Saturday, 29 September 2012

I Shouldn't Be Alive

We were in 7th semester and it was a sad moment for us as we were about to depart from our immediate senior friends. During our time the 8th semester exam was usually delayed by 6 to 7 months. Entire AEC campus was in farewell mood. Suddenly out of nowhere we got terrible news that my close friend Diganta is very serious. He was suffering from severe jaundice; in fact he was in coma. All my friends became speechless  and every one wondered “how cum?” We used to visit hospital on a daily basis, in fact special AEC bus was provided from AEC to International Hospital. Being admitted to the ICU, people were not allowed to visit him. Only few times his close relatives and few hostel-2 guys visited him. Diganta was from hostel-2. Few of my friends who visited him told me that his face twisted beyond recognition and suggested me not to see him in this condition. I still remember how we waited outside the hospital?

On 3rd day I saw Diganta’s father outside the hospital holding a cigarette in his hand. I wanted to ask him about Diganta’s condition as I thought he only could give me the exact information. But considering the situation and the kind of anxiety I saw on his face, I hesitated to ask him initially. But finally I asked him “Uncle How is Diganta’s condition? What did the doctor say?” On that his father replied “there’s not much hope, we are mentally prepared for the worst as anything might happen at any time.” He asked me “You are Diganta’s batch mate?” I replied “yes, we are batch mates as well as branch mates”. He said “you people should also make yourself mentally strong enough and prepare for the worst”. I was little surprised as I wasn't expecting such kind of reply. To be honest I really admired his strong personality.

After a few days our vacation started and most of us went home. I called few times to hostel-2 but most of the time my call was unanswered. But luckily one time one of my friend received the call but unfortunately he replied “aakha kom” (there’s not much hope).

After vacation we came back to hostel and got pleasant news that Diganta is recovering. Immediately we went to meet him.  It was difficult to recognize him as he was too yellowish. His mom was there and she gave us some “Bihu Pitha” to eat. That time Diganta said to us “Tohote tu bhabisili je moi nabasim?”  (You guys must have thought that I wouldn't survive?).

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Demand Draft

She was in Ayurvedic college perhaps in her 2nd year. She was born and brought up in Shilllong and during one vacation she visited home.  Her younger brother, everyone in her family called him “Chote” was doing his engineering in Nagpur. He was in his first year that time. Now their father had to send him a demand draft, may be to pay the college fee. Now Anjali’s father told her to make a demand draft in bank and courier it to Chote. Anjali told her father “I will not do it, as I have never made any draft. I am not comfortable with bank related work." Her father got very angry on that and insisted that she must do it as he had a very busy schedule the next day. He also said to her that it’s high time for her to know all those things.

Next day morning her father explained to her how to fill the form and all. So Anjali went to the bank and asked someone where to make a draft. The person showed her the counter where she could make the draft.  She filled the form and paid cash in the counter. The clerk gave her the receipt and asked her to wait. She waited for some time but as the bank was much crowded and also she had to go to her friend’s place, so she left from there.  She thought she already got the draft. She went to a courier service and actually has sent the receipt to her brother Chote in Nagpur. She assumed that the receipt is the actual draft.

In the evening her father asked her “Did you send the draft to Chote?”  She proudly said “Yes, Papa and showed him the courier agency’s acknowledgement”. Her father asked her “Can you show me the draft receipt?” She asked “what draft receipt?”  Father replied “They must have given  some receipt when you made the draft?” She replied “That one i couriered to Chote” After some conversation her father got to know that she actually sent the receipt and the draft is still with the bank. Her father was shocked!!!  and i don't have to say anything on how he reacted that time.

Next day her father went to the bank and meets the bank manager. As the bank manager was little-known to him so there was n’t much problem to get the draft without any receipt. He got the draft but the manager asked him “How cum you are so irresponsible that you left the draft just like that and also right now you don’t have the receipt?” Her father was not sure what to say that time and he just said “Actually I sent our doodwala(Milkman) to make the draft as I was busy yesterday and he messed up everything”

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Iskon Temple

After passing out of Engineering College, I stayed at Guwahati for 3-4 months and then went to Delhi with my friends. We have some good memories of our initial stay at Delhi. I, Rajat, Prasu,  Tutul and Sharma da were staying together. So life was back to normal kind of after a pathetic 3-4 months break that I had after passing out of AEC. Sharma da’s stay with us was not planned. Sharma da was also in Guwahati and one day I just met him. When Sharma da came to know that we guys are going to Delhi then he immediately decided to go with us.

