demanded the driver leave an ID with them in an effort to force him to exit through the main gate.
  2. After this happened, I exited the car so I can speak with the security because we didn’t have a lot of time to delay. Upon approaching the car, two of the securities again asked to see my ID card, which I had already shown to a different two upon initial contact. While checking my ID card, two motorbikes passed freely, without being stopped or their IDs being checked.
  3. During a now 5 minutes dialogue with the security, as we couldn’t go back or forward, a random stranger, who was lounging on a bike near the gate with a friend, comes over and demands to know what is happening. We asked him to identify himself as we had no idea who he was. He said he is the “President of the UOH Anti-Ragging Committee.” (I’m serious! How awesome that such an esteemed individual would be handy to play peace maker!!!) We asked for an ID upon which he presented some laminated piece of paper with PRESS prominently displayed but his finger was over the picture and the ID was put away before we could read the name. We asked him politely to please don’t interfere as we didn’t believe him. He insisted and the security allowed him (an unidentified man!) to intervene.
  4. The “president” began trying to explain stuff, without knowing what was going on, and I asked him to please speak in English as I didn’t understand what he was saying. He became insulting because I asked this of him and he stated the security didn’t understand English. My friend pointed out that the security was speaking with me before in ENGLISH! The “president” finally backed away.
  5. The security then said that they can’t allow the car in at all, insinuating that two students needed to walk 3km+ at midnight, because that’s the rule now. (YES! Security is of utmost importance!) We asked to see these important rules and were directed to a “rules” board.
  6. Information on board: (1) students, staff and visitors show, not leave, their IDs; (2) visitors can obtain a pass to be left at the gate of exit, not compulsory exit through Main Gate. (Hmmm, the rules are open to interpretation!!! Yay, not.)
  7. With reference to the board, we asked for a pass since that is the rule, they began raising the bar to let us through. At this point, I did ask to take a picture of the badge of the senior guard so that I can send a recommendation letter to the Security Department stating what happened and where inconsistencies can be cleared up. They would be able to know which guard I spoke with and ask for his input. Now, the drunken friend of the “president” comes over to harass us – the security allowed him. Another “unknown person” was harassing “identified students” of UoH and the security allowed him! My friend had to tell him to leave and his friend had to drag him away. Yes, I do feel safe on campus, very safe, indeed!

Some observations and recommendations:

  1. The security guards do not insist on keeping the IDs for taxi drivers, just private vehicles. Taxi drivers can freely roam around campus after their drops. They can also exit whichever gate they please – no objections.
  2. The Security happily speaks (some) English when it suits them and will suddenly become only Telugu (not even Hindi) speakers when asked a question. Due to the culturally diverse campus population, can we ensure at least one Hindi, one Telugu and one English speaker at each gate at all times?
  3. Too often only one person on a motorcycle has been asked to show an ID, then the bike is let through without checking the second individual. Most of the times, bikes are let through because they are ‘known’ to the security. If your job is to check IDs then do so, for everyone. This is one way expelled/banned trouble makers can gain access.
  4. I have entered campus some nights with the guards sleeping or relaxing and they don’t get up to check my ID; they wave us through the opened gate.
  5. Also, what happened to the “pass” system? Why aren’t passes being issued anymore? If you put a time limit on the pass, when the time is up contact that person to confirm exit and double check with the gate mentioned (if the exit has not been logged already). If the person is on campus and does not reach the Main Gate within a certain period (taking location into consideration) then ban them from the campus! With so many guards, I am sure one can be tasked with communicating with other guards at other gates, etc.

Now, as the rain starts to fall and I consume my room temperature meal (YES! I have snuck some off campus food into my room – I’m SUCH a daredevil!!!), I sign off once again and continue working on this Ph.D. so I can get the helllllllll outta here!

NOTES:

  1. Do not misuse my post to suit any personal or political agendas. These are my views and should be treated as such and in a responsible manner.
  2. This is just me venting my long pent up frustrations because I’m simply fed-up of being quiet!
  3. I am more than thankful for the scholarship and my positives in India far outweigh my negatives.
  4. If I have misrepresented anything then please feel free to contact me and I’ll update the information!

Contact: FB – https://www.facebook.com/reshir; E-mail – krazie.doodette@gmail.com

 

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FOOD adventures at University of Hyderabad!!!

An international student’s account – Part I of… ? *smirks*

Guyanese proverb: “Nah bite dah hand dat feed yuh!”
(English translation: Do not bite the hand that feeds you.)
Me: *looks at proverb and considers information below* Well, UOH is definitely NOT feeding me! *bites hand via this post!*

(Simple economics – we don’t have the money to afford the good, costly food! Is this how scholarship students get student debt? *Ponders this…*)

  1. The mess cost at Tagore International House per month is 12000+ (significantly higher than the cost for Indian mess charges). In addition this amount has to be paid for the entire semester at once (12000*6 = cha ching!). Fulltime, international students cannot generally afford this (unless they are privileged), especially those on scholarships through the Government of India.
  2. The monthly stipend for these GoI scholarship students, administered through ICCR, is Rs. 7000 for Ph.D. students and Rs. 6500 for masters level students for food and all other miscellaneous items.

(I can hear Caribbean parents’ sentiments echoing through what is currently happening here: “eat wah yuh get or starve yuh sk*nt!” Translation: eat what is provided or starve *inserts profanity*. However, parents provided healthy, edible food which we didn’t want to eat at times and threw tantrums, thus we were recipients of that particular insult. Note: I didn’t leave my home where my mom, neighbours, friends, family members, etc. are amazing cooks to have food crises in India! Another note: I could do with some dhal puri and sour or cook-up rice right now, budday! *leh leh wata ah leak*)

  1. Due to our culturally different backgrounds, a lot of students (Indian and international) cannot digest the overly spicy and oily foods from this part of India. This is the type of food being served in the Indian messes and canteens on campus. In addition, we are exposed to multiple health problems if we ingest these foods regularly on a prolonged basis.
  2. There is no kitchen facility available at the University of Hyderabad where students can prepare their own meals. For a “top ranking university in India” (so many awards!!!) it seems that a basic facility like this for students, in each hostel, should have been a given. Several calls over the years have heeded no solution in this matter.
  3. I have received, on several occasions, food from the canteens with cooked cockroaches and other insects. We really do prefer other sources of proteins.
  4. I have experienced food poisoning so often from eating the food available at the canteens that I’ve stopped counting. To provide a number, I’ll estimate 5 to 6 times a month for the past three years.

Note: I’ve since limited my “on campus eating adventures” to two places and about three times, maximum, per week.

  1. NOW, well recently (yesterday or two days ago), the VC has passed some rule about banning outside food delivery services on campus – the only solution many of us had available to us. WHY?!

I resist saying more for now because I cannot remain tactful! It really isn’t all fun and games; definitely no bed of roses here. *Sighs*

Now, if only I can get this kind of creativity for my Ph.D. thesis! *hahaha* This is TJ signing off from this account about ‘life pun de dam, Indian edition!’

 

NOTES:

  1. Do not misuse my post to suit any personal or political agendas. These are my views and should be treated as such and in a responsible manner.
  2. This is just me venting my long pent up frustrations because I’m simply fed-up of being quiet!
  3. I am more than thankful for the scholarship and my positives in India far outweigh my negatives.
  4. If I have misrepresented anything then please feel free to contact me and I’ll update the information!

Contact: FB – https://www.facebook.com/reshir; E-mail – krazie.doodette@gmail.com

 

Symbolism – Destroy, Create, Repeat…

2016 – Project 52 / 52Frames / A Picture a Week Challenge

Week #14 – Negative Space

Week 14 - Negative Space: Nataraja, The Cosmic Dancer
Week 14 – Negative Space: Nataraja, The Cosmic Dancer

This was another week where I didn’t feel like going outside to do any photography but, yet again, I managed to get something to fit the theme.

