Monday, 28 January 2013

First Liebster Award, Thanks Rajni

Quite often I came across "Liebster Award" related posts, to be honest I was a bit confused and never  even bothered to understand it. There are so many awesome bloggers and I feel myself a toddler out here. But Friday night when I received a comment from Rajni in one of my post, where she mentioned  "you have been nominated for the Liebster Award". I was little confused and immediately visited the mentioned URL. I was so much delighted to see my name, along with my blog link, in her list of nominated bloggers.  But what was that for? As it was a Friday night, so I didn't waste much time to understand that and thought to Goole it out later. In the next morning, I received one more similar kind of comment from Deepak. I had some idea that it would certainly be some kind of appreciation for my blog but I was totally blank. I opened the link that was mentioned in Deepak's comment. Wow!  I didn't have to google it any more, as Deepak explained it so perfectly in his post.  I got to know that Liebster Blog Award is basically a blogger to blogger award.  The award is usually given to upcoming new and deserving bloggers. OMG! I felt so honored and was really inspired to continue blogging

Right from my childhood, I was never a good reader and writing was simply out of context. But few months back, not very sure, why and how I started to write? Initially I started to post my shits in Facebook. I was very delighted to see few comments on my posts and those comments encouraged me to write more. Later  I started to post quite frequently in Facebook. Some of my friends and college seniors always appreciated me and encouraged me to write more. I would like to thank my good friend Diganta and two of my college seniors Paromita Ba and Pratibhu Da, who inspired me to start a blog of my own. I didn't have much idea about blogs and all, so I had to google a bit. After a few days, many of my school and college friends were very much surprised, when  I started my own blog and everyone wonder and  few of them even asked me "How cum all of a sudden you started to write now a days? What happened to you?"

I thank Rajni and Deepak from the core of my heart for nominating my blog for the award. Honestly, it means a lot to me. Now I am again little confused "since I got two nominations, do I have to write two posts or single post would be fine?" Since I got my first award from Rajni, I dedicate this post to her.

As per the rule, I must write 11 things about myself. OK, here they are:

1. I was born and brought up in Bongaigaon, a town is Assam

2. Sorry to say, but I am a true atheist, right from my childhood

3. I did my schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya BRPL. But our school doesn't exist now a days, as few     years back it became DPS(Delhi Public School)

4. I did my engineering from Assam Engineering College(AEC), in Computer Science and Engineering

5. I enjoy Rock and Metal music

6. I like to travel to new exotic places

7. I am quite lazy and was never competitive throughout my entire life.

8. Presently I work for a company named Onmobile Global Ltd, as an Engineering Lead

9. I am a big fan of thriller movies and watched most of the Hollywood thrillers.

10. I am extremely cool kind of person and don't usually take unnecessary tension.

11. Presently I am some kind of settled in Bangalore and stay with my wife Anjali and our little angel Jia

My answers to Rajni's questions:

1.Your favorite flower?

2.Which period of Indian History do you like the most?
The golden age of the Maurya Empire

3.Your favorite woman Politician Indian or International/?
Mamta Didi, she keeps on entertaining

4.   Favorite Indian singer?
Kishore Kumar

5   Favorite Indian sports person

5 .Favorite food item

6.  Favorite book
Haven't read any book since a long time. I read a few of the Sidney Sheldon books, during my school days. I remember during my college days, once I visited Delhi and finished one book in the train journey  from Guwahati to Delhi. The book was "Tell Me Your Dreams" by Sidney Sheldon.

7 What do you prefer to listen to  violin or sitar

8. Favorite gazal singer
Not much into gazal but I like few of the Gulam Ali songs and particularly "chupke chupke, raat din..."

9  Do you have stage fright?

10 Do you prefer reading the news paper  to watching  news on Television?
Watching news on TV

11.Do you think blogging is very helpful in stress management ?

The bloggers I nominate for the award are:

1. Rama

2. Sonia

3. Ramya

4. Arumugam

5. Tanya

6. Jay

7. Aparna

8. Rajni

9. Deepak

10. Fida

11. Meenakshi

My questionnaire for those I nominated:

1. Name your top 5 favorite movies.

2. Name your top 5 favorite actors

3. Mention 3 things which give you happiness

4. Give one reason to justify that you feel patriotic about your nation

5. One good thing you have done in life and you are still proud of  that. If no then simply answer as "I haven't done any such thing yet"

6. One mistake  you have committed and still regret for that. If no then simply answer as "I haven't committed any such mistake till now"

7. Describe briefly "one happiest moment of ur life which you still cherish"

8. One thing which you definitely don't want to miss "if you have the opportunity to become invisible for one whole day"

9. How many hours you usually spend in a week for reading/writing blogs?

10. How many hours of TV you watch daily

11. The reason you write?

Finally I would like to thank Rajni and Deepak,  one more time for recognizing me as a blogger. I don't know the rules properly, but for Deepak's nomination, I would write one more similar kind of post, as I don't want to miss the opportunity to nominate 11 more wonderful bloggers.

