This is continuation to an article I wrote earlier.
Date: 30th August, 2004
I never went home before coming to this room. I shifted directly from Kota, with a huge suitcase, an extra-large metal trunk and my bedding. The day I reached, the room was occupied by two Post-graduate students. They said they were about to leave (which it completely did not seem to be looking at the mess in the room, but they did leave the next afternoon). After I said good bye to my parents and came back to the hostel, I was excited and this time I was not afraid. I was free and not under pressure, I had to perform but not right-away! I was the first first-yearite, also called a fresher (read the-only-ready-to-rag-poor-kid-around). The building was filthy and it was in shatters (not completely though!). I started roaming around. People started stared at me like they stare at a prey. I was slightly intimidated, I found a dark room with light flickering in it. I entered it and sat down. It was the TV room. I was silent watching the silent movie (god knows why the TV was mute!). But not soon before I was noticed, someone asked me who are you. I said “Akshat Rathi, I am new in the hostel”. That guy started laughing like a mad person, “First year?”, he asked, I nodded. Now he was out-of-control, he rolled over his stomach still laughing. I made the weirdest face I could, before I could ask anything I was told to leave “for my own good!” and just when I was out of the room came the warning “Do not enter this or for that matter any other room until Freshers’ Day”. Ok, whatever that meant, I left.
When I went back, and told the incident to the PG students, they started laughing to. The good guy (who spoke properly, the other only mumbled!) said, I must stay in my rooms for a few days until others from my batch arrive. I won’t get in trouble that way. Lights-on I went to sleep, I was not used to that but I had to sleep. It was my first-day at college the next day.
What the hell? Mosquitoes?? So many of them. I had rashes all over my hands and legs. The light was still on. I went to sleep taking the sheet over my body completely. ssssss—ARRGGGHHH….more?? and that too inside my cave?? I made a little shout. The PG got up. He looked at me and said “Ha! Bed-bugs!!” What?? I thought, bed-bugs was a fairy tale creature. Are you serious?? “Yes, they are small and black” He was back asleep. I looked around, I couldn’t find anyone…not even a cockroach. I couldn’t sleep all night!
Date: 31st August, 2004
Although college was supposed to start today, it did not. I met a few other freshers who were day-scholars. We waited for a while for the lecturer but no one came. So we left. My room partner was supposed to arrive that day. But neither did he. It was a non-happening day.
Date: 1st September, 2004
The actual first day of college. We had a larger attendance than before and the lecturer came to the class. After the class, something very weird happened. Someone came up and said “Lets form a group.” People introduced each other and we went of to Barista. This was a first time for me but I thought this might be the way things in Mumbai happen! But we had good time at Barista. We had some funny talks. I was enjoying it! We came back to college and one of the girls from the “group” asked if she could come to the hostel. My room partner had come to know from somewhere that girls are allowed in the hostel. And he took her with us. We cleaned our room. Settled things in their place. All was good…until the news that we got a girl to the hostel spread amongst the seniors!
Rest of the days
Old hostel was like a closely knit family. Each wing had its heroes like ours had Chopade! We freshers got acquainted because of the ragging. Ragging was fun. We got to know so many seniors and what they do. Old hostel got us the UD culture and life-long friends. We were in the old hostel till February 2005 after which most of the first-year students shifted to the new hostel. It had better facilities but for 3 times the fees!