In Delhi we stayed at East of Kailash. Our house was just half KM away from the great ISKON Temple. One day we visited the temple. It was actually a very nice visit, although I was never a religious guy.  For us it was more like a hang out place than a worship place as we enjoyed lot of eye candies. After staying for 2 hours we thought it's time to leave. While coming out we saw a big queue at one place and just wondered why so many people in that queue? We came to know that people are queuing to have the free ISKON Prasad. Immediately we also joined the queue. We waited for around 10-15 minutes and finally received the Prasad. In a leaf bowl they had given a small quantity of khichdi. The khichdi was very tasty and it reminded me of the “Saraswati Puja” kind of khichdi we used to have in Assam.  But the quantity was very less and we wanted to have some more. On that Prasu said “It’s only Prasad and we can’t have our lunch here”. Also looking at the queue we changed our mind and left.

We had to cook our own food as nobody among us had the luxury to eat outside. We thought of working together as a team to feed ourselves. Like someone will cook, someone will cut the vegetables and another can wash the utensils. But things were not that simple. One day Tutul complained that he always wash the utensils and sometimes he also want to cook. So one day Tutul cooked for us. We usually used to prepare rice,daal and one sabji. WE had  no idea what Tutul cooked that day. He actually put all the vegetables in daal and made something. To be honest it was horrible to eat. Now our Sharma da always tried to avoid such activities, as we say in typical AEC language “Kaati khaisil”. One day we decided that Sharma da also should take some responsibility. We discussed with Sharma da and said to him “you will also have to do some contribution. What you like to do? Cooking, cleaning utensils, etc? Choice is yours”. Sharma da said that he would do cooking and only once a week. We all were happy that Sharma da will also contribute. 

Now the day came when Sharma da was supposed to prepare lunch. At around 12:30 PM Sharma da went outside and said to us that he's going to buy some cigarettes. We waited for him for a long time and at around 2 PM we felt so hungry that we had to.  We all were very angry prepare food by ourselves. at this but as usual it was only for some time. At night when Sharma da came we asked him “today it was your turn to cook and you were not there?” Sharma da gave an excuse that he had to meet one of his friend and they both went to ISKON temple. We asked where you had lunch? Sharma da replied “At ISKON temple itself, the same khichdi which we had that day”. We were little shocked and said “but the quantity is so less” Sharma da replied “yeah, actually I had 4-5 rounds of that khichdi”. We all had a good laugh and started some leg pulling. “Ki billa be? Nuwari aru? “(What bullshit? How can you do such a thing?)

Sharma da was cool on what he had done and suggested that we should also do the same. He said “the temple is so near from here, why we should waste our time in cooking?" He told us that at least we can have dinner there at ISKON temple as the crowd would be less at night, but Sharma da was not sure whether they  provide the same free khichdi at night?

Monday, 24 September 2012

One sad goodbye

After passing out of AEC I stayed at Guwahati for 3-4 months and then went to Delhi with my friends. In Delhi first few months passed just like that. My mechanical friends were at least getting some calls. Job market was at a pathetic condition that time. Every one among us had some plan except me. Some wanted to do MBA, some wanted to do M Tech and some were searching jobs. I was not able to decide what to do? Sometime my friends went outside to register themselves with the consultancies. Everyone knew that 90 % of the consultancies are fake but still they would pay them just with the hope that they might give one call. One day I also went to Nehru Place along with Tutul. A hell lot of consultancies were there. We went to one of them and discussed about our profiles. I asked whether there are any fresher’s jobs in software. She replied "Lot of jobs is there." I asked which companies have requirements for fresher. She replied "you first register with us and then you see how many calls we will give you". Registration fee was Rs 200 and I had only 50 Rs with me. I said to the lady "it's OK  We just come to inquire and we will come some other time to register." She replied "If you guys came so far why don't you register it now itself?"  Finally I said "actually I haven't brought money with me". She said "It's OK  you pay 100 now and remaining you can pay later". I replied "Actually I have only 50 Rs with me" she said "OK, you pay 50 Rs and remaining you can pay later" I asked "If I pay you 50 Rs then how I will go home? It will take minimum 20 Rs for me to go home." Listening to this she replied "At least you pay us 20 Rs and remaining you can pay later". We just ran away from there.