A bit of background: Nataraja is Lord Shiva in his Cosmic Dancer form (Lord Shiva is one representation of the Holy Trinity of Hinduism – Shiva is the The Destroyer of the Trinity)

I used many ‘negatives’ in this image – quite a lot them are symbolic to me due to the problems on my University at present. However, this is not the space for politics but for my love of art (photography in particular) and the way it lets me express myself. So, my many takes on the ‘negative space’:

  • I used a dark idol as opposed to one in brass or silver or gold or any other metal..
  • This form of the idol is known as the Destroyer
  • Dance is being used to destroy a world filled with so many negative energies and make space for a new world to be created
  • There are places for light as well as darkness  in this image – however there is use of ‘neutral spaces’ to highlight both

This might not be the BEST representation of negative space in photography, but I used this week’s theme as a more symbolic means this week.

Check out my Facebook Page (TR Pixel Addiction) and my Instagram (Tj.Reshi) for more of my photography.

Weeks 02-07 of 2016

2016 – Project 52 / 52Frames / A Picture a Week Challenge

Week #2 – Black & White

Week 02, 2016 - Black and White: Test your boundaries
Week 02, 2016 – Black and White: Test your boundaries

I love black and white but it doesn’t seem to love me in return. I always get these wonderful (at least to me) shots but never in the week that I want them to. For this week, I finally settled on this because I simply liked it best. It is not the strongest image ever but I still like all the symbolic elements.

Week #3 – Greetings from…

Week 03, 2016 - Greetings from...: Hyderabadi city life
Week 03, 2016 – Greetings from…: Hyderabadi city life

How do I effectively capture the story of ‘greetings from…’? I live in a busy city in India where there thousands of stories that could have been used through images of architecture, culture, landscapes and so forth. However, for this week I liked this image best – there’s clutter and colour, people, vehicles and food, religion and daily lives… Welcome to Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Week #4 – Shoot from below

Week 04, 2016 - Shoot from below: Tropical winter tales
Week 04, 2016 – Shoot from below: Tropical winter tales

From this crop you cant tell that I was looking up at least 70 degrees to get this image. I really did shoot from below – looking up! This tree is really a favourite of mine and I like that I was able to get some colours in this shot and not have it be a complete silhouette…

Week #5 – Shoot from above

Week 05, 2016 - Shoot from above: Abandoned
Week 05, 2016 – Shoot from above: Abandoned

The next obvious challenge was to look down. I think the photograph effectively displayed it this week. I could have gone for a better shot but I wanted to use this one – nature taking back what was once her own. The way the bicycle is almost buried in the drying grass just appealed to me…

Week #6 – Levitation (NOT)

Week 06, 2016: Street Vending
Week 06, 2016: Street Vending

So, I suck at levitation and for some reason  I wasn’t motivated to try this challenge this week. Instead I used an image of one of my favourite things in India – street food! 🙂

Week #7 – (Leading) Lines

Week 07, 2016 - Lines: Natural lines
Week 07, 2016 – Lines: Natural lines

When Mother Nature decides to help you with a challenge, even though you only have your phone on you, you accept it! The coloured versions were pretty but I like the moodiness of the black and white shot more.

Check out my Facebook Page (TR Pixel Addiction) and my Instagram (Tj.Reshi) for more of my photography.

…2015 Project 52 completed!

2015 – Project 52 / 52Frames / A Picture a Week Challenge

I did complete the year – I did take at least a picture a week with some thought into it besides a simple ‘point and shoot’ image. I totally missed it with uploading the images and updating the blog. However, considering the year I’ve had, I think I still did pretty okay to  keep it going.

You can find the remaining eight images below. I’m just going to let those speak for themselves…

For more of my photography, check out my Facebook Page: TR Pixel Addiction.