Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Times of Engineering - August 2001 to May 2005

Late City

Bawana.. place where DCE is. Traffic is wild.. during any time. Buffalos and cows are more in number than cars and buses. The air is always carrying a smell, though you become used to it (if you are a hosteller) and it stops bugging you. There are times when the air is different.. when its 3 a.m. and it has just rained.

My first day at college was a hit.. I boarded 165 (the only direct bus from a bus stop near by to the college.. I had not been assigned a hostel by then). There were 3 or 4 guys sitting in the bus who looked like freshers. I asked one of them.. DCE? He nodded in a strange sort of way - but so far so good. I said "me too" and sat next to him. He looked at me at scared the hell outta me when he said "First year"? Damn it.. I realised I was sitting beside a senior (Those days stories of engineering ragging was doing the rounds). He turned out to be 4th year guy.. didn’t really rag me.. infact narrated a lot of his experiences..

Bawana is just like a place which has suddenly become the centre of attraction for the city developers and from an industrial place, it is developing hugely into a residential cum commercial hub.

Stories of 58-A
The first year hostels were flats, not the traditional dormitories. There are buildings with 4 floors; on the ground floor and first floor a faculty member used to stay with his family and the two floors above were given to students. Each flat had 3 rooms, one large lobby, two bathrooms and a kitchen. The kitchen was mostly used for an emergency bath or a shampoo.. The lobby was multi purpose. It could be used for cricket or during exams we would install a cooler in the lobby and get our beds there and study together. Lots of night outs in the first semester – hitch hiking on petrol tankers, trucks filled with potatoes.. movies at Priya.. I think I had the most night outs in the first semester. Other flaties were Miraz Alum, Aditya, Prasanna, Avinav and Nilesh. Miraz Alum used to talk in hindi mixed with Urdu.. I learned how to write my name in Urdu.. Jaspreet and I used to play practical jokes at night. Once we switched off all lights, focused a torch at Jaspreet’s beard and knocked at Miraz’s door. Was he scared!!! We used to just sit in the space between the hostels and chat away.. till mornings sometimes.

Those days anti-ragging squad was quite active because of the Supreme Court order and some nasty ragging stories. We had a pretty strict Proctor those days and 3 – 4 seniors were suspended for a semester. The dayschi’s (day scholars) roamed scot-free but hostellers were still targeted for ragging (mostly harmless) in the evening or nights. There were two kinds of seniors who were absolutely dreaded during that time. One was the desperate variety who were really filthy. And the others were ultra cool people – who really knew how to have fun (but all the fun was theirs). We used to switch off all lights and sit in darkness if a “dreaded” senior was spotted. We devised our own ways to save ourselves.. Locking the door from outside while staying inside etc. Except these 2 kinds of people, no one really ragged. We were happy because the fresher’s party was fast approaching and we were told that ragging is stopped once the fresher’s party is over. Well, we had a good time at the party.. some skits etc.. and a jam session at the end. It was 2 A.M when we returned to our room. There were some 9-10 people in our room and I was half asleep but still talking. Someone came up and shouted “HIDE”.. seniors are coming up for ragging!. We told him to shut up ‘cos there is no ragging after the fresher’s party. Well, seniors came up and said – “Screw rules”.. Its ragging time.. ! They were frustrated ‘cos they couldn’t rag us well during the first 3 months due to the anti-ragging squad etc. The lined us up on the road; 20 in each line and made us walk to the senior hostels around 1.5 km away. They kept on doing the rounds on motorcycles to make sure no one escaped. We were made to stand on the road separating the two hostel complexes and it all began. Fortunately, a senior guy knew me and I was saved from the ordeal… Some people had really horrible experiences.. and for some really poor souls, it ended at 6:30 AM!

Time passed really fast and it was exam time.. we did little coordinated study and those exams paved the way for our devised concept of “Group Study” which remained with us for the rest of the four years…

During the second semester, some reshuffling was done.. lotsa people left for NSIT and some upgradations etc. took place. This even semester we realized the importance of group study and used the lobby properly! We shifted our beds in the lobby, installed a cooler (took turns filling it with water) and studied together.. was it a success! We continued to do this till the last semester.. Each person would study a topic and explain it to others or if it was a difficult subject, we would study together and come out all wise!

One year was gone.. 58A was the first hostel I stayed in.. and I had an awesome time!

2 comments:

The Stop Ragging Campaign said...

you may want to check out www.stopragging.org

Ashish Chandra said...

I think u got it all wrong. I am not against ragging at all..