That day I thought that nothing can happen like this? For the first time I experienced some kind of depression. One more month passed just like that. One day I saw one advertisement in newspaper regarding admission for CDAC, Noida. I had some knowledge about CDAC but CDAC, Noida was recently opened. They mentioned that in entrance exam they would be asking c language and aptitude questions. I felt happy as I knew only those things that time. I made up my mind that I will go for it. Actually that decision gave me some direction in life that time.  I filled the form and prepared hard for the test for almost a month. One month after the test they declared the result. In the test my rank was among the top 10. This actually built my confidence that time.

Now there was not much time left for the formalities as classes were supposed to start within next 10 days. Somehow I convinced my father that it's a good course and definitely I will get a good job after completing it. I knew it would be a hectic 6 month course and after the course I will have to manage a job and after I join I will have to concentrate on my work. Actually I was little worried that for a long time I will not be able to visit home. To be honest I was missing Anjali. I missed her very badly that time and decided to visit Guwahati. Somehow I was able to manage a railway ticket. I was in Guwahati for 3-4 days and every day I used to meet Anjali. On the last day she gifted me a formal shirt. I asked her "why do u have to give me a shirt? Any way I don't wear formals" She said "I bought it from my first stipend. You will be facing interviews now and I know that you don't have even a single formal shirt" I told her that tomorrow morning I will be going and don't know next time when I will come? She told that she will be coming to Ghy railway station to see me off. I told her that my father would come to see me off and it would be little embarrassing, it will be better if you could come to Maligaon Rly station(Kamakhya). Also it would have been nearer from her hostel. I didn't have any money left with me to gift her anything. I told her that I will give her some pickles made by my mom tomorrow when you will come to see me. She loved my Mom's pickle. My mom didn't like her much though, may be because she is a Hindu. As expected my parents were not in favor of this relation. They didn't knew much about us that time but certainly they had some doubts. 

My train was at around 9:30 next morning. Next day after going to the station along with my father, we came to know that the train is 1 hour delayed. During that time neither I nor Anjali had mobile phone. I felt bad thinking Anjali also waiting there in Maligaon station alone. After half an hour it was announced that my train is delayed by another 3 hours. This time I was little tense. I told my father “you better go home? Why you have to wait unnecessarily? “I thought after my father go, I will catch a city bus or an auto and will go to Maligaon station.  But my father replied “Why should I go? What you will do alone here?” We waited just like that. I thought I will not be able to see her today. Finally the train arrived and I kept my luggage. My father also was bored of waiting and he wished me happy journey and left. The train was still at the platform and I just lighted a cigarette. Suddenly a policeman came and took me to concerned authority.  I argued a lot but I had to pay 100 Rs fine. 

Finally the train started to move. I was 90% sure that Anjali will not be there at Maligaon station, waiting for me that long. But still I was standing at the train door and was looking for her. To my surprise I saw her there. I immediately took the pickle bottle from my bag and got down. I had to go a little distance to meet her. I just said sorry, the train was so late. She replied “Yeah, I got to know”. I gave her the pickle bottle and as soon as I hold her arms the train started to move. She told me “Please don’t go”. The train already gained some momentum. Without saying much I just ran to catch the train. I was just waving my arms in the air till she lost to view. I was very upset and after several hours when the train reached New Jalpaiguri station, I called her hostel from a PCO in the platform. But she was not there in the hostel, may be she was in hospital. She was from Ayurvedic College and was doing her internship that time.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Discrimination is all around us

One day we bought few small, as well as cute water bottles for our 9 month old, Jia. It's actually convenient and safe for babies. Later we realized that, whenever she used to see us drinking water, she would also want to drink from our bigger bottles. After much struggle and no mater how hard we could have tried, she never used to drink from her smaller bottles. In fact, she would start to cry and ultimately we would have to let her drink from bigger bottle, of course with too much difficulty. It seems the feeling of being discriminated starts at a very early age.

During my childhood we used to play cricket in our locality. Sundays were really special for us, as there would be lot of players. Immediately after watching "Mahabharata" TV serial in the morning, every one would usually used to rush to the playground. I think I was in my 5th or 6th grade that time. But there was a little problem. In Sunday many seniors used to come to play, so I and some of my friends would never get an opportunity to either bat or some bowling. We  felt really bad, basically we faced discrimination that time.

When I was in 4th semester in my engineering college, my father got posted in Guwahati, so my parents shifted there. I used to visit home monthly once or twice. There used to be one girl in our neighborhood and she was damn smart, outspoken, outgoing, as well as little damn care kind of. One day I witnessed some kind of an argument between she and her father.

Her father said "You are a girl and you should behave like a girl. Look at other girls, how they behave?"

