My guest blogger, Aspi, we were room mates in REC (now National Institute of Tchnology) Rourkela, and became friends for life in 1968, writes his first post. Very hesitant, unsure is making a start. This first month experience will trigger our memories, hope you share yours in the comments
My first month in hostel
I still dream about my first month in the hostel. I was all excited when I got off the train with my dad and took a cycle rickshaw to the college. I remember my dad getting off the cycle rickshaw when the rickshaw puller could not pull us over the railway bridge.
I waited with baited breath when names were being called out. At last someone called out (mispronounced) my difficult surname.
I was elated to walk into the hostel thinking that now I would be free from my authoritarian dad. How mistaken I was. You see, I had never heard the word ‘ragging’.
My dad left by the first available train and that night I spent alone as my roommates had not yet arrived. I survived my first night without any ‘midnight knocks’ on the door.
The next morning I dressed up, put on my pointy shining shoes (they were the latest in fashion from Mumbai) and walked over to the next hostel which was the senior’s hostel.
I was still blissfully unaware of ragging or its rules. I walked through the hostel and no one stopped me. Most thought I was their senior – that is until one senior recognised me and took me to his room. He was kind hearted and explained to me the rigours of ragging. For the next 3 years I bought books from him and took his notes.
The other seniors were not so kind but somehow I was lucky. I was not tormented like my other colleagues. Then arrived my roommates. With some of them I stayed for the next 2 years.
Once the ragging fever died down I started enjoying hostel life except the mess food. Needless to say it was a messy affair, but there were local dabhas behind our hostel which we frequented until our pocket money lasted. The pocket money was grand Rs 25 per month.
The classes were not very tough especially when you had good friends who could proxy for you (the first class was at 7.30am – a bit too early for my liking.
All in all I enjoyed my first month and like I said before I still dream about it with fondness …….