Our stay in Chennai was not that fruitful because it was the first time we experienced such humid conditions and more to that our hotel manager asked us to take bath not more then 1 time, that was weird!!
I was to start my engineering in A.P.S.C.E college in Bangalore, little trivia for all,
-> This college was selected because it was the lone college where “Telecommunication” seat was available
-> The stream “Telecommunication” was chosen because my cousin had just completed his engineering in the same branch!!
I am still clueless over this criterion!!
And it was ragging where I came to know the full form of A.P.S.C.E, its Acharya Pata Shala College of Engineering, believe it.
When I got there I was introduced to some of the senior students staying in the hostel and they greeted me like a true friend, little did I know that these true friends will soon become monsters who feed on a hostel newcomer’s nightmare, “Ragging”, lets call them dementors
(Fictional creatures from Harry Potter who suck soul and happiness out of you).
I met few of my batch mates in next few hours. I was pleased to see that I was not the person who will be facing dementors unaccompanied.
I was put in a sharing room with 3 room-mates and it was there I met “Rambo”, a Body builder from Bhadravati, Karnataka. He was one of my roomies. Few of us from north India, when we got acquainted, we wanted to learn words in Kannada, our Kannadiga friend so far was Rambo. So we asked him to tutor us something horrific so that we can scare people, he agreed on condition that if something happened because of the phrase then he will accept no responsibilities because the expression is very insulting in nature. We with pleasure said no problem you just coach us, he agreed and whispered “the phrase” to us,
“#$@#$$% #$#$*& @#@#”, we did not understand it but it took us little while before we got grip on the accent. He did not tell us the meaning because according to him there is not proper translation to this in any language.
We started chanting the phrase at the top of our voice and whoever came inside the room, we knocked him with the same chant. Little later one South Indian guy came in the room, we later called him “Arnold”, he perhaps is the toughest person in the world (That’s what he claims from day 1 and even till today after 9 years) and he is my best friend. When we told him the phrase he showed us an expression of rage and we were certain that we have learnt something very cruel. But in 2 hours nearly complete hostel was laughing on us because it was a brilliant plan executed on us, devised by Rambo and Arnold.
The phrase undeniably was insulting in nature but not to the person you are telling it to but to “you”. It was the most horrible and embarrassing incident of my life, the phrase was,
“Nanu Helu Tintini”
“I will eat Shit”
Later that day I was summoned by some North Indian dementors, the first night of Ragging. There was an odd regulation that north Indians will be ragged by North Indians and South Indians by South Indians, pretty funny.
The sight of the room was bizarre. Three dementors were sitting on the bed looking at a guy who by now had lost his shirt to one of the dementor. For some strange reason second guy was abusing the ceiling fan!! The third and the fair one was sitting on the floor and was inching forward slowly but before I could apprehend anything a voice echoed,
“Give me your introduction”, asked a red eye dementor, this dementor was from Calcutta, our entire ragging period he just did one thing, he shouted, he shouted again and he shouted some more.
I started my introduction, blah blah blah and then abruptly the fair guy on the floor stood up and said “Three thousand four hundred thirty six”.
A Four eyed Dementor laughed and said “Wrong, Do it again and this time I want volume”, Four eyed Dementor, one more furious Bengali.
It was then I realized when I saw a matchstick in his hand, he was calculating the volume of the room by keeping the matchstick as unit, I watched in horror as he started again to count length, breadth and height of the room in number of matchsticks and multiply them with no calculator or paper to come up with precise volume of the room in cubic matchsticks or else he will start over again.
By the midnight, Bhutani the fair guy (I came to know his name by then) was still trying to get the volume of the room accurately, Roy and Mahajan were in their 13th over of an invisible and imaginary cricket played with no ground, pitch, bat or bowl and it was umpired by S Patel, Everyone seemed to have forgotten me by now as I stood at the farthest corner of the room facing towards the wall when started singing national anthem for 37th time.