The girl replied "why are you discriminating between a girl and a boy? How can you just say like that?"

I liked the girl's attitude. But, One day I saw the same girl in a city bus. I heard her taking to a old man "uncle, this is ladies seat, can you please vacate the seat?" So, there was discrimination in the bus as well. 

Now, we have witnessed discrimination in our engineering college as well. When we were in 3rd year, city bus service was introduced in our campus. Earlier the "No-8" city bus would come only till Ayurvedic college, which was actually the entry point of our college campus. Now our general Secretary  tried his best to bring the bus service inside the college campus. Finally the Motor Transport Authority agreed that the last bus stop for the "No-8" bus would be engineering college main gate. But the end point of our college was our hostel.Now our hostel guys protested on that, as we felt we're being discriminated. Some kind of verbal argument between our hostel guys and the bus driver/conductors, became quite common those days. Sometimes the argument used to go little nasty. Whenever there would be more than 3 or 4 guys of our hostel inside the bus, they would shout at the bus driver and somehow were able to take the bus till our hostel.

College students from different hostels used to say to us "Why you guys are so upset ? What big deal? At least bus is coming till college main gate and you guys can walk a bit."

It went on like that for some time, until one day 3 of my batch mates from our hostel, thrashed one bus driver. They had an intense verbal dispute, as the driver was not ready to go further from the college main gate. After this incident the bus association protested and they stopped coming to our campus. The incident was escalated to higher authorities. At that time our immediate senior batch were already done with their final exams and were waiting for project viva. The authorities played some kind of politics that time. They put the 8th semester project viva on hold, until they reveal the names of the culprit. There was tremendous pressure on our hostel seniors  to reveal the names, as the viva was on hold for entire batch. Our seniors stood by us and they never revealed the names.

Now there is discrimination against NE people. Sometimes we see posts in social networking sites "stop discriminating people from NE".

I get really confused when i come across such kind of posts. Looks like entire India discriminate NE and our people. I don't want to go into much details, as it could be little controversial and I am only writing my perception.  I had been out of Assam from last 10 years and was in Delhi for a year and the later came to Bangalore. In my entire life I never came across even a single person, who showed even a little bit of discrimination against NE or NE people. Whenever usually I used to introduce myself to someone and when the other person get to know that I am from Assam, he/she would usually used to reply "Wow! cool man, nice place. So, you must be playing guitar?" Well, I had to face this embarrassment several times. Few times I seriously thought of learning guitar, may be one day I would.

From my experience I have learned that most of the time there's actually a very thin line between actual discrimination and the fear of being discriminated. Sometimes Ego plays an important role in developing that fear.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sinha - the bakra

Sinha took admission in hostel during 2nd semester. Initially he looked very decent, golu molu, little reserved, bhola bhala (innocent) kind of  guy. The kind of personality he had, no one including our seniors ever talked rudely to him. Earlier we thought that Sinha is actually afraid of ragging as he did't take admission in first semester. But later we came to know that he already experienced the hard core ragging at JEC a year back and due to some personal reasons he couldn't continue his studies there and again took admission at AEC. As most of the seniors already got bore of so-called ragging, the only thing Sinha had to do is to give his introduction to all seniors and need to wear formals for one month.

There was one hostel boy named "Dileep". During our stay in hostel he was a temporary employee and i have heard that now a days he is a permanent cook. By the way i am talking about hostel-3. Dileep was a nice guy. He would never say no to any of the hosteler. Every evening he used to visit each and every room to fill our water bottles. Initially Sinha used to call Dileep as "Dileep da"

One afternoon  Sinha was sitting in the 2nd block steps. After sometime 2 final year students came and sat beside him. They were Kaustabh da and Thapa da. Sinha was little uncomfortable sitting alone beside them but thought it would be disrespectful of him to disappear like that. Suddenly Dileep passed by and Sinha greeted him "Dileep da, How are you?" Listening to those words Kaustabh da thought of making some fun out of it. Kaustabh da said to Thapa da "every time i look at Dileep, i feel so bad. Looking at him, how can any body believe that once he was a boarder of this hostel?"

Sinha was listening to the conversation with full concentration although he never participated in the conversation. Now Thapa da started "It's destiny, my friend. Everything is already written. Kaustabh said "It's really sad that something so bad happened to him. His own friends cheated on him by copying his final year project. So, Dileep's final year project was not accepted by the administration." Thapa da replied "still, he could have done a new project the next year?" Kaustabh da said "After that incident he was mentally down and couldn't clear engineering. Later he got NFTE." Thapa da said "Very disturbing incident yaar. I am actually geting goosebumps"

After some time Kaustabh da said "But he still can't accept the fact that he is no longer a part of AEC. It would be difficult for him to stay away from hostel. It's good for him that he is still here. But i feel so bad that "supposed to be an engineer and now a hostel boy" Most of the juniors don't know about him. After we pass out i don't know how the juniors will treat him? "

The conversation had a deep impact on Sinha's intellect. For few days he showed too much respect for Dileep. One night Sinha discussed this with Dhiru. Dhiru laughed at him saying "Tuk billa bonale!" (they made a fool of you). Next day Dhiru talked to us regarding this. We knew only Kaustabh da can do such a thing. We argued a lot with Sinha regarding this. He didn't  realize that he's actually making a fool of himself by believing the story. It took him a few days to recover from the mental shock and finally accepted that Kaustabh da and Thapa da actually made him "BAKRA" that day.

From that day Sinha also started calling him "Dileep" instead of "Dileep da"

Monday, 17 September 2012

Can we call it an adventure?

Initially, some of us eagerly waited for Dhunu's elder Bro's wedding ceremony. We were already into our 8th semester and we're pretty sure, that would have been our last trip in Hostel.  But later, when the marriage date was fixed, everyone was quite upset, as it was scheduled just before a couple of weeks of our final exam. Many of the guys already rejected the idea, but few of us were still pretty much interested for the thrill. Dhunu had already left for his home one week before the wedding and before he left, he discussed with us whether we would have been going or not?

Dhunu said "I know you people will not be coming, but in case if you guys change your mind, I would like to give some instruction on how to reach my home."

Dhunu's home was in Karbi Anglong district of Assam, about 15-20 km from Bokajan railway station and they didn't have a land line phone in their house. Well, it was the time when mobile phones were recently introduced and was considered as a luxury. Most of us never visited that part of Assam and Dhunu explained us in great detail, that too with appropriate diagram.

We were basically in a dilemma, as sometimes we decided to go and sometime used to drop the idea. One evening I was in my room and suddenly my room mate Nair, came out of the blue and said that Tunga and Sabine were already prepared to go to Dhunu's place and we had to move that night itself.  I thought what the hell? I had no idea what was going on. After some time Tunga, Sabine and Prasu came to our room with their backpacks. Tunga shouted at us "F*** You guys, get ready fast, bus is waiting and it's the last bus".

All of a sudden Nair, Rajat and Mehboob also got ready. Every thing happened so fast, I had no idea what to do? As my room was very near to the hostel gate, I head the bus horn. I just took whatever money I had and literally I didn't have any time to get ready. I just took a couple of T-Shirts and a jeans in one hand and my shoes on the other hand and entered the bus.

I simply shouted at my friends "What the F?" We reached the railway station and luckily didn't miss the train. Now we didn't book out tickets, but it was OK,  we knew it can be managed. We were quite upset, as we didn't plan it well or else, we could have brought a few bottles. It would have been real boring without that. Now Tunga was a smart ass, as he was able to manage it from the pantry guy, in the train itself. Even though, the pantry guys couldn't provide us my quencher, Well, I was a die hard Old Monk fan during my college days. But  considering the situation, I just couldn't have asked for anything more.

After few rounds, we started to play "antakshari".  It was a damn hypnotizing moment , boozing on the train with the cool train breezes. But we had a minor problem, as no one was confident on "how to exactly go to Dhunu's place?"

Dhunu told us that we would have to get down at Bokajan station and would've to wait there for few hours, as only after 6 AM, the buses would have started.

On the way, we met two very friendly kind of uncles and they were also headed towards Bokajan. They said to us that we could have waited in the station till morning, but they suggested us a superb idea and said "instead of waiting,  you guys could walk. It would hardly take 2-3 hours from Bokajan and you guys already have a gang"

We reached Bokajan by 2 AM and to our surprise, there was no waiting room out there. There was not even a single person in the platform.We thought it would have been a foolish idea to wait out there. One of the uncles told us "it's OK  you guys can come with us. We are also going in the same direction till we reach the highway. The highway is just 2-3 km from here. Once we reach the highway you guys would have to take a right." We had full confidence on him and decided to simply follow them.

It was very dark and foggy and we simply walked without any idea where we were heading?

Some one asked "Uncle, how far is the highway from here?"

