This one is an old post, from my first blog. I recently discovered this, in my mailbox. The blog, of course, got deleted due to no activity.
There was something different. For the past 17 years, he had woken up to see his dad ironing his uniform and saying, “ It’s 6:15 already! Get your ass out of the bed and get ready.” All these years those were more or less the first words he heard every morning. It irked him and tempted him to go back to sleep. But today was different. The room was silent. Ifact, it wasn’t his bedroom at all. There were no curtains draped on the windows nor were there any posters stuck on the walls. He turned to his right to see the green timepiece that he had bought yesterday show 6:30am. Sitting upright, the room came into full focus. It was just slightly bigger than his bedroom, but to think that this room was going to be his house for the next one year, made him frown and fret. Then he noticed someone sleeping on the bed to his left. It was the weirdest posture he had ever seen and it amused him to think as to how anyone could sleep cross-legged. ‘Might have come in the night’ he thought to himself. He returned his gaze to the room. It was adequately furnished. 3 tables,3 beds, 3 tube lights and 2 fans. The bed in-front lay empty. Maybe the owner would turn up today, he guessed. He got up and went up to his mobile which lay on the table.
“ Hell! No messages or missed calls” he said to himself. He rummaged into his airbag that lay on the shelf, searching for his toothbrush and paste. As he opened the door, the cool wind hit his face. ‘hmm, that felt good’ He could see through his squinted eyes, the rooms on the other side of the hall. It was just like the hostels he had seen in the movies, a 3 storey building with a quadrangle. As he headed towards the bathroom he noticed that many of the occupants hadn’t arrived yet as most of the doors were still latched. ‘Man, this bathroom was huge or what’.
As he brushed his teeth, he thought about the boy that stared back at him in the mirror. He longed to go back home. He wanted to see his mother. He missed his family and longed to hear his father shouting at him for taking too much time in the bathroom. Sometimes he felt that he could hear the sound of ‘suprabatham’, but then who would play it here, in west Bengal he thought to himself. Madhan washed his face and headed back to his room. His room mate was still asleep, and it was 7:15 already. Talk about ethics he thought. He headed to the mess downstairs for breakfast. There were some 20 odd guys in the mess, some with their parents and others sitting alone. Taking his plate of pooris and an extremely small cup filled with tea, Madhan looked around to find a table. By one of the tables, sat a guy with a familiar face. Hoping an acknowledgement madhan smiled. The dude nodded and smilied in return. ‘Thank god’ madhan thought to himself ‘that could have been an embarrassing moment’ As he sat, madhan nearly dropped the plate. ‘Wow, I’m already a clumsy idiot now’ he thought.
First few moments were filled with an awkward silence. ‘I guess I gotta break the ice’ madhan thought to himself and was about to say something when..
“ So, where r u from?”
“Where’r you from?”
“Oh, I’m from Mumbai” madhan lied, feeling it would take ages to explain where Muscat is, apart from other things.
“Oh Yea, I forgot”
“U knew I was from Mumbai?”
“Yea, we met yesterday evening remember?”
Oh crap! Awkward moment, madhan thought to himself. He didn’t have the faintest clue as to who the hell the dude in-front of him was but he decided to play the game anyways.
“Yea, I remember. Where did u say u were from?”
“What’s your AIEEE rank?”
That’s the question Madhan had been dreading ever since he entered the college. He didn’t want to lie a lot right on the first morning of his college life, so he explained to him the entire process.
“Oh k, so u didn’t give AIEEE at all huh?”
“I did, screwed it up big time, got about 57K. How much did you get?”
Madhan felt as if hit on the head suddenly. ‘Great way to start your day Madhan. Now Mr. Topper thinks you’re an idiot!’ However, he tried to hide the embarrassment.
“Wow, all India rank 60…dats something man!”
“Naa..state rank 60, my AIEEE rank is 1 lac plus”
“Eh!!… I mean oh ok… so ur AIEEE rank is 1 lac plus” said Madhan, suddenly feeling better that he wasn’t the only dumb dude in this college.
“Hey cool, I’m in ECE too. What’s your name by the way?”
“Hey, I’m Madhan. Which room are you put up in? I’m in 227 btw.”
“Cool, I’m just beside yours. #226.”
As they reached their rooms, people had already woken up and rounds of introduction were going on.
“Hi, I’m Sunil. Yourself?” said a short dude with spectacles. Madhan felt as if he was searching them with his squinted eyes whose eyebrows seemed to change shapes super fast. “I’m Madhan, I’m AD” “Which branch? I’m in civil from UP” and he began rattling off in one of the best Hindi Madhan had ever heard in his life. People did speak Hindi back in school, but that was more like Hinglish and Tapori. Anyways Madhan never had the confidence in speaking Hindi. But then Sunil rattling off in Hindi at like Shatabdi made Madhan want to stop him right there.
