There is a sublime, eternal quality to the weekly break at NITK. The terrible burden of rushing to class by 7.55 a.m. falls off one’s shoulders. The lack of interruption by classes gives free rein to a wide range of possibilities. Of course, it varies in duration: for some it starts on Friday night or even Thursday night, for others it’s restricted to the confines of Saturday morning to nightfall on Sunday. That’s right, we have two full days off, unlike the poor sods at Manipal or the floating wonders in Bangalore.
The weekend is at its best on Saturday morning. The world seems limitless, expansive and full of exciting opportunities as you step into the bright sunshine post breakfast. Monday morning is a distant dream from here. However, few are up at that early hour to savour it; because Saturday morning is the time of recovery, the time of gathering one’s remains and reflecting over the previous night’s excesses. One fellow hosteller(who’ll remain unnamed) always wakes up an hour before lunch, eats the dal pakora, chapattis, biryani, raitha, paapad and barfi in Eighth Block Mess, and promptly falls back asleep.
It is on weekends that various “plans” take shape: going to Mangalore for a movie and dinner,going to NITK temple, going to Manipal, going to the beach, or if it’s a long weekend, going to Coorg, Goa or Gokarna etc etc. I can’t list all the endless permutations of plans devised by generations of bored students.
There is a special term for a lifestyle revolving around the Sabbath: “weekend to weekend living”. In this lifestyle, Monday and Tuesday are a drag. Things lighten up somewhat by Wednesday. Thursday is full of anticipation. Friday afternoon is when one’s released from the clutches of oppressive classes. We mustn’t forget the unfortunate wretches who aren’t freed till 5.00 p.m. on this day.
Weekends are also about introspection and pursuing hobbies. It’s the time for catching up on sleep and putting up one’s feet. It’s about long discussions over tea-snacks. It’s about showing one’s face at club meetings and generally loafing about the campus. It is a respite, a small window, when one is free to follow his/her heart’s calling.
Hence, I hold that the two day weekend is an article of faith of college life at NITK, and infringing upon it by scheduling classes on Saturday is tantamount to tampering with the very foundations of this noble institute.