Uncle replied "Not far, as soon as we cross the kabrastan(graveyard), it would hardly take few more minutes".

My goodness "We walked through the kabrastan?, that too in the middle of the night"

Immediately some one lighted a cigarette and another guy started to chant "Ram Ram Ram ..."

Finally we reached the highway and the uncle said to us "we will have to take left now, our house is very near from here. You guys take a right and just follow the highway. After 2 hours you will reach your destination."

As soon as we conveyed good bye to them, we started to follow the highway. It was too cold and dark and very fucking foggy. We could hardly  see beyond 2 or 3 meters. We hold each others hand and shoulders, while we walked through. It was real scary, whenever any bus or truck passed by. We were not sure what was there at the corner of the road, as nothing was visible. It could have been a culvert or a deep slope.  We were not sure whether we were going through a jungle? We didn't have much knowledge about that place, but we knew one thing that the famous "Kaziranga National Park" was not very far from there.

After we walked for about half an hour, we saw few small shops. Obviously they were closed that time, but we gained some confidence and felt that perhaps we are not very  far from our destination. We tried to take lift from some bus or truck or whatever that passed by us, but all our efforts were fruitless and once again, we started to walk.

As we walked for another half an hour, we were quite tensed. We couldn't see any kind of light far far away. We felt that there's no civilization far and wide and may be we are in the middle of some forest. Some one suggested "lets go back. It's already 3:30 AM and by the time we reach Bokajan Rly station, it would already be dawn and then we could try our luck to catch a bus"

We were not sure by what time bus would have  started? One of us suggested, "lets go, no need to panic."

With "Damn the consequences" kind of attitude, we continued to walk. After an hour, we saw a small shop and everyone was kind of relieved. At around 5:30 AM in the foggy morning, we saw a small pandal in the roadside. We discussed, if that could have been our destination and tried our luck.

There was one person sleeping on a bench and we tried to wake him up. He took some time to come back to life and then we asked "Is this Apurba Bikash Kalita's house?" Well,  it's Dhunu's real name.

The person replied "It is Kalita's house but I am not sure about Apurba bikash kalita."

He went inside to inquire and after 10 minutes to our surprise, we saw Dhunu in front of our eyes. He was so excited to see us. My words can't express the kind of expression he had on his face that moment. The only thing I could remember is that, he grasped both his hands and screamed "Krishna Krishna !"

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Why should any one be ashamed of ?

We haven't got our fresher's yet. In those pre fresher's days everyone used to visit LG(LG bole to Local Guardian) on Sundays  I also visited couple of times but it got boring after few visits. Later we used to hang out in some places quite far from college. To be honest we felt very relaxed that day, used to smoke freely and and enjoyed a lot.One Sunday morning we planned to go somewhere. During pre freshers days many of us used to avoid AEC bus instead we proffered to go through the APRO - Saathmile road and used to catch a city bus at Saatmile. There were 2 reasons for that. First we were little uncomfortable in AEC bus in those initial days and second the landscape on the way APRO - Saatmile is just awesome.

I, Nair, Mehboob, Dhiru, Tutul, Rajat, Bhushan and few more friends were together on that particular day. We almost reached Saathmile and all of a sudden Dhiru started to get restless. Actually he got a nature's call very urgently.

We all started to pull his legs and said "Dhaat!.. what yaar? Now where the hell are you going to do it?

Dhiru said he would go back to hostel.

We thought "what yaar? now he would take minimum 40-50 minutes. What to do for the time being?"

Smoking was a bad idea as any Hostel-3 senior might see us and then we would have to face the consequences at night. We simply waited for him. We were quite surprised to see Dhiru as he came within just 10 minutes. We asked him "How you came so quickly? Your tendency is gone or what?"

Dhiru replied "No yaar, I couldn't go that far to hostel as my situation was very pathetic. So, on the way I knocked a door and explained them my situation. They showed me the way and i did my job and returned."

We all were little shocked "How could any one do like that?"

May be it was difficult for us to understand as no one among us had gone through such an extreme kind of situation. Someone among us asked Dhiru "Did you said thank you to them?".

Dhiru replied "No yaar. I was so ashamed and immediately after doing my job I immediately came out without talking to any one".

It Happened in a new years eve

It was year 2001 new year's eve. Hostel's new years eve was very very special. Campfire in the  cold winter was just awesome. 31 Dec was usually a dry day in Guwahati, those days and we had to do the Jugaar one day earlier, usually from Khanapara. Party usually used to start from 6 PM and lasted till 6 AM. Many of us also used to visit other hostels to wish "Happy New Year". It seemed, few guys even used to visit the girls hostel at midnight to wish "Happy New Year".

