Friday, March 13, 2009
The Return of an Alumnus (Part-1)
‘BITS 1-km ahead’. That’s what a signpost on NH-17B told me. I was going to campus again! Maybe the last time. I was excited. This was the place where I had spent the best days of my life. So many memories came rushing back. I signed in as a visitor. I miss those days when I proudly showed my id card at the gate. As I made my way slowly towards the insti building, I remembered all the good times I had with my friends.
I passed my hostel: the fantastic BH2. I recalled those unforgettable moments that made hostel life so awesome.
Playing football inside the hostel and breaking glass panes. Cricket matches that soon ended up in prolonged fights over trivial issues. The eternal pastime of playing carom at any time of the day. The innovative birthday celebrations that made you wish you were born on 29th Feb or better still, 30th Feb. Watching cricket matches in the common room that was so crowded that you had to stand on the window sill to get a glimpse of the TV. The singing and dancing sessions that we had in our rooms to relieve whatever stress we had. The perpetual water shortage that caused unexpected hardships, like the time when water got over before I had completed my bath and I had to run to the next bathroom in the middle of the night. The virtual abuse room of campus, DC, where everything would go – abusing others, starting rumours, making announcements, sharing all sorts of stuff, exchanging coupons and the like. The booze parties people had in the hostel. I had my 1st and last booze party on my last day in the hostel. But it ended in a fiasco as the three of us who were supposed to lose our campus-drinking virginity were joined by 7 other guys intending the same. And all of us ended up getting jus a sip each. All the memories made me hungry. So I decided to visit the mess
The mess was the place where the intellectuals met up to discuss current affairs like who was the best looking gal for the day. Unfortunately these discussions ended rather quickly as the severe shortage of gals threw up very few contenders. I wonder what it would be like to study in an institute where girls outnumber boys! Anyways the food in the mess was usually tasteless and it took a great deal of will power to finish your meals. When the will power was lacking, we ordered food from Preeti. It used to be a welcome break but the fact that we had to go the gate to collect our packets like refugees going to relief camps, made it an unattractive proposition.
As I walked to the audi, I remembered the times we strolled around the campus spending hours talking about every topic under the sun and at night, under the moon. The endless PJ sessions that left everyone with a headache in the stomach! I reached the audi. Aah, this was the place where many a battle was won and lost. I remember the zephyr days with all the slogans and placards, all the intensity and patriotism. The regular cultural programs when we booed shamelessly when in the audience and got booed embarrassingly when on the stage. The AH-2 group dance performance will always be right up there with the best moments of my life.
The place was better than Inox for watching movies because we could dance during songs, howl our lungs out at the saddest of jokes and attempt to make some wisecrack comments which no one wanted to hear. Suddenly I saw Rohan Karmali on stage. Hmm, who remembers that ultra cool and suave antakshri host? I’ll always remember the picnics we use to have to Sarvondem for that annual all goa antakshri competition.
Walking towards the SC, the basketball courts brought back memories of Nagraj’s tirades against every other player on the court! Boy he was a fellow who played friendly evening games with NBA intensity. At the SC, the stationery aunty was still there. Slow and stupid as ever. Some things are timeless. I felt like troubling her by asking for dozens of things and not buying them in the end or bargaining over a phone bill! And there was the 5 star Aatish cafe at the back where experiments were made to invent new dishes by means of mix and match. That is how Manish once got chicken in his veg curry! I am surprised not many people ended up in the nearby medical centre. Probably people were too scared to fall sick given the fact that the doctor there used to diagnose mild fever as typhoid and a running nose as lung infection!
I saw our chief warden as I was heading back. That brought so many memories of our trysts with the talented faculty of our campus. After all the main purpose of going to college is to study and attend classes.
But I’ll keep that for my next post. As I walked back to the car, I saw some children playing in the park where we used to relive our childhood days on the swings and slides. Now I hoped I could relive my college days. How I yearn for the days when I could see the sun set over the picturesque Zuari River. How I miss that carefree life, when you wake up in the morning and know there is nothing important to do, when you could decide to play carom instead of going to class. But then you have to move on. Everything has to be left behind, except some priceless memories.