The first time one could say that almost our entire batch ventured out of the hostel 'territory' together was for the Star Plus Quiz Show '3-2-1'. Incidentally, it was won by one of the few dayschees to join us, Mohit Verma, a rather amiable fiend of mine. And in conformity with our newly acquired framework of the hostel 'ethos', he was duly introduced to the rather mundane congratulatory gesture of being given bumps.
And then followed a number of other similar events, on a comparatively smaller scale. An extremely memorable event, arguably the first enjoyable experience (if you exclude the mock funeral we had for Gaurav), was the IIT-AIIMS trip. Having managed to procure tickets for the fashion show of Rendezvous '99, six of us ventured to spend the day at IIT. After we'd had our fill of switching between ogling at the models on stage and exchanging furtive glances with a bunch of rather attractive girls from Lady Harding Medical College behind us, we contemplated the pros and cons of making the alleged all night dance happening in the AIIMS football field our next destination. Finally, in adherence with our all-consuming mission never to let a party anywhere in our vicinity lie in desolate doom lacking only our presence, we hastened to AIIMS. And God said, "Let there be music." And this time, He was heard. To add to our euphoric bliss, our 'friends' from LHMC turned up. And the rest, as Tina Turner sang, was 'all just a little bit of history repeating'.
Then came the much-awaited October vacations, the trip to the Sansui Movie Awards, Diwali, and a few scattered birthdays. The positive aspect of the usual boisterous and obstreperous birthday and Sanwa Bank scholarship celebrations was the emergence of the 'McDonalds treat'. Restricted to our batch, it provided the essential excuse for the occasional excursion of the entire batch in the absence of other events serving the same purpose. Then came Crossroads.
And with Crossroads came a multitude of events. And event management. The days preceding Crossroads merged with the nights in dire attempts to meet the deadline. Posters were drawn, colored and the town painted red (fluorescent orange, yellow and green to be more precise), the auditorium given a face-lift, the college a new look, and the sponsors a run for their money. All in all, a hectic build-up to an already built up image of a spectacular ‘Millenium Crossroads’. We prided ourselves in organizing double the number of events we took part in, and winning most of both. The days were spent winning LCC coupons and the nights at Pragati Maidan, followed by dinner at Camp. For me more than others, it all culminated in Mr.Crossroads.
Then came another set of holidays. And we returned with solemn vows to spend the rest of our days before the exams in concentrated study. Vows which were soon forgotten, even as we gave the home exams (justifiably called the mocks, for more than one reason). We survived the mad dash to comprehend what little we could in the few minutes we had so generously allocated to the betterment of our academic careers in many a futile attempt to secure the minimum requirement so as not to be compelled to shell out the hundred chips per exam that we had already blown in fits of extravagant frenzy at Irfan’s(till he stopped serving Maggi) and sales around town. Thus we made it through the winter, dirty and grubby, owing to our aversion to bathing in cold water, the buckets seemingly having concealed themselves, and covered with the soot from bonfires in the terrace. And now, having found our buckets and our books, we renew our pledge to make it to second year, threatened by thoughts of being unable to fulfill aspirations happily unremembered throughout the year only so that we may live another year in the hostel to make and break a few more vows.