Journey to many worlds

Manu Remakant, an English professor at SN College, was not gonna let his students feel down about the lockdown. Veyilpookkal, his initiative, is one all colleges can learn from

Published: 10th June 2021 01:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2021 01:58 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: For Ashanth Shaji, a third-year Chemistry student, this is the second academic year that he is being forced to spend indoors, away from college. He was a regular presence at extracurricular activities in college, and now, burying himself in academics within the walls of the home is stressing him out. 
The ordeal is pretty much the same for all the students right now. “There were times when I felt numb about sustaining on social media. I was missing my friends, the human experiences. There are only so many activities you can do alone, especially for someone like me who loves to be social. Academics were getting monotonous, and I started feeling stagnant and suffocated,” says Ashanth, a student of SN College Chempazhanthy.

But those days have passed for Ashanth. He is now part of Veyilpookkal, an initiative by Manu Remakant, writer and associate professor and HOD of the English department at SN College, that takes students on an uncharted journey to the vibrant world of art and imagination every week. 

Launched in May, Veyilpookkal is a forum for interesting personalities from all walks of life to interact with students, engaging them in discussions, thereby opening up a world of possibilities.Over five sessions have been completed till now. Once the guest is announced, the students have a week to prepare themselves — to learn about the person, formulate questions, and so on. “They are student-driven sessions. The reason webinars aren’t popular amongst students is that speakers dominate the talks and there is no scope for interaction,” says Manu Remakant.   

According to him, a lot of students and parents were worried about getting through the lockdown. 
“Many of them complained that they were tired of social media platforms.  I noticed how bad they were affected and that is why I decided to start something that could enlighten their atmosphere and make them active,” recalls Manu. Veyilpookkal came to be after discussions with his friends Anand Haridas and Syam Nath. The sessions saw wildlife photographer Balan Madhavan, naval officer Abhilash Tomy, journalist Unnikrishnan Unnithan and many others take the students on a ride to their varied areas of expertise.

 Ashanth adds that the zoom sessions barely feel virtual. “It has even helped me get back to the college atmosphere. It is also the first time that the first-year students are getting a whiff of what college is all about,” he says.  “We survived the first wave, but the second one got us down. But through these sessions, we get to meet new people, learn about their work, experience a part of their lives and gain new experiences,” says Anagha Prakash, final year literature student.

“While Balan Madhavan took us on a journey to Antarctica, Unnithan Unnikrishnan took us to Lakshadweep, its culture, and traditions. We are journeying,” says Anagha as she looks forward to the next virtual session with climate scientist Roxy Mathew Koll. 


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp