This post is authored as I sit in a flat in Mumbai with dollops of time to spare and a laptop which refuses to install ‘Counter Strike: Condition Zero’ no matter how many times I bang my head on the table and plead for mercy to the IBM Gods.
As a result, the post is slightly longer than my usual posts, but I have made sincere efforts at keeping it interesting. Do read. :)
Let me recall the events of my last few hours at Nirma.
Anyone who thinks packing bags is an easy business hasn’t obviously met me. I have been told that I have the most exasperated look on my face when such an eventuality occurs. In fact, I keep getting this uneasy feeling that people are reminded of dear old Uncle Podger who hung a picture upon the wall (for further references, please read “Three Men In A Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome).
I am almost certain that I must cut a sorry figure while packing, what with running from one end of the room to another, picking up an article, thrusting it wildly into a bag, scurrying to another part of the room, only to realize that perhaps it would be better if the article already tossed into the bag should indeed be packed in the carton which is to be couriered.
If any further proof is required of the fact that things can go horribly out of control when I’m packing, let me cite the example of last year when I had to pack my bags before leaving for my summer internship. I had projected that I would leave the hostel by 3 in the afternoon. As expected, the packing Gods didn’t approve of my projected figures and my friends heaved a mighty sigh of relief when I finally left the hostel at 11 at night.
Going by my track record (late by 8 hours on the previous occasion), the crime this time around was definitely excusable. I was late by a meagre 2 hours; I had planned to have my bags packed and left the hostel by 9pm, but could not leave till 11.
Of course, Dolphin was partly to blame. The moment she saw me wearing my red-and-white t-shirt, she grimaced in a manner which would’ve made Jeeves proud when he didn't approve of an article of clothing worn by Bertie Wooster. And in order to ensure that I would never again have the happy privilege of wearing the particular t-shirt, Dolphin simply asked for a pen and promptly proceeded to write a good-bye message on the shirt itself. This was encouragement enough for everyone around to jump in and write their ‘love-you’ and ‘goodbye Rupa’ messages. It was a good twenty minutes more before I could step into the waiting auto-rickshaw. However, it was worth the wait. I love that shirt now and am going to treasure it forever. :))
But it didn’t take more than 2 hours in Bhaiya’s house that night for me to realize that I was now on a different plane altogether. Mom and Dad hit the sack around midnight (they were awake only since I had been late in arriving home) and when Bhaiya wished me good-night around 1 in the morning, the house plunged into darkness and silence. To think that Sahu Sahab and I had made a daily routine of going down for a cuppa of tea at 2 in the morning!! Wow!! This DEFINITELY felt weird.
I felt as if 2 years ago, I had been plucked off from this (so called) normal planet and had been placed on a different one where not only were you responsible for everything you did, but you were also certain that no matter what happened, you would have a rollicking time. Sitting in the darkened hall, I could almost see the two years zip by right in front of my eyes.
The next day was Convocation day and boy was it fun. The best part about the day had to be us roaming around in the boys hostel wearing our convocation robes. All of us were in a crazy mood that day as we’d realized that this was our last opportunity to hang out like a bunch of happy-go-lucky characters. We had a gala time walking the ‘ramp’ and doing the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ walk in our convocation robes. [Crab even did a special Muzaffarnagar dance, details of which cannot be provided on blogs such as these which are meant to provide wholesome reading material for the entire family].
It was while these crazy deeds were being executed that I realised that I just HAD to spend the last night at the hostel and not at Bhaiya’s place in the city.
Wise decision. I got to take a tour of the most coveted real-estate property on the Nirma campus, i.e. the Girls’ hostel. ~wink~
It so happened that some of the girls convinced the girls’ hostel warden to allow them to visit the boys’ hostel. Now, since we had all convocated that very evening, we were technically not students anymore. And that, ahem, gave us the license to roam around. So, even before the girls battalion could move into our hostel, we attacked theirs. I had the privilege of visiting just two rooms, that of the Dolphin and the Piranha. Motee had already vacated her room, and poor Dolphin was left all alone to do her packing [She left with a record 8 bags the next day]. And true to her character, the room was a mess. To be honest, Whale and I looked at the room with a certain sense of pride in knowing that the Dolphin had come somewhere close to keeping her room as untidy as we had in the last one year together.
Next was Piranha’s room, which was, as expected, clean and a shocking contrast to Dolphin’s. Utterly neat (ouch!) and almost a hotel-room like feel is what all three of us (Sahu Sahab, Whale and I) felt.
Later that night, after the girls had visited our hostel, we decided we didn’t give two hoots about the boys’ hostel warden’s calls of returning to the hostel before midnight. Most of the gang was outside on the benches and on the lawn. The poor hostel warden had to keep getting up at regular intervals in any case, since many of the hostel-ites had trains and flights scheduled at odd hours.
The next afternoon, I too left the hostel along with the Whale. And with that auto-rickshaw ride on the