Friday, 25 January 2013

One Great Escape, Part-6

One Great Escape, Part-1

The situation was pathetic to survive out there, as it rained the whole night and they didn't have proper shelter.  Even though Parag Da already decided to escape from that place and he even had few opportunities, but he didn’t dare to escape at night. He didn’t have any idea about the region and it would have been a suicide to escape at night. He seriously thought to try out his luck in the morning. Nobody among them had a good sleep that night, except for those frequent one minute naps. Somehow the night passed and just before the dawn and before Parag Da could think of an escape, all the rebels were on their feet and were discussing among themselves. Two of them went in search for some essential materials like tents, also for their survival they had to arrange some food. In the early morning Parag Da had a clear view of the nearby river, down the hill. The river was neither very broad nor too deep and one could have easily crossed that and could have gone to the other side of the forest.  Once Parag Da had a proper view of the surrounding, he was more determined to escape from there.

Time passed by and in the afternoon the two guys returned with a pair of plastic tents and some boiled rice,  some burned potatoes and few boiled eggs. Parag Da thought “there must be a small village nearby”. Their leader decided to stay at the same place for few more days, till the situation become normal for them. After they had food, they spent some time to make their place of shelter a little comfortable. After they fixed the tents properly, suddenly the place turned into a heaven for a while, as the mosquitoes couldn't enter the camp and they no longer had  to get wet in the rain. Parag Da slept for few hours and was desperate to escape the next morning. He thought the best time to escape would be just before the dawn. 

It was a long night for Parag Da, perhaps his longest night ever. He regularly looked into his watch all through the night and at 3 AM, he mentally prepared himself, but even a small cough from any of the rebels, scarred him like hell.  At 4:30 AM, he could see some light outside and looked here and there. Everyone was sleeping and Parag Da saw a pistol nearby. Even though it was tempting for him, but he decided not to take that pistol with him. He started to make a move very calmly and was out of the camp. He had a plan and walked slowly for the first few meters. In case anyone would have caught him, he would have simply said that he had a nature’s call.

Within a few minutes, he was near the river bank and continued to walk for some more time. He went quite far and the camp was not visible from there. He thought he came much beyond the firing range of the rebels. He then started to run and kept running. He continued to run and was very happy to smell freedom. That moment the famous GNR song (originally by Bob Dylan) "Knock-knock-knocking on heaven's door” played loudly inside his head. He continued to run through the river bank,  downstream, without  any   break. After running for a couple of hours he met a man on the way. 

Even though he was quite relieved to see that man, but he was also a little scared, as the person could have been one of the NDFB rebels. He casually asked that person, if he knew any place nearby where he could make a phone call. The person replied that at a distance of 5-6 KM, there’s a tea estate named “Mahalaxmi Tea Estate” He said that there’s a phone in the office and he guided him the way to that tea estate. The name sounded little familiar to him and after some time, he started to run in that direction and didn't follow the river any longer. On the way he saw few more people but he couldn't trust anyone out there and particularly guys who looked little similar to the rebels.

He continued to run and after almost an hour, he was extremely happy to run through a tea garden. He asked a tea labor about the office and she showed him the way. After some time he was right in front of the office, but it was locked. Perhaps it was too early for the office to open and Parag Da had a look at his watch, it was 8:30 AM that time. Parag Da went inside the nearby bungalow, every tea estate have a typical bungalow, where usually the estate manager used to stay. But the manager was not there that moment and Parag Da had a chat with the watchman.

He briefly explained him about his abduction and how he escaped. The watchman immediately opened the office and Parag Da called his parents. His parents were so happy to hear his voice, as they knew about his abduction on the very first night night itself. Parag Da was quite surprised to know that no one asked for any sort of ransom from his parents. His parents said to him that few days back one lady called them and said that their son is under their custody and asked them to come at a particular place. His father was very confused as he didn't know the place, where they asked him to come.

After talking to his parents, Parag Da called his colleagues. His colleagues immediately contacted the army as the army camp was not very far from their place. Parag Da calmly waited in the bungalow and after a couple of hours, a few army vehicles along with his colleagues arrived there. The army took Parag Da with them and interrogated him the whole day. He had to explain his story several times, to different army officials, all throughout the day. Like us, the officials were not very excited to hear about his escape and they constantly asked him the same question "whether you really escaped or they themselves released you?" Finally the army released him in the evening.

After that incident, Parag Da had a pretty normal life. He is presently working for Indian Railways and  is posted in Assam. I would like to dedicate two songs to him and I am sure he could always relate to these songs, all throughout his life. The first one is the famous Iron Maiden track "Run to The Hills". When Parag Da, along with all the rebels were running up the hill to escape from the army, he remembered it that moment.When he escaped from the custody of the abductors and was running through the river bank. That moment the famous GNR song (originally by Bob Dylan) "Knock-knock-knocking on heaven's door" played loudly inside his head.

Image courtesy: google images

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

One Great Escape, Part-5

On his 12th day at the camp, Parag Da came to know that the leader, along with the other guy had planned to meet the higher authorities for the 3rd time. As usual, everyone had rice at 10 AM and immediately after they had their meal, the two guys left from there. Everything was quite cool and after a heavy meal, most of them were relaxing inside the camp, including our Parag Da. But after exactly 10 minutes, when those guys left from the camp,  all of a sudden everyone heard a series of gunshots. Within no time, the rebels collected all their weapons and one of them carried the medicines and started to run, up the hill. Parag Da noticed that all of them were damn scarred and they thought their colleagues must have died in the shootout.

After running for 15 minutes, suddenly someone saw their leader, down the hill. Both their colleagues were alive and were running in the same direction, up the hill. They waited for their leader and after a few minutes, their entire team was together. Their leader said to them that they had a close encounter with the army and in order to confuse them he fired a few rounds, so that they could escape from there. All the rebels were extremely surprised, as the army came so deep inside the forest. Without wasting much time, they simply started to run. Parag Da had a very hard time, as he didn’t have his shoes. He was so freaking scared and wondered “How the hell army would know that I am not one of the rebels? They would simply fire at all of us” 

Everyone continued to run for their lives and they ran for almost 3-4 hours, that too without any break. It rained quite heavily that afternoon and they continued to walk, the remaining day. When it started to get little darker, the rebels were little concerned about their shelter for the night. At 7 PM, they heard the sound of flowing water and could see the blurred view of a river, at some distance down the hill. They stopped at that place and started to prepare a temporary kind of shelter for them and it almost took 2 hours for that.

Their place of shelter was like a factory of mosquitoes and one of the guys advised Parag Da to be a little careful of the mosquitoes, as that place was highly prone to malaria. They neither had any food with them nor any mosquito nets. They only carried weapons and medicines with them and mostly malaria medicines. Two of the guys went in search of food and the remaining just waited out there. It was quite difficult to stay there, due to those mosquitoes. One of them had an idea and he somehow dried a wet piece of cloth and put some fire on it. The guy wanted to create some smoke and was successful in that. The intention was to disturb the mosquitoes but after sometime they themselves were very much disturbed with the irritating smoke. 

Life never had been so miserable for Parag Da, as he shivered in the rain and was literally starving. Sleeping was out of the question because of the mosquitoes but everyone managed a few minute naps, every now and then. At midnight, the guys who went in search of food, came back with boiled rice and some burned potatoes. They even bought a couple of big polythene sheets to survive the rain. After they had their food, everyone got busy with the mosquitoes for the rest of the night. Parag Da was horribly disturbed and he thought, he wouldn't survive much longer in that drastic condition. Also, the army could have come any moment to kill them all. He realized that there was no other option left for him and the only way out was to escape from there. But how? Something strange was going through his head. He had a limited knowledge about the geography of that region and the river down hill, gave him some sort of hope. Parag Da felt that the nearby river was not broad enough and it would definitely meet the mighty Brahmaputra at some place. He thought that if he could follow the river downstream, he would have a much better probability of his survival. For the first time he seriously thought to escape from the custody of the rebels and from that moment onward, he desperately waited for an opportunity.  

Image courtesy: google images

Monday, 21 January 2013

One Great Escape, Part-4

One Great Escape, Part-1

Parag Da stayed at that camp for 12 days and he had to follow a  typical daily routine during his stay out there. The place was deep inside a dense forest and there was no trace of any other human being, apart from themselves. He had to wake up early morning at 6 AM and they used to serve him tea with biscuits.In one of the camp, they used to prepare food and at night, 2 of them used to sleep out there.  Parag Da had to share the middle camp with 2 of the rebels and the remaining 4 guys, used to sleep in the other camp. Within a couple of days, Parag Da got accustomed with those guys and also with the environment. Even though he was quite anxious all the time, as he knew it was a matter of life and death for him, but he enjoyed his days out there, especially during the day time. Once everyone became friendly with him, no one bothered to guard him for his daily activities. It seems they were quite confident that Parag Da would never dare to escape from that place and to be honest, they were not wrong. Parag Da could remember one peculiar character among the rebels in the camp. His behavior was quite unusual and he had some scar marks on his face. Others used to say that he was under army's custody and they used to torture him with electric shocks, as such  he became little mad kind of. The poor guy used to do most of the work in the camp. The guy who looked like Keanu reeves, was the main leader among them and usually he used to take the final call out there. 

After morning tea, everyone used to have rice at 10 AM.  All the rebels treated Parag Da as a friend, in fact they were just doing their job, to keep him with them. They used to have tea during the afternoon, usually at  2 PM and by 5 PM everyone used to have their dinner.  They strictly followed one of their rule "after 5:30 PM, everyone should be inside the camp and there shouldn't be any trace of fire or light". After the initial few days it became little boring and  quite a monotonous life for Parag Da, out there. No one discussed with him regarding why they abducted him? On several occasions during the night, Parag Da's  heart beats accelerated little faster when he heard those typical elephant sounds.

The only source of entertainment Parag Da had during the day time was a small piece of transistor radio. In fact the song “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” still reminds him of those exciting horrific days. The evening was real torture for him, as everyone prepared to sleep by 5:30 PM and that was very disturbing for him. Parag da was under the impression that the abductors would ask for a ransom from the owner of the company he worked for. He was not very worried and thought, since he was working for a government project, so the government would definitely interfere and would make some sort of deal with the rebels. Parag Da noticed that the abductors had enough weapons including grenades.  They had enough stock of rice and medicines, including syringes and saline bottles. 

3 days passed just like that and on 4th day, their leader had a discussion with Parag Da. He took some personal as well as official information from Parag Da, including few telephone numbers. The guy even asked Parag Da to write in a piece of paper that he was being kidnapped and is under their custody. The leader said to Parag Da that, he along with one of his colleague would go to meet the higher authorities and would come back after 2 days. He asked Parag Da whether he required anything. Parag Da asked for few cigarette packets and a pair of shoes. 

Life was pretty monotonous for the next 2 days and Parag Da didn’t really enjoyed the food out there. After 3 days, the leader and his colleague returned to the camp. They bought a few cigarette packets for Parag Da but couldn’t manage the shoes. Entire camp was happy as they bought a few chickens with them. The guys also bought a few newspaper cuttings and Parag Da was quite happy to see that the news of his abduction, spread far and wide and was in media. The leader said to him that negotiation is already started and within a few days they would release him. Parag Da had a very good time for the next few days, he really enjoyed the chicken meal and the cigarettes were just a bonus for him. Parag da offered cigarette's to few of them, but they said that cigarette and alcohol were strictly prohibited for them while they were on duty.

After a couple of days the leader along with his same colleague, again left from the camp to meet the higher authorities. They returned the camp after 2 days and as usual, brought a few chickens and cigarette packets. Life was pretty cool for Parag Da out there and then on the 12th day, something happened that entirely horrified Parag Da and he started to worry for his life. 

Image courtesy: google images

Saturday, 19 January 2013

One Great Escape, Part-3

One Great Escape, Part-1                

Next morning, on 13th Sept 2003, at 6:30 AM, Parag Da heard some irritating noise.

"Wake up, wake up"

Parag Da whispered in his dream "Ummm... Let me sleep. What the hell?"

"Wake up quickly, we have to go a long way. Come on dude... wake up"

Parag Da opened his eyes and looked here and there, he was a bit confused. He definitely needed few more hours of sleep. But very soon, he came back to the real world and immediately woke up. The guys asked him to get ready, as they had to go a long way and someone served him tea. After Parag Da had his tea, he started to feel the morning urge and with little shyness, he asked one of rebels that he would like to release his pressure. The guys discussed for a while and then one of them asked Parag Da to follow him. As soon as they came out of the house, Parag Da was fascinated to view a lovely landscape, just outside the house. Only a few meters away, there was a wonderful stream and the flowing water looked so refreshingly clean. 