“How many rooms have been occupied yet?” Madhan asked trying to fake an accent. It must have worked because Sunil had stopped, raised his eyebrow and now seemed to search Madhan. “I don’t know, I have not met everybody in the wing. But I know my roommates. All of us are from UP, Lucknow. What about yours?”
‘There, another question., man, this guy never stops’ thought madhan.
“Mine’s from Nepal” AD said.
“Nepal, wow dats interesting. Mine’s still sleeping. I doubt if he would wake up anytime soon. He came really late yesterday night, I was half asleep by then” said Madhan not wanting to be the ignorant one.
People all over were shaking hands and stuff. No one noticed the time fly. There was this tall boy who seemed to find everything around him funny and reminded Madhan of Gabbar Singh from the movie Sholay, called himself Shiv. Then there was the wacky paaji, jack whom AD and Shiv had begun laughing on seeing itself. (The dude’s like a few inches above the ground” AD later had defended) Mahesh was the weirdest of them all. Madhan had mistakenly hit into him and apologized” sorry uncle.” “I’m not an uncle I’m only 18.” ‘The dude looked like the father of two kids’ thought Madhan. There was also Moorthy who like madhan was an NRI from Kuwait. Madhan felt that moorthy would probably be the only one with whom he could actually realte as their wavelengths met almost perfectly and moreover, Moorthy was the ecstatic one who kept saying “NRI” every time he and madhan had something in common. But yea madhan did feel the latter part of his behavior a little weird. Madhan had also made some good mallu friends like Joe(he defines the “looks can be deceiving” saying) , Khan ( all the way from lakshwadeep), Ravi( from Andaman and Nicobar islands) and Chandran (whom he thought to be a bully at first).
It was almost lunch time when madhan’s roommate woke up. “Hi, I’m Billa” “I’m Madhan and this is AD. Where from dude?” “I’m from Chennai” “Oh cool, I’m from Kerala,” said Madhan. “I thought you were from Mumbai,” said AD. “I am, but basically from kerala” ‘Confusion already, better not say anything about Muscat’. “I have a couple of malayalee friends back home. Yea we’re really close.” put in Billa.
“Oh, ok” replied madhan unsure of what he meant. “Hey, any idea of ragging?”
“I know a senior very well. He is my neighbour back home. I have told him to bring my bags. He’s a cool chap so no tension at all.” replied Billa proudly ‘Hmm, this guy’s got contacts, might as well sitck with him, may escape the entire ragging’ thought madhan, and he had a feeling that AD was pretty much thinking on similar lines.
The day was filled with introductions and hand shakes. Madhan would have probably met the entire pandi lot (later to be known as thambis), whom he thought to be extremely noisy. He never liked thambis. He hated their films even more. They sure were a noisy lot, just as he had expected. Ali spoke only English, but like 600 words a minute. Machha and Specs Machha were pure thambis, anyone could say that. Murali was a mallu from Chennai. PK was this interesting dude, whose father was in Indonesia. But manja or panja or someone like that, seemed like a silent dude just like bala.
“Hey Panja, where are you from originally?”
“ The name is Gunja, dude..” he said standing up.
That’s when Madhan realized how short he was. For a second he felt intimidated by Gunja’s height.
“..and yea I’m actually from Bihar” completed Gunja.
And that’s when madhan felt that Gunjan was after all a laaloo..
During dinner, there was this guy who kept talking a lot of figures as if he was some statistician. Madhan felt he was a bore right then. As the queue moved forward , this dude was so engrossed in his speech about restructuring in the admission processes in institutes of national importance and it’s consequences on god know what…didn’t realize the queue in front of him move.
‘What an idiot’ madhan thought to himself and simply overtook “mr. boring”
“Hey wait a minute! I was standing there”
Madhan turned back to see mr. Boring pointing his fat index finger right in his face.” “Well, now you clearly aren’t ”©
“What do you mean?. Get out of the line if you cant obey rules”
“Who the hell are you to throw me out of the line Mr.? You, like an idiot, did not know when the line moved and it clearly isn’t my fault if you were day dreaming”
Things could have gone way out of control hadn’t Billa come out of nowhere. “Madhan, forget it da, he’s my friend.”
Now madhan didn’t want to fight with his room mate for 2 reasons. One being, he was his room mate for the entire year, and the second being, the dude had contacts with seniors, he could save him from ragging.
“Ok da, if you say so.” saying so madhan stepped back.
“What does he think of himself, the fool, does he think he can have his own way? How can he ju..” began mr. boring really loudly.
‘Some complain box, cheapskate’ madhan thought to himself.
That was pretty much what happened to madhan on his very first day in NIT D.
Keep watching this space.
PS : Mr. Boring is Vaid, who later on becomes a close friend of Madhan
©Till this date, Madhan does not know why he said that.
END OF CHAPTER 1 OF YEAR 1