‘Why TISS Is Bliss’ By Tanwi Das
A summer morning soaked in the humidity of Mumbai and I was travelling in an auto-rickshaw to reach for my interview, submerged in my imaginations about the place. Lost in my thoughts I imagined how huge the college building might be, drawing in from the structures that I saw around. “Madam, you’ve reached”, bellowed the driver and I was still struggling to find the name of the college hidden somewhere in the lush green verdant. And there I was struck by the idiosyncrasy of the place.
This was my first encounter with the college and as they say it was love at first ‘site’. The beauty heightened as I entered further in my effort to look up and search for the sky which was enigmatically canopied by the trees. This was a place defying the world of concrete jungle which we binge upon. No towering buildings, no concrete roads, my longing to abide this place heightened.
I would like to mention my tryst with TISS. Like many of us, I was also not aware of TISS. However, in the September 2015 edition of Frontline magazine, TISS featured in its cover story. Besides this, I’d finished reading the book “India’s Tryst with Destiny” where the realities of labour market in India and the laws and the ease to do business, struck me hard. And thus I stumbled upon getting into this unconventional institute.
The first few months here have only substantiated it further with a rhetoric congregation of the social causes amalgamated with the corporate world. Here at TISS there’s always something unexpected in store and they have a unique way of sending across social messages. The three days of orientation made that more than evident. Alongside the orientations from the academic sections and gender amity cell, the first day concluded with a session on street dogs and animals in the campus. Besides being the neighbor to the Kapoors of Bollywood, the college is abode for dogs, cats, monkeys, exotic birds and what not. Hence, a session on how to be amicable towards all the animals. All the street dogs in the campus have been named. Proper measures are taken to feed the animals. So it’s not uncommon to see bowls of water around the campus or grains kept in containers on the trees. Such is the veracity of our co-existence.
The college truly cares for its students and their well being while they are here. There’s a Peer Support group which provides professional counseling round the year to cope up with the academic pressures, personal problems, homesickness etc.
Ranging in from courses in Social work to media and culture, the milieu here is no better to be discussed. The campus is an open arena for discussion on social issues. We get a fair share of interaction with the whole school in our combined foundation courses where we get an opportunity to learn from the distinguished TISS faculty and researchers including the Director. The college instills in us the urge to continuous questioning. We’re not taught to be trained to learn what is taught but to question the efficacy and the essence of it in totality and thereby learn by our own reflections.
There’s an intellectual hoard here which pursues its dreams and aspirations whether to be a social entrepreneur, human resource professional, child and women protection activist or public health administrator or urban policy planner and so on and so forth, propelled by its own desires rather than being driven by sociological imaginations.
The feel of the school and the lurking profession of Human Professionals, the threshold of which we’re standing on, is instilled by our interactions with the stalwarts of the industry visiting us and inspiring us with their insights and vigour.
The vacuity between the world of theory and practical is prudently bridged by our field work in which we have to visit an organization every two days a week and face real world scenarios and then correlate and learn.
In conclusion, TISS is an experience to be lived and cherished and here we develop the character and demeanour to grow as we learn personally and intellectually.
Hence, ‘TISS is BLISS!!
Peppery sweet, sugary salty, atheistically religious, conformingly recusant, paradoxically factual, serenely perturbed, are a certain mix of contradictions that define me. I’m a perpetual learner and disciple of life. Besides enthusing energy in others, I love classic to contemporary music. I’m a firm believer of “Happy is the man who enjoys his/her work”.