The guy asked Parag Da to finish it quickly near the stream and stood just few yards away to guard him. The guy was holding his pistol pointing towards Parag Da, while Parag Da was releasing his urge. It was such an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation, but Parag Da managed it well and later cleaned himself in the running water of the stream. It was 7 AM and they started to walk through the meadows and continued for another 3-4 hours, without taking much rest in between. On the way Parag Da experienced some beautiful landscapes. It was completely green every where and some of the streams were amazing beautiful. 

At around 10:30 AM, they stopped at one more small house, where two more of their rebel colleague's joined them. Everyone had lunch out there and immediately got ready to leave. One of the guys, who joined them recently, looked little familiar  to Parag Da, as it reminded him of keanu reeves. Actually, Parag Da watched the matrix movie quite recently that time. Everyone started to walk and most of the time they walked up the slope. Without stopping much, they continued to walk. The forest was getting denser after every successive hour. One of the guys was holding an axe and he had to clear the jungle number of times, in order to make way for them to move forward.  At 3:30 PM, Parag Da saw few more small houses on the way. That place was partially inhabited in the middle of the forest. At 4 PM, they stopped at another house, where 2 more of their colleagues were waiting for them. They stayed there for about 15 minutes and after tea/biscuits, they left from there. That time, there were 6 abductors with Parag Da.  One of the new guys was holding a big weapon and later Parag Da came to know that it was actually AK56. They continued to walk and the forest was very dense and wild. The guy with the axe had to struggle a lot to clear the jungle to make way for them. 

They walked for another 3 hours and it was already dark. At 7 PM, they stopped at a house in the middle of a hill. Everyone had dinner out there and 2 more of their colleague's joined them there. Parag Da was sure that it was quite a pre planned abduction but he was so confused “Why me?” 

After dinner it was the hardest kind of trekking for Parag Da, as the slope was very stiff. They continued to trek up the hill for another 3 to 4 hours and finally at around 10:30 PM, they stopped near a stream. It was very dark out there, in the middle of a dense forest and Parag had a blurred view of the stream and could hear the sound of the flowing water. Parag Da noticed 3 temporary kind of camps which were set up in a straight line, one after another in a vertical slope of the hill. Totally there were 8 rebels and Parag Da had to sleep in between two of the them, in  the middle camp. There were mosquitoes all over the place, but fortunately they had mosquito nets. Parag Da had never been so tired in his entire life and as soon as he lied down, he actually felt his blood that circulated throughout his entire body.

Image courtesy: google images

Next Part

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

One Great Escape, Part-2

One Great Escape, Part-1

It was the month of September 2003. Parag Da was working with a small construction firm and was posted at the construction site itself. They were working on a government project in Pabhoi, a place which is about 10 KM from Biswanath Chariali, in the Sonitpur district of Assam.The construction site was situated at a remote location, near to the banks of river Brahmaputra and the forest was not very far from there. It was some sort of disturbed area, as the surrounding was the hub of NDFB rebels. Cases of kidnapping and extortion were quite common there. All the employees, including the construction workers stayed together within their boundary. The work was in full swing and the workers used to work till midnight. Parag da was the only engineer who stayed at the construction site and all other senior engineers visited the site during the day time and they used to return the same day before dark.

On 12th Sept 2003, at around 11:45 PM, the workers were about to shutdown their work till the next  morning. There was a tube well within their campus and everyone used to clean themselves there. Parag Da just washed his feet and was about to go inside his room. All of a sudden 2 guys came, one was holding a big pistol and the other guy carried one AK47 kind of. They pointed the pistol towards Parag Da and asked him to come with them. All that happened in front of all everyone out there. One guy started an old Yamaha bike and Parag Da had to sit in the middle, between those two guys. They drove almost for an hour through the open fields and not through the road. Suddenly they stopped in the middle of some meadows. The guys discussed something in their Bodo language and all of a sudden one of the guys started the bike and left from there. It was totally dark out there and Parag da didn’t have any clue what was going on? His brain almost   stopped to work for the last one hour but one thing he was quite sure that he was being kidnapped by the NDFB guys and they would definitely ask for a ransom from the owner of the company he worked for, or might be from his parents.

With some hesitation and fear, he asked the guy “What’s going on? What we supposed to do out here?”

