Monday, January 4, 2010

From the Steel City – We say it happens in India…but only at NIT Rourkela

If you speak to the alumni of any of the NITs in India, (erstwhile RECs), they can talk to you about the ragging that happened in their college for hours together!! Not because they hated it and found it lousy to make the first year who are just out of their schools party to all that constituted ragging, but because they just enjoyed every bit of it and this can be measured from the fact that even after more than 15-20 years in other cases even more, they still remember their so called ragging period!! That was the beauty of those days that every incident, every moment deserves mention nth number of times.

From the hostel, it was about half a km walk to the college and as per ragging funda, all first year had to walk in a single queue to the college (Funda # 8) and no one has to lead the queue (Funda # 9). Just about the time to leave the hostel before we get late for the class and everyone is waiting for someone to lead the queue. Suddenly, we could see a queue building up and to tell you the one who is standing at the front isn’t aware that a queue has starting building just behind him!! J Oh man!! That was indeed some fun!! And by the time, he is aware of the plot, he is pushed to walk and kick off!! But he was a smart chap too, he would walk a bit and then suddenly change path to quickly move backwards, unleashing the guy behind him to the fury of the seniors!!  Imagine all this happening daily and we would either end up getting late for the class or no go at all.

Come on, it didn’t end here. One fine morning a gentle soul ;) decides to start the procession, seeing around that there was no senior in the vicinity and he started off and behind him all of us. Suddenly a second year senior appears from nowhere; he quietly gets down from his bicycle and shoots a question to the guy leading the pack – “Kyon be (bahen ke bhai!! ;)), Hero hai tu? Lead karega…kahan se hai…state bol jaldi se…” And we all thought in a same vein, “Aaj to gaya yeh”. Before he could utter a word, a few other seniors join in. What a pity, 4 seniors taking on a first year that too just before the start of the day. And the other seniors shouted kyon be (maa ke dulaar!! ;)) tu to sahi mein hero hai!! Tujhe to main kai din se dekh raha hoon!! And they took him aside, leaving the rest of us to run to the college!! God knows what would have happened to him that day!!

Its 12 noon and time to go back to the hostel for lunch. Some of us would think, not to go back as that would save us from the senior fury at least twice in the day!! So helpless we were then, that all our thoughts and actions would depend on only one word – seniors and how to evade them. Again the same old story, who would lead and how to go back, but still somehow we used to manage each day J Out in the open, we would all be “third button” and not looking up, rushing in a queue. And all our efforts would daily go in vain, as if seniors would be waiting for us to come out!! (In fact this was the truth and I have no rights to complain, as we waited like this when had our chances ;))

A senior caught us and we were left asking ;). Quickly he would ask us their pet questions – “Naam bol” and I started “Sir, May I have the Golden opportunity…” (Funda # 4) He said “haan…haan…saari opportunities hain tujhe…bolna start kar…” I started yet again “mera naam Uphar Gandhi hai…main Uttar Pradesh ke Meerut zila ka niwasi hoon” (Funda # 10 – to always say your name in full and then your domicile state and then your home town ;) and Funda # 11 – to always tell all this in pure Hindi). Was I terrified? Yes, I was!! And then he asked “Apne baap ka naam bata”…I replied “Mr. Hare Kishan Singh”…”Oh Hare ka beta hai tu…sahi!” (as if that was an achievement). Don’t think otherwise, this was another ragging funda. Funda # 12 – The immediate senior from your state and from your branch was your techno father, but in regular lingo “tumhaara baap” ;) and if that person happens to be a girl, then “techno mother” or “tumhaari maa” ;) He then asked me certain other questions, which are better not described here ;) and finally he left, asking me to walk in circles ;) Yes, walk in circles with my head down (third button) and who knew that I was actually walking around a cow that was looking at me so angrily that I had to run (only when someone prompted me to run, otherwise, how would I ever know). I ran towards my hostel as if I was running a 100 mt dash!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tales from SPJCM – A New Year eve to remember

Man!! If you ask any maygcian (what we call our SPJ batch!!) about the New Year eve at Siloso Beach, Singapore, each one will remember that day still and I guess some of us will remember it for the whole of our lives!!

Oh, a whole lot of questions would be running across your minds by now and you would be thinking what was so special that people would remember a New Year eve the whole of their lives? New Year comes each year and we celebrate it each year too!! So what was so special about it?

