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!!