So what so special about 2001 new year eve? We were enjoying the party beside the campfire in hostel and it was already 2 AM that time. I, Nair, Dhiru, Rajat, Mehboob and Bhushan were together that moment Na few of our buddies went to other hostel.

Rajat wanted to sleep that moment and we said to him "Let us enjoy this moment, we don't know when we would be together next time?"

But Rajat couldn't wait longer and went to his room. Suddenly JP arrived from nowhere and we asked him "where you had been?" He said that he went to hostel-1.

We all were highly overdosed that night and it was already 4 AM. We decided to enjoy till the fire lasted. We had some biting left and those were not in a condition to eat, so JP casually threw the biting in the fire.

Nair gave some senti to him "Wah! JP. How can you just throw the biting just like that?"

JP replied "You would have eaten those stuffs or what?"

Nair replied "still, we had paid for those stuffs and we just can't throw it like that"

As usual target was JP, as most of us enjoyed to pull JP's legs and we used to call it "Kamur". The fire was almost about to die, so Dhiru went to the common room to bring some newspaper. In the mean time JP started to get little irritated to our hard core "kamurs" (ha ha ie. leg pulling). All of a sudden JP opened his wallet and took out some coins  and gave to Nair.

JP  said "I threw your biting so take this money?"

Nair replied "It's very less. The biting worth much more"

JP replied "I am a poor guy, I don't have money like you... bla bla bla .."

Now Rajat started to shout from his room. He was not able to sleep and shouted "Why you guys are making so much noise? Go and sleep now. ......."

After listening to those words Mehboob got very angry and said  "Who is Rajat to shout at us like that?...."

Now some of us were little embarrassed as it wouldn't be nice if the juniors got to know about that. So, few of us started to cool down Mehboob and I went to Rajat's room to cool him down. Within 10 minutes everything was normal.

We came back to the campfire and after sometime again our point of discussion came back to the discarded biting    After some time JP got very irritated and he threw the coins in the fire. Now every one went silent for few minutes. Then I started to pull JP's legs that time. I actually tried to give some sort of senti  and said "How could you just throw the coins in fire? You don't understand the value of money.etc etc etc"

Then Nair also started to give senti  and after sometime Dhiru also started. Within a few minutes JP got very emotional and started to cry.

JP said "I understand the value of money very well yaar. I know how i was grown up"

So, we spent the remaining time like that and tried to console JP and finally we slept by around 6 AM.

Can I live without credit?

During our initial Engineering days we used to go to "Honu/Manoj" dhaba nearby our hostel for the evening snacks. For the initial 2 months all the 1st semester guys had to wear complete formal all the time. So we used to visit the dhaba with our formals. We noticed that most of the seniors never used to pay the bill, instead they would simply say "kikhi thobo"  ie. "please write it down"

After few days we also started to say "Dada likhi thobo" ie "Bro,  please write it down". Sometimes when friends used to visit we usually used to say "Mur naamot likhi thobo" ie. "please write it down in my name".

It all started that time and some how it become a never ending process. Only difference is now a days we don't have to tell any one "Bro, please write it down".. everything is automated.

Friday, 14 September 2012

First Day At AEC

I still remember my first day at AEC(Assam Engineering College), well it was our admission day. I, Surajit,Nair and Mehboob were good friends, as we were from the same place and on the  admission day we all came together to college along with our fathers. My father came to college only 2 times, first day and the last day. We knew very little about the college that time and we all planned to take the same hostel, but which one?

To be honest that question was not important for us,  may be because we had no idea about that. The only thing we knew was that, there were 3 hostels which are a bit far from college and 3 hostels which are very near to the college. As I was a lazy guy right from my childhood, so my intention was to take a hostel near to the college. Now during admission the authorities distributed the hostels in such a way that, no hostel should get overloaded. We noticed that in few cases the authorities denied candidate's preferred  hostel, as that hostel was already filled by some huge amount. We were  little anxious, as  there was a possibility that, everyone of us wouldn't have got the same hostel.

