Sunday, October 12, 2008


I was catching up with a classmate of mine in Boston after more than 6 years. Being old schoolmates, we decided to give another very old school (as old as 1636) in the neighbourhood a visit! 

Getting off at the subway stop for Harvard Square, we came out to find a man with a pronounced foreign accent spray on the footpath painting landscapes for paying tourists. With his big playlist of Beatles songs, he was right out of the 60s. A short walk led us to the first red brick building of Harvard, the John F. Kennedy Institute of Political Research. Then we managed to find our way out to the edges of the campus while we were actually aiming for the centre of the campus. A very irate policeman sent us back on the right path. We found our way to the statue of John Harvard in the heart of the campus very popular with all tourists as we found out. Touching the golden shoe on his statue is supposed to boost up intelligence but I sure as hell didn't feel really smart while I was doing so. Mostly it is a problem of needing something to boost to start with! Anyway I did touch the shoe, because you never know! Just in case...

The campus is as prim and proper as you would expect of what is definitely the richest university in the world if not the most prestigious. The maple tree-lined avenues and the fading evening light in the New England fall season are pretty enough by themselves and there was the entire hallowed halls of glory feel to the part of the campus we were in. We also got starring roles in an arts students 'art installation' on "Voyeurism". Apparently the girl's project was to approach complete strangers and ask them to smile into a video camera for 40 seconds. She planned to keep running these images in an infinite loop as part of whatever she was upto. We did our parts and hoped that she wouldn't end up changing the title to "Deranged smiles". We also ran across a cello playing street artiste in the Harvard subway station who in keeping with the tradition of the place sounded like a genius to my untrained ear.

Well, that is all I have to say about my first trip to the Harvard campus. No, I did not make it to the Business School and Law School and you are going to call me a fool for that. But I've three more months here so I hope to fill up that gap sooner or later. But like I said, it was a picturesque campus with all those Aston Martins and Porsches parked by the dozens telling the story of the level of success that this place breeds in a much better way than anything I could ever tell you. 

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