Monday, November 20, 2006

Glory Days

How many of you have experienced the hostel life? In my family none but my uncle (my dad’s big bro) and his son besides myself. Ask anybody what they think about a hostel resident and the person forms up some really freaky assumptions! Hostellers are equated with hell-raisers with having a very bad sense of attitude and having a goon-like mentality. These types of assumptions are due to a hyperbolical media and us hostellers to some extent. Having studied at Hans Raj College in Delhi University for graduation and being a college hosteller, I know what a fine place our hostel is. It is a place which has a rich culture and traditions of its own. Many people think that a person’s character deteriorates after staying in hostel. What nonsense! I believe that the hostel is the place where you can test yourself as a person. It is the best place to start your graduation journey especially in a place like D.U. But first, I need to put forth the true picture of my hostel for you.

The season kicks off with the admission of fresh 1st year residents and immediately begins the much hated “Ragging Session”. In this, the guys from Haryana and the North-East are not ragged. The Biharis are the most feared raggers in the hostel. I, myself, being a North-Eastern was not ragged, but I witnessed others’ ragging which rather shook me. Then comes the Hostel Freshers’ Party which marks the end of the ragging period. There’s a welcoming ceremony for the “Fuchhas” into the hostel followed by a splendid dinner party. Then the entire hostel goes to a multiplex theater to watch a movie. Once there’s the Freshers’ Party, the juniors realize that their fear of seniors was unjustified as the gap between the senior and junior vanishes and the two become very friendly. After this comes the Election Period. First comes the Hostel Election, which is followed by the College Election. It is during this period that the hostel gets divided into two groups. We are quasi-united yet divided. The hosteller has an inclination towards politics. It is during this time that the leaders emerge. I personally believe that this is the time when one’s leadership quality develops. Barring a few incidents of disorder or violence, the election period is very educational because it brings out leaders among the boys and one’s personal convincing power is improved. The two election factions are the one led by the Biharis and the other led by the Jats. The North-Easterns’ support is a decisive factor for the victory of any group.

It is not that the rest of the year is boring devoid of any incidents. Towards the middle of the academic session in December, we have the Socials’ Night for which our hostel fancies inviting Miranda or I.P. girls. That night normally turns out to be good for us North-Easterns as we get the cream of the cake. Tragically, most of the Biharis are left high and dry. Ha ha!! Then towards the end of the academic session we have the Farewell Party for the 3rd year residents. Apart from these hostel events, the various festivals around the year are celebrated with aplomb. For B’Day boys there is a tradition in the hostel which is dreaded by them. First, he is given B’Day bumps and with him the honour also goes to his roomie and his best hostel buddy. This ceremony commences at 12 in the night with the onset of the birthday and then everyone goes off to one of the dhabas in the University Campus for a late night B’Day Party which normally lasts upto 4 o’ clock in the morning. Each day in the life of a hosteller is an adventure. 1st year residents are very enthusiastic to explore their newfound college environment. But soon they wake up to the grim fact that the company of an opposite sex in Delhi is a costly affair. The 2nd year residents try to be serious college goers as they try to put in their messed up schedules in place and go steady for the future ahead. The 3rd year residents are career concerned guys who are busy with either the competitive exams or any professional line in mind. Doing Masters is no longer a taboo nowadays. After a hectic schedule in the college, the residents return to have lunch at the hostel. Questions like, “Who was that chic with you in college today? She was hot!” are thrown in the air. The Mess Room comes alive with the loud gossiping of the residents. In the afternoon, some guys go to their rooms either to rest or to study while the Science students have to go for the ever hated practicals. While those struck by Cupid can be seen hanging around Kamla Nagar with their Fantees. In the evening some sip tea at “Vinod Ka Dhaba” in the backyard of the hostel. The North-Eastern residents can be seen playing either basketball or soccer in the college ground in the evenings. They are the famous fitness freaks of the hostel. It is after dinner that the residents retire to their rooms to study. Some sit in the Common Room to watch some TV or to play some Table Tennis. My hostel never sleeps. It’s hustling and bustling remains way after midnight. Some do serious studying, others do rampant gossiping while some hunger driven nocturnals venture out for paranthas.

Our Hans Raj College Hostel is very famous for its unity. We hostellers are the traditional dadas of the college. Any day-scholar considers it suicidal to take panga with any hosteller as we hostellers regard any offence on one of us as an offence on all of us as a whole. We are a united force and can play formidable challengers to our foes. But the election period is not a good time to test our unity. But still we are much better than the Ambani Bros. Most people equate us with ruffians. That is very unfair as most of the toppers are from the hostel and we seldom ever start a fight. We are as we are. And we are highly proud to call ourselves as hostellers. God bless us! This is my hostel for you. And we will always cherish our hostel days as the Glory Days of our lives.
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