2. diversity

“Community” in Delhi University

An account on how Greendale College from the hit series Community is somewhat similar to your DU college.

Out here in India, we can hardly relate to American college movies or shows. Leave that, even their booze drinking, virginity losing high school films seem too edgy for majority of Indian high schoolers who are busy mugging up stuff in their Akash tutorials. The only edginess they experience is perhaps the school farewell and “conti”.

In this context, the cult NBC show “Community” is a different entry in the college sitcom genre. Not only is the six season saga a gem of postmodern humour and a mine of pop culture references, the show is also a vague reflection of majority of DU colleges. Here’s how…

 

  1. Funding and autonomy issues now and then.

 

The Greendale College in Community is no architectural masterpiece. The community college often shows signs of cracked walls and washrooms needing repair just like our many “sarkari” colleges of DU.

 

Image Caption- Greendale , an imperfectly perfect college

Image Credits- Community Wikia

 

  1. Diversity

 

A Middle Eastern boy who wants to be a director. A Jew girl who has bouts of anxiety. A single black mother wishing to start her own business. These are some of the few main characters in the show so naturally it has a lot of diversity and casual racist and ethnic jokes. That’s what happens amongst our colleges too. DU is a hub for people from all over India. Getting along with such different people, understanding their culture, joking on each other’s cultures (of course, non offensive humour) and having each other’s back, that’s what Community and DU is about in the end.

 

Image Caption- Different levels of skin shade, same level of happiness

Image Credits- Community Wikia

 

  1. Every college has a bunch of Brittas

 

Britta, one of the female protagonists in the show, is a feminist, atheist and any other -ist that you can think of. She’s one of those who might jump at every protest at Arts Faculty (even if it’s for a trivial reason) and share social awareness related hashtags on her social media stories. Now, sometimes Britta might stand for the charged up social activist friend in your group or a pseudo intellectual from DebSoc; that’s for you to decide.

 

Image Caption- Britta, the epitome of “edgy”.

Image Credits- Community Wikia

 

  1. Elections

 

Elections at Greendale College or a DU college, they both are marked by a sense of pomp, show and ridiculousness. 

For an instance, let’s take up the case of names of the candidates fighting elections. DU election norms specify the scale and limit of campaigning and expenditure for each contesting candidate. Now, often this is not the case and our student netas have figured out a smart strategy to escape charges by the court. The NSUI candidate Rocky Tuseed’s name was often displayed as Rocky Tuseer in posters and pamphlets scattered all over North and South campus. Just a replacement of the letter “d” by a plain “r” has shushed the court, even though we all know it’s the same person!

Coming to Community, one of the students Leonard also pulled a cheap trick to win the votes of all Mexicans in the college. Leonard is an aged student who’s young at heart and always up for pranks and cracking racist jokes. Ethnically speaking, Leonard is a white male but he runs his college elections under the name Leonard “Rodriguez” (and surprisingly he emerges victorious too!

Ah! The election time is always filled with such entertainment.

 

Image Caption- Electoral campaign or electoral drama?

Image Credits- Community Wikia

 

  1. The Troy Barnes complex

 

Many of us might have been our school superstars, the school council president of a topper. But in college, you’re like a new baby in a new world and your school achievements would hardly matter. That has been the exact case with Community’s Troy Barnes (played by a young and fresh Donald Glover) who was a high school jock but at Greendale College, hardly anyone raises a brow seeing him. It’s initially disappointing but eventually Troy finds his weird bunch of friends and enjoys his life of leading the “not so popular” student life in college. This is something which many of us would relate to while joining college as we are to survive in a new campus, a new world. But over time, we learn to blow peacefully with the winds of change and the Troy Barnes complex wanes away (this complex needs to be taught in Philosophy courses!). 

 

Image Caption- College life is a metamorphosis for which one needs to shed the caterpillar skin back from high school.

Image Credits- Community Wikia

 

So in the end, Greendale College and your generic DU college might be several miles away but in the end, it’s all about the inhabitants of these “not so high scale architecture” worlds having the best of moments, experiencing cheap thrills and making even the imperfections seem perfect… 

 



I was feminist before I knew what the word meant.


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