Monday, August 09, 2004

Never Been Ragged

Wheezing past my second year at Delhi University at a characteristic speed of three hundred and sixty five days a year give or take the vacations, I suddenly find myself at the crossroads. Arguably the last summer vacation of my life (the third year is spent scouting for a job and the fourth; looking after it) at this juncture, I am in a mood to reminiscence.

From the very-certain-of-herself teenager who left Kolkata (it was still Calcutta then) to the girl who lost her way in the maze of Delhi buses, life has been a rumbling journey on a Delhi Transport Corporation bus generously punctuated with the stops. Like my second day in college when I fractured my leg, trying to jump off a speeding bus (that too in block heels) because I had miscalculated and hence missed my stop. Like the month we took off from our classes for our fest. Like the week our professors refused to teach us, because they decided to reverse roles and mass bunk. Or the days when we slipped out from the Maths classes to go to PVR or Connaught Place or even good old Kamla Nagar (the Connaught Place of Delhi University), anything to avoid Prof. RRM (name withheld even without request)

There have been days when all that my wardrobe held for me was a dirty pair of jeans and a crumpled T-Shirt. I donