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Etymology of ulaar

Main campus building of Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra

Back in my undergraduate alma mater (Birla Institute of Technology Ranchi, India), the ulaar moniker referred to students who were gentlemen of leisure, or in other words, displayed very little interest in scholarly pursuits. So how did these characters spend their time (you may ask)? A great majority of them indulged in inebriation, smoking and rowdy behavior – perhaps not very different from certain fraternity organizations in US universities. Some of the reclusive ulaars also resorted to excessive sleeping. The related term ulaari refers to the act of being ulaars – in other words, if you were spending exam nights indulging in binge drinking, you were doing ulaari.

In certain minority circles, the ulaar moniker morphed to a more broader state of mind where one “didn’t have a care in the world”. The moderate ulaar has not abandoned scholastic ambitions but realizes that there’s more to life than a single-minded pursuit of academic excellence. During my years at BIT, Mesra, I was a moderate ulaar though, I daresay, none of my friends could have surmised it.

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