Sunday, December 13, 2009

From the steel city – The first taste of notorious ragging

The second day, we quickly got the admission formalities done and got ourselves a room allotted in the hostel. As we got our hostel formalities done, it was already the lunch time and we could see our batch mates all looking down and wearing formal attire with a tie. We could feel the fear around!!

One of the seniors, who took us to our hostel attendant to get a room for us, took us towards some fellow guys from UP, who had already joined a few days back. The senior started “See, here are your new brothers…they are in room 4 and 5…meet them and give them all the ragging fundae…we will come in the evening to check…” (Ragging Funda # 1: Always call all your fellow batch mates from your state as your brothers & Funda #2: old ones would pass on the ragging fundae to he newer ones, as and when they come). All of them, looked at “3rd button” (Funda # 3: to look at the third button of your shirt while taking to a senior) and as they were about to speak, took permission to speak (Funda # 4) and he started,
First year batch mate (FYBM) – Sir, May I have the Golden opportunity to talk…
2nd year senior (SYS) – No
FYBM – Sir, may I have the diamond opportunity to talk…
SYS – No
FYBM – Sir, may I have the platinum opportunity to talk…
SYS – No
FYBM – Sir, may I have the lifetime opportunity to talk…
SYS – No
Oh man, this continued at least 2-3 times till he obliged and by that time we had gotten scared of what was happening. At one hand, I felt disgust at the thought that even I would have to do all this nonsense from now on, but at the other hand, we laughed at ourselves and our batch mates. But man, our seniors did it, we did it and as did our juniors!!

After all the formalities in the hostel, I was allotted room # 4, on the ground floor and even mathura and buddha were allotted the same room. But my seniors, requested the attendant to allocate some other room, may be some room in the back gallery, but he said no, saying, there were none available there. Then, the seniors told us to take care in these rooms as these rooms are prone to senior wrath due to being near the front gallery and being at the ground floor. We got even more scared!!

We had slept by now – our very first day in the hostel and in the middle of our sleep came some sound as if somebody is banging our door. Having gathered our courage, we quickly understood that it was some senior banging windows for us to open, but since we didn’t respond (this was against the ragging funde though!!), he gleefully did it against room 5 and after a few minutes the noise vanished, we thought that even room 5 folks didn’t respond to this and the seniors had gone away and smilingly dozed off.

Suddenly, after 5-10 minutes, we could hear someone banging against our door, with gathered courage, we tried to get up and the voice said “Open the door…I am Maneesh…” and we opened the door…knowing that we were some what safe!! Then he continued…come quickly…seniors have come and they are calling all UP guys…and mathura said “they have to come only in the middle of the night and *beep*, *beep*, *beep*” and we quickly got into our formal attire, wore the tie and the third button mark and ran towards room # 10, where the seniors were waiting for us!! And one of us uttered “Imagine…the goat is itself going towards the butcher!!” :)

Reaching room 10, we were called towards the window, one by one, and were asked to introduce ourselves. My chance came…and I started “Sir, May I have the golden opportunity to say my name…and he replied…Yes…(ah!! Lucky me, hit it in a single opportunity!!). My name is Uphar Gandhi from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh (There is nothing called as UP, always give full name of the state, ragging funda # 5). The senior said “okay…then what to do…” Hearing this…I felt like…what what to do…nothing…go off to sleep and let us sleep too!! But before, I could utter anything…the other senior asked me to come closer to him (and I knew, what was it, as I had already seen the scene many times, by the time my chance had come) and after I came closer…I couldn’t hear anything for a few moments as something has hit me hard…and again. Then the seniors said “okay now go away”…as if they had just called me to slap us!!

I swear, that was the only part of ragging that none of us liked ever, but on a different note, I believe that had it not been the fright of slaps (the number of slaps was called your “score” and whenever a senior would ask you your slap, your answer has to be “zero”, funda # 6 & 7), we would never have taken it seriously and would have missed the real fun of ragging!! I am very proud and happy to admit that by the time I was ragging free, my score was 32 and this ragging only made me friends with the huge NIT group that we have now!! We shared all our agony, pain, ecstasy and happiness during those times, still share them today and would do so in future!!
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