What Defines “JGU”? – By Sue Don M

The University is made, not of the brick walls, steel buildings, reputation or with publicity. The University is made up of the people within. So, what do you think defines Jindal Global University?

“Chai. I have a requirement of at least 2 cups a day to keep me functional. I didn’t really drink much of it, I was always a filter-coffee person before I came here. My daily cups of tea have come to describe the contradictory experience that our college is. In all the rush, it’s a warm feeling.” – Sriya Sridhar

JGU has five schools, the Jindal School of International Affairs, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Jindal Global Law School, and the Jindal Global Business School. It has various groups of people, as in any society, with sportsmen, academics, researchers, dancers, painters, debaters, mooters, actors and more. It also has those quiet ones, the ones people for whom solitude is just as fulfilling as the idea of community. There are few people who have a lot to criticize about JGU, and there are many who find it to be a beautiful home. But through it all, there is a definition, there is a way to defend this place to all the skeptics and critics out there, and that is with the simple fact that this university belongs to us, while we are here and when we leave, we will still forever belong to it. It is the people, and many times the ones we never talk about, who make this university what it is. It is the unexpected experiences, the sudden decisions, the commitment to not let a single night go to waste, to travel, to do more, to be more, and still be entirely crazy people, that defines JGU. For no matter how much law, business or the humanities may matter to us, it is not that which will provide the most identity, but those unlikely moments. What unlikely moments, though?

“So one Sunday evening, Viksit, Ananvay, Saksham, and I had gone out for dinner to Murthal. There, Viksit just at some random conversation tells us that he has never before been on a trip. So we decided to go to Agra. Drove there at night, saw the sunrise near the Taj Mahal. And the best part is, we came back just in time for class on Monday morning.” –Yojit Mehra

Forget all the cheesy stuff then. Let’s focus on those things we know to be epic. Like the fear of a violent uprising of the Marxist Proletariat, we experienced the feeling of being caught in the middle of the warzone that Sonipat turned into, during the Jat agitations. The boys were evacuated to the academic block and made to spend the night there. Traumatic times, one may call them. But they were traumatic times watching movies, playing cards and a bit of poker, singing, and preparing “battle plans” in our heads, just in case a mob entered campus and we had to defend it.

Even though there was the RAF and the university security force, we had to do something to defend it, or more accurately, defend us. If we had to do something, it had to be something impressive. So for an imaginary conflict with a mob with guns, we took curtain rods to the academic block. We were, for that brief period of time in our heads, the defenders of the hallowed land of JGU. And on that note of nights spent in the academic block, the only other time we do it is with the all-nighters before exams. And I think we learn enough about camping from that.

“Once during the exams last semester, I pulled an all-nighter in the reading room and there was a girl who came in with a massive suitcase. And inside there was a pillow, blanket, water, coke and lots and lots of food.“– Aadya Malladi

It’s in these little things, the minor quirks of people, the rebellion, and the differences that makes life in JGU so much more beautiful. Like all those people who came together one night near the flagpole, with a bonfire, and the warm music of various languages in memory of a lost loved one, or perhaps playing Holi in the grass and rolling in a specially prepared mud-pit with the Vice Chancellor pushing you in, these moments never leave.

And in most cases, we aren’t always the same people all the time, we change, we grow. But we hope that by the end of it, we’ll be able to leave memories in the minds of the people who we experienced university with. And that is what JGU is to us – we aren’t looking to be just the greatest, or the most significant, but also the most different, giving importance to the usually unnoticed things that matter. We are the chai, the overnight trips, and the reading room campers. We are the sportsmen, the debaters, and the curtain-rod defenders of the campus.

“What is JGU to me? It’s about this growth, and coming to know with the utmost certainty that I don’t know a lot of things. It’s about realising that life is a lot about living the questions, because in my opinion, the most beautiful example we can have is the mysterious.”
What’s mysterious, what’s so different?
What is the weirdest thing you know that is also most beautiful?
“Everything. It’s all perfectly imperfect.” – Ridhima Kohli

Because here at JGU, you’re considered brilliant until proven otherwise. And some of those questions we have, like who were are, or what defines JGU, don’t have to be defined by the answers. The questions are enough. It’s the things you can’t explain that define us most.

“Like my sudden love for a drink that I didn’t really have a particular attachment to. Or like having a conversation in the quiet of the library, sitting with a group of friends and collectively procrastinating, or looking into familiar eyes after a long and argumentative day.

That is JGU.” – Sriya Sridhar