Exploring Yale

October 7, 2013

My quest to explore the Yale Campus continues. Whenever I get time I like to explore different buildings and libraries. So I decided to utilize a recent Friday, a day without classes, to visit the Old Campus. My journey started at the Yale Law School where I was mesmerized by the beauty of the building. It felt like as if I had entered Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The staircases were lined up with portraits of the past deans of this prestigious law school, some former Chief Justices of the US Supreme Court etc. Some of these portraits were as old as 150 years. I am a huge fan of historical artifacts and this place felt like a dream come true. I kept staring at each of the portraits endlessly, examining the various aspects. What would have otherwise required me just 2 min to go from 1st floor to 3rd floor where the Yale library is located, took me almost 45 minutes.

After spending another 2 hours in rest of the law school building I finally moved to the oldest library on campus, the Sterling Memorial Library. Inside I found that the Sterling has 9 floors with stacks and stacks of books. I was suddenly finding myself surrounded in a sea of books. What particularly struck me was the range and variety. One can get books for possibly any conceivable topic and in any possible language. While searching across for books related to Indian culture I suddenly stumbled upon an 1884 series of Mahabharata books. For people not familiar with Mahabharata, it is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. This is a very rare book to see in the current era. 

It’s even rarer to find a book of Mahabharata in any Indian household. There is myth that keeping Mahabharata or reading from it causes fights in one’s family. Indians being deeply religious don’t take their chances and prefer to watch Mahabharata only on TV. I not being a great believer in myths unless it can be scientifically or logically explained (my engineering background is to be blamed), went ahead to peruse through it. I was mesmerized by its beauty and wanted to read it.

After spending around 2 hours reading through it, since it was getting late, I decided to return home. At time of my wrapping up, I got a call from my wife. In the next 15 minutes of talking over phone we ended up arguing over a trivial thing such as the brand of the sport shoe I was going to buy next day. We earlier never had arguments over such trivial things. While walking back I was wondering if this was an effect of reading through Mahabharata or was it just my struggle to understand women? Should I start believing in the ancient Indian traditions and stop applying my logical reasoning over things, which are possibly beyond human comprehension?

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About the author

Chaitanya Mehrotra

Master of Advanced Management 2014