The guy replied “My colleague went to return the bike and will come back within an hour, till then we would have to wait here”

Parag Da knew that he had only one cigarette left with him and without much of a thinking, he lighted it. Fortunately Parag Da had his watch with him and it was 1 AM that moment.At around 2 AM, the other guy came and then they started to walk through those meadows. The fields were full of mud and it was quite difficult for Parag Da to walk, as he didn’t have his shoes and only had his sandals with him. They walked for another half an hour and then they stopped at a very small dhaba kind of. Parag da didn't see any house on the way and he was quite sure that they were heading towards the dense forest. The guys asked him to have food but Parag Da already had his dinner. Those guys had their food and immediately left from there, along with Parag Da. 

They walked for another 2 hours, through the muddy meadows. It was quite dark and one of the guys was holding a torch light. All of a sudden they stopped in front of a house and knocked the door. Someone opened the door and they discussed for a while.They entered inside the house and after a few minutes, one of the guys took Parag Da inside a room and asked him to sleep. They all shared the same room for the night. Parag Da was totally blank and didn’t have any idea what to do? He saw a Bidi (local cigarette), out there on the floor, at one corner of the room. Without much hesitation and without asking anyone, he simply picked up the bidi and lighted it. He enjoyed his anxiety with those strong puffs for a while and then, he had a look at his watch, it was 4:30 AM. He was so tired and was totally in a  confused state of mind, he simply lied down and closed his eyes.

Image courtesy: google images

Sunday, 13 January 2013

One Great Escape, Part-1

He maintained quite a low profile in college, all throughout his engineering days. His behavior towards his batch mates, seniors as well as juniors at hostel was quite different and it was extraordinarily decent. During my entire stay at hostel, I had never seen him getting angry at anything, even though he had quite a few opportunities.  On few occasions we witnessed his threshold level of anger, especially when any junior misbehaved with the seniors and at that moment he used to get annoyed and we heard him speaking a little harshly politely "Tur okomaan besi hoise de" "You are crossing your limit dude"

He was the epitome of laziness. I remember, once I, along with few of my friends were watching a movie and in one of the scene we cracked a joke about him. The scene was something like this “One of the character in the movie was irritated, as a fly was roaming in and around his nose and sometimes even dared to sit out there, in the middle of the 2 holes. He was disturbed and not able to sleep, so he requested his friend who was sleeping beside him to get rid of the fly”

He was an extreme kind of a sports fan and particularly cricket. Sometimes after our usual and meaningless late night gossips, we used to go to the common room and on few occasions we saw him, all alone in the entire common room. He was 2 years senior to us and we could see him holding the remote control, the television was tuned to some sports channel. In those odd hours such channels usually telecast-ed highlights of some old test match, by old I mean 70’s or 80’s. 

Someone would say "Hey! Parag Da, what the hell are you watching?"

Parag Da, usually used to shy that moment and would give the remote to him and say "Take it dude, I was just about to go"

It was a little difficult for us to find him at the hostel, as he could have been at any corner of the hostel, except his  own room. He never used to lock his room, not even during the holidays. Apart from a pair of table-chair and a bed, there was literally nothing in his room. Guys who used to play regular cricket, loved to keep the cricketing stuffs inside his room. The entire hostel just loved our Parag da. 

After passing out of college, when I was in the initial days of my first job, I got a shocking news from my friends. I was totally stunned to hear that our Parag da was being kidnapped by suspected ultras of a powerful extremist organization. I was equally amused to hear that Parag da managed to escape from their custody. None of my friends had the exact story that time and I was so curious to know about that in details. I tried to contact Parag da that time but unfortunately couldn’t. During one vacation when I was at Guwahati, somehow I got to know his number and I called him that time. I wanted to know his story but he said to me,  with his usual laugh and politeness "Will surely tell you dude, may be when we meet next time."

I think he was quite bored to repeat the same story, so many times. Unfortunately we couldn't meet, but one of my friend narrated me the original version of the story, that time.

Image courtesy: google images

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

How I met Anjali - 3

The phone calls continued for over a month and on few occasions I asked her if we could meet face to face? She used to reply “Why we have to meet? We are just phone friends” Social Networking sites came much later after we passed out of college and in those days we had only one cyber cafe in the entire campus and usually most of the time it was occupied. Most of us were not very much used to internet that time. After talking to her over the phone for almost a month, I was little curious to know how she looked like? Even though it was little embarrassing for me to get such information out of her, but on few occasions our point of discussion somehow went in that direction.  The only thing she revealed about herself is that she used to wear specs and whenever I asked anything more, she used to reply that she looked horribly ugly in her specs.

I remember once I asked her “OK, just tell me one thing, whether you are fair or dark or something in between?”

She replied with a laugh “Why you would like to know that? It seems you give too much importance to skin color?”

I said to her “It’s not like that yaar, actually now a days, sometimes I go to the market nearby your hostel and every time I visit there, I usually stare at every girl who got specks and wonder "this one might be her or that one...?”

She couldn't stop her laugh and said “I think it would be better if we could meet sometime?”

In the mean time, few of my close hostel buddies were already aware of the fact that I was talking to someone at Ayurvedic Girls Hostel and fortunately they didn't blow it out of proportion that time. I had few options to call Anjali those days and one of the option was the PCO nearby our college, which always had a big queue. Our college girl’s hostel and 3 more boy’s hostel was very near to the college. Using that option was completely out of the question for me, as it would have only meant “shooting at my own feet”

Second option was the PCO near to our hostel which was inside the APRO campus. APRO is Assam Police Radio Organization.  Most of our hostel guys used to visit that PCO, as it was comparatively  less crowded out there.  One more reason for many of us to visit that place was because of the Aunty who used to sit there. Now what to say about that lady? It has been a long time, but honestly speaking, she was damn hot. But sometimes, when APRO had their training sessions, we used to meet guys from all over India out there. During those training days, Auntie’s PCO was flooded with the men in uniform. In Auntie’s PCO I faced a different kind of problem. Aunty was more interested in STD calls and whenever my local call used to get a little longer, Aunty would politely say to me with her typical sweet smile “Bro, please wait for some time, this guy has one important STD call to make. Please don't mind, you can talk comfortably once he's done”

Sometimes we used to go out of the college campus for boozing eating and every time we went out, I used to look for a PCO which had the luxury of a little privacy and not those open ones. That was my 3rd option and undoubtedly that was the best option I had, as I could talk a little freely and comfortably out there. Later when our call duration increased exponentially and I started to get bankrupt much more earlier, I discovered the 4th option, our hostel telephone. Even though the keypad of the hostel phone was always locked but I learned the trick and eventually became an expert in “How to make call from a telephone whose keypad is locked?” I would definitely write about the trick, in a later post. So, ultimately I and Anjali decided to meet face to face and we even finalized the day, time and place to meet. I was very happy but a little anxious too, as I never went out to meet any girl before. I was little confused "What we would do? What we would talk?"  The previous night I was also a little concerned on a different matter, not sure whether it really matters much? But I was little anxious and wondered "as I am a guy of little below average height, what if she's taller than me?"

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Snakes

When for the first time I saw a few snakes inside our hostel premises, I was really frightened. After the first spell of rains, hell lot of snakes used to come out of their hiding places and roamed freely all around the hostel campus. We didn't have much  idea whether those snakes were venomous or not? Our hostel was quite isolated and was constructed in a small hill. Just few meters above our hostel, it was quite a jungle kind of and was mostly uninhabited that time. Few times we spent some entertaining horrible time with  the monkeys, when they used to visit our hostel. But, those snakes really frightened me to a great extent and I was really worried and thought it would really be a challenge for all of us to survive the coming four years out there.

One day I just casually asked one of our senior “there are so many dangerous snakes in our campus, but you guys look so cool" He laughed a bit and replied "Don't worry, as days pass by, you too will overcome the fear. We were little frightened initially, but believe me,  in last 30-40 years no one ever died of snake bite in this hostel,” Those words really boosted hell lot of confidence in me but one of my friend said “It may be true that no one died of snake bite out here but I definitely wouldn't like to be the first one. He said “Abbe yaar, I don’t want to die of snake bite, I deserve a better death”. 

There were literally hell lot of snakes all around the hostel campus in those peak  seasons. I still remember one incident when few of us watched a movie in my desktop. It was already quite late night and we all were about to sleep. One of us lighted a cigarette outside our room and we saw Mehboob just released his extra fluid inside his body out in the dark, just a few meters away. While coming back, he saw something moved very quickly and entered his room. He screamed “it must be a snake” We went inside his room to look for it. We were not at all surprised  to see a snake which lied just under his computer table inside the room. We had to struggle almost for an hour to get rid of that snake.

Some of our Naga brothers were quite expert to catch hold of any sort of snakes. But sometimes few of the cobra's even dared to scare them. On few occasions, some of my friends managed to catch hold of a python.  In one of the occasions, few of my friends with the help of some hostel boys, caught an extremely huge python. Someone called the Guwahati Zoo and in no time, few people from the zoo visited our hostel and took away the python. My friends who worked really hard to catch the python expected some sort of remuneration from the zoo guys, but they had to console their heavy heart with just their brave act . 

