The first few days in the hostel were an eye opener in ways more than one.I was quite plump all throughout my school years .But, what regular exercise and balanced diet could not do to my waistline ,was achieved effortlessly by the hostel food and regular chores given by the seniors.I lost weight dramatically, and i m very positive that even Vandana Luthra cannot get such great results so quickly.Anyway i was happy with my new found slim look ,but everyone else, especially family members were worried about my 'ill-health'.
The seniors asked my batchmates ,all of whom had already come out from the agony and ecstacy of the ragging period,to inform me of all the rules and regulations which were to be followed ,with the caveat that any misdemeanour on my part would lead to an unequal but opposite reaction for them as well.I was told about all the rules and given certain lists to memorise and explained in graphic details the consequences that any mistake on my part would entail.
Some of the rules were innocuous and others outrightly absurd.One rule was to say goodmorning to all the seniors,nothing wrong in principle with that rule but it carried a big risk if you wished the same senior goodmorning twice in the same morning .Because that meant you were not able to recognise the concerned senior and ended up hurting his fragile ego in the process.And that could result in serious consequences ,turning the so far good morning into the worst morning of your hostel life.Another rule was to wear formals at all times ,except when you were in your room.This rule was okay with me as i had nothing against wearing formals though sometimes wearing shoes while brushing your teeth did feel awkward to quote just one instance.The rule which bugged me most, and which was abused by the seniors to irritate newcomers ,was to stand-up as soon as a senior entered your room.Now again, nothing wrong in standing up and showing respect .But some people used to put only one leg inside the room,now if you stand up you are in big trouble as the guy has not entered the room completely, technically speaking.You have to stand up just a little giving his one leg due respect without hurting the sentiments of the other leg which is all this while roaming outside oblivious of the happenings.
Only a week after my entry ,there was a strike in the college.It was a big tragedy for me.Not because i was very fond of attending classes or anything but atleast during classes there was no risk of breaking any rules and more importantly getting hauled up for it.With strike continuing, i had to spend more time in the hostel under the watchful eyes of all the seniors who were too eager to see me break rules, even if inadvertently.Thankfully, just two days into the strike ,after playing football (compulsory for newcomers)in the hostel, i was overcome with high fever.Never before had i felt such relief at falling sick as it saved me from attending the regular protests in front of the college gates and also from the hunger strike which was being planned.But to my dismay , fever was gone in just two days and i missed it sorely for the first time in my life.
Again the same routine started and continued for what seemed like an eternity but was in actually a week or so,and i was losing hope fast.There was an avoid-approach conflict as regards to getting freshers.Some of my batchmates warned me that getting freshers will involve a sound thrashing and better be prepared for that.Now i was pretty much terrified and hoped for some divine intervention.The strike was soon over and one fine sunday i was asked to report to the monitor's room.He asked me about certain things to which i gave satisfactorily vague answers and after that he paused for a moment,looked at my sorry figure and told me that i had got my freshers and was free to wear anything of my choice within the limits of decency.I was thrilled ,i thanked him profusely and rushed to my room.I removed my shoes and kept them in one corner as i was sick and tired of wearing shoes all the time.I decided that from now on i wud be wearing only chappals,come what may.The shoes did not take kindly to this slight and after about a month when i looked for them,they were nowhere to be found !
MaPa - Every time my two and half year old toddler wants to call Papa, his mouth utters *MaPa*, and then again he tries to correct it , but all in vain as we coul...
4 months ago