Hostel Beat

(Published in and Portraits 2001, the SRCH Yearbook)

God said, "Let there be light". But there was none. The darkness subsided at the end of ragging period. It was only in the light that we were able to see the 'true colors' of life in the hostel. A lot can be said about the first two months in hostel, as they certainly did contain a variety of incidents, but I would rather not write about those incidents for a lot of reasons. The first reason is that I was not present for a majority of the period, being occupied with living my life as a 'shady dayschee'(day scholar). Secondly, most of the times that I remember with fondness are those (coincidentally?) that I happen to have spent with members of my own batch, in a comparatively more enjoyable frame of mind (I wonder why).

An extremely memorable event, arguably the first enjoyable experience was the IIT-AIIMS trip. Having managed to get tickets for the fashion show of Rendezvous'99, six of us decided to spend the day at IIT. After we'd had our fill of ogling at the models, we contemplated the pros and cons of making the all night dance happening in the AIIMS football field our next destination. Finally, adhering to our all-consuming mission never to let a party anywhere in our area be lacking our presence, we hastened to AIIMS. And God said, "Let there be music." And this time, he was heard. 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 birthday and Sanma Bank scholarship celebrations led to the emergence of the 'McDonalds treat'. Restricted to our batch, it provided an excuse for the occasional outing of the entire batch in the absence of other events serving the same purpose. Then came the Millenium Crossroads, allegedly the best fest in Delhi University.

And with Crossroads came a lot of events. And event management. The days before 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 prize coupons and the nights at Pragati Maidan for the Union events, followed by dinner at Kingsway Camp.

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 study what little we could in the few days we had so generously allocated for the exams in an attempt to secure the minimum requirement so as not to be forced to shell out the hundred bucks per exam that we had already spent extravagantly at Irfan’s(our hostel dhaba) 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 dissapeared, and covered with 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.