After I spent one monsoon season in hostel, snakes didn’t scare me any more for the remaining days I spent out there. Even though some of my friends used to keep torch lights during the night, but most of us no longer cared about those snakes. But, to be honest I was little scared to go to the common room all alone during the midnight, in those peak seasons.One night, we were celebrating our hostel feast and many of our friends from other hostels joined us. I was escorting few of my friends to the dining hall and on the way all of a sudden "Siiv Shankar", my good old friend, screamed "Baap re!  What was that?"
I asked "what happened?"

He said "Just now, something passed under my feet" 

I said "Don’t worry, it must be just a snake"

"Just a snake?" My friend was very shocked and told that how could I be so cool about the snake that just passed under his feet? He asked me how we guys could stay in such a jungle environment?" I was silent that moment and just thought "whatever? This place is almost a heaven for us"

One day during one vacation, I had the opportunity to meet one of my father's colleagues. The uncle passed out from our college and he was some 25-30 years senior to me. Coincidentally he stayed in the same hostel as well. He was very happy to meet me as some of his hostel memories got refreshed that time. He asked me one question “are there snakes roaming around freely in the hostel premises now a days?” I was little surprised and totally amused by his question.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

How I Met Anjali - 2

How I Met Anjali - 1

Next day I again dialed  her hostel number, but someone else received the call. I asked her "can you please call Poonam?"

She replied "Poonam is not at hostel, she already left for home"

I asked "oh, she must have left today itself?"

She replied "No, she went 3 days back"

I said "But last night she was there, as I talked to her over the phone for quite some time"  

She replied "You must have talked to someone else then"

I asked "Is there any girl from Shillong out there,  now?"

She asked me to wait and after sometime my ear could perceive some familiar kind of voice. She told me "Oh! Rajiv, you have called again? Actually I have many friends from your engineering college, so I named  myself as Poonam. By the way, I am Anjali and please keep it only to yourself. I know your engineering guys, they really  enjoy blowing things a little out of proportion."

I laughed a bit and said "By the way, I am Jahid and not Rajiv" She also started to laugh and requested me to introduce myself as Rajiv, in case anyone else would have received my call at her hostel.

The holidays were nearly over and one by one, my friends started to come back to hostel, but still most of the guys were yet to come. One afternoon, I was in my room and all of a sudden I heard Nair, shouting at me "Jahid, Phone, phone, you have a phone call' As soon as I opened the door, Nair was in front of my eyes. I asked him "Who's on the phone, dude?"

Nair was little confused and replied "It's a girl and her name is Poonam. "abbe ye Poonam kaun hai?" Who's this Poonam yaar?"

That time, My parents recently shifted to Chandrapur, a place situated at the outskirts of Guwahati and I replied to Nair that she might be my parent's new neighbor.  But Nair had hell lot of doubt, as her voice over the phone sounded little familiar to him. As he was my room mate and also one of my closest buddy, he knew me quite well. A phone call from an unknown girl  for me, was so confusing for him and his confusion was pretty clear on his expression. I felt very happy that moment, as I never expected any  call back from Anjali. We talked for a while and she said that they went for a movie. They had to wait for half an hour before their show supposed to start, so she thought of calling me from a PCO.

I said to her "cool, you went for movie! must be lot of fun. You are with your friends or with your boy friend?"

She replied "You stupid, If I would be with my boy friend, I would have called you or what? "

After talking to her I came back to my room. As soon as I entered the room, Nair asked me "Who was she?" I replied "As I said earlier, she's my parents's neighbor. Our home phone is not working and she just called to give some information" Even though Nair was not satisfied with my reply, he remained silent that moment.

The kind of guy I was at hostel, or the kind of image I had, or the kind of guy I always pretended to be, I was quite sure that it could be a kind of shocker for some of my friends,  if I would have told them the actual fact that time. I never wanted to reveal that to anyone, as unnecessarily it would have given my friends an opportunity  to make fun of me. To be honest during my college days I had a very different impression for guys who used to mingle around with girls. I thought their mindset was completely different from us. We were quite busy, doing literally nothing other than those usual  "chill out, hang out, meaningless gossips, listening to those heavy metal songs and the frequent booze." I was totally on a different world. But then, something very unusual and quite exciting started to happen with me. It was becoming almost some kind of addiction for me to call her and I used to call her almost daily.

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