Well, I would say, to know truth about anything has only 1 way to it – experience it yourself!! But I would add to it – or hear it directly from the horse’s mouth, because after reading through the lines below, you would be glad that you didn’t experience it, for sure!! And you came to know of it from someone, so who better than the one of the horse! ;)

Siloso Beach Party – a complete freak out place with 8-10 different party zones and some 100K people from across the world all flocked together to bring in the New Year!! Imagine, you dancing the whole night with some girls or may be boys (depending on your choice, ofc!!) who would be all making merry and dancing like never before!! Rain dance, foam dance were the main attractions with all water and foam all around!! Yes man, it was the place to be in Singapore with complete insanity surrounding us.

Girls and Boys were wearing clothes alike and girls were especially dressed like eye candies!! ;) Oh come on, don’t spoil the mood; we were at the beach, as if we were to dive straight into the sea!! With all booze and dancing and fun and frolic, the party was definitely on and we all went with the flow.

2-3 hours into the place and having brought in the New Year 2009 over 41 mins back, I and one of good friends were planning to go again to the foam dance as we had maximum fun there. We were just moving towards the foam dance arena and a guy and a girl came rushing towards us, with the guy shouting “You…you come here…you touched my girl’s butt!!...” He was coming towards us, I said “Me?? No!!” He said, “No not you!!... (a sigh of relief!! but to my horror…he pointed towards my friend beside me) him” and he continued like this. My friend said No Sir!! I didn’t…but he would not listen…we continued saying the same and then the girl said “I know…it was you…why did you do that” We again said…no he didn’t, but to no avail.

Having seen the whole argument continuing for about 10-15 mins now, some of our friends came rushing in, to help us out!! They understood the problem at hand quickly and tried to placate him and convince him that it was not our friend who did it, it must be somebody else and by mistaken she has taken it to be him. Even this continued for another 10-15 mins but both of them would not budge at all.

Suddenly some guards at the location came and asked us what was the matter and having known the matter, they simply asked us to move to the local police station and the officer would handle it now!! WTF!! Why police?? We should handle it here only and close it!! Not that we didn’t try that desperately but these guards would not agree as the guy and the girl were not ready to listen to us.

And we had to move towards the police station, knowing pretty well that a girl complaining meant that our friend was in deep trouble and it could mean anything!! We still tried to convince the guy and the girl that it was not him and please not to take this to the police. But God knows, what was going in their mind, they didn’t agree and we were straight at the Police Station.
Imagine what a welcome to the New Year for us!! At 1:10 AM on January 1, 2009 instead of enjoying like many others around us were, we were standing at the front of the police station, with our dear friend already taken inside and locked in a room!! The police said, as the local officer was not there, all have to wait for him to come.

By now, everyone in our batch had known that this has happened and our friend is caught now and even if a few didn’t know the whole story, they knew something had happened to our friend!! (See how quickly a story would spread in the hostel crowd and that too in the era of 3G and Social Media!!) Girls from our batch came running in to support their “kanhaiya” but even that would not work!! We even tried to speak to a local doctor there who was an Indian (played the distressed Indian(s) in a phoren land card to the fore) and get him run some magic wand to impress upon the police!! But I guess, it was one of those days, when no trick would work!! Half of the batch had gathered outside and around the police station and we were like waiting for our friend to come out and say something good!!

Already more than 2 hours had passed by now!! Our friend was still inside and locked, no one knew what was transpiring inside and that was keeping our anxiety levels high!! With each passing minute, we would pray that nothing happens to him and he comes out easily!! And he came out…rushed quickly towards me, asked me to come out and we spoke for a few seconds and we left the scene and the party arena after a few mins.

Now, you all would be curious to know, (at least who are reading this for the first time and who didn’t know happened inside) how did our friend came out and what exactly happened. Well, to cut the whole story short (that it has gone too long by now), the girl withdrew the complaint against our friend!! But only after having tried her own bit inside the police room where she asked my friend to accept that he did it and finally when she couldn’t win with her self made story, she said, okay…look into my eyes and say that you didn’t do it…and my friend gleefully obliged. Then she took another turn – said you will have to carry this burden the whole of your life, please accept it. And when my friend said the truth that he didn’t do it, she finally obliged and withdrew the complaint!! After all this drama, I and my friend were so pissed off and in no mood to stay there and we left the place!!

OMG!! This incident is and will be etched into my memory forever and I can never forget what happened and how I felt!! Our friend, who had to take all this upon him, had definitely been a strong man mentally and emotionally that he could bear everything for such a long time!! Finally, the truth prevailed!!