Admission continued according to the candidate's  ranking and Mehboob's admission supposed to happen   first among four of us. As his turn got closer, Mehboob became little restless and he asked us, which hostel he should take? I inquired a bit and got to know that H-3 was 100% available, as no one took H-3 till that time. I suggested Mehboob to take H-3 and explained him that there's is a slight probability that all four of us might get the same hostel. I was under the impression that Hostel 1,2 and 3 were the  3 hostels which were  near to college. I and Nair also managed to get the same hostel and we desperately waited for Surajit's admission. Fortunately at the end, Surajit also managed to get the same hostel and I felt so happy that the trick actually worked.We came with all our luggage and were well prepared to stay in hostel from that day itself. Now the authorities told us that the bank is already closed and hostel admission could be possible only the next day. We got little upset as we never wanted to return back with all those luggage's.Someone advised us to meet the hostel warden and to discuss with him. We went to a nearby hostel and to my surprise, we got to know that hostel-3 was not situated any where near there, in fact it was quite far from that place. The 3 hostels which were near to the college were hostel number 1, 2 and 4.

We started to head towards hostel-3 and after we walked for half a KM, we had to walk up a hill. After sometime we were little confused and wondered "are we going in the right direction?"  Somehow we reached warden Sir's house and Sir told us "Today bank is already closed and hostel is almost empty, as  it's vacation time. Only few 8th semester students are there. I am extremely sorry, but today admission would not be possible. You can do one thing, you can drop your luggage's in the hostel and come tomorrow for the admission"

As soon as we entered the hostel through the main gate, we heard a joyful gossip kind of noise from inside a room. We knocked that door and the guys asked us to come inside. 3 guys were  inside the room and we came to know that they were all in their final semesters. They said that they were supposed to pass out by that time, but unfortunately their final exam was delayed and they would stay there for another 2 months. One of the senior's  said to  us that we could stay in the hostel from that day itself.  He said he would personally take care of our admission and asked my father not to take tension. He told us that initially for few days, they would accommodate us into one of their own rooms.Within a few days, I realized that  my lack of knowledge regarding the location of hostel-3, was in fact a blessing in disguise. The hostel was quite isolated from the college and was situated in a beautiful landscape, in a small hill. The "Deepor Bill", one of the largest lakes in the Brahmaputra valley of western Assam is very near to our hostel. Also the road from hostel to Saatmile pass between two hills and it was refreshingly green on both the sides.We actually have got heaven that day.

The Train Journey

During our hostel days, one of my very good friend, most of us still call him "Sinha", used to be very decent. He is still quite a decent kind of guy, but decency in hostel considered strange and as such, little vulnerable. He always kept his room neat and clean and every time we entered his room, we used to feel the refreshing smell of the "agarbatti's"  incense sticks.  Once Sinha told us about one of his interesting incident. When he was in his 12th grade, both of his elder brothers used to work in Bangalore. Sinha is basically from Silchar, Assam and during one vacation he planned to visit his brother's.

He booked his railway ticket about a month earlier and it was on waiting list. During those days mobile phones were not there and people had to rely only on land line phones. Sinha's brother asked him not to take any tension and said "don't worry Bro! the ticket would get confirm. You will have to go to Guwahati  before one day and then board the train at the "Guwahati station" and after 3 days, you will be here in Bangalore.  We will be there, waiting for you in the station." 

That was Sinha's first trip to Bangalore.

So, Sinha came from Silchar to Guwahati. On the departure day, Sinha directly went to his compartment and put all his luggage's. After some time TTE arrived and he had a look at his ticket. The TTE said "your ticket is not confirmed. You would have to go to general compartment". 

That time, Sinha was not experienced enough in all those things. He thought, what big deal? So in next station he moved to general compartment. It was very crowded out there and some how he managed little space for him to place his back. Few hours passed like that.

Sinha noticed that after every few hours, he got to see new faces. He enjoyed the moment for initial few hours, but gradually it became little tedious, as the compartment was overcrowded. Sinha was cautious about his luggage's and out of his  anxiety, he even hesitated to use the bathroom. Sometimes he managed a series of short naps. 

Finally he reached Bangalore and he was delighted to see his brothers, along with few other friends in the railway station. On the way home they discussed about the journey. Everyone was extremely shocked to know that Sinha came in general compartment, all the way from Guwahati. After reaching home, Sinha almost spent 2 hours in bathroom and later, they started to gossip. Some one asked Sinha "how was the journey?" 

Sinha replied "everything was fine. But in Rajasthan it was very very hot"

Everyone was so confused and at a time they screamed in shock "Rajasthan?  How cum you were in Rajasthan?" By which train you came? Was it a direct train? 

Sinha said "It was a direct train and it came through the middle of some desert". 

After discussing further,  they realized that Sinha was actually talking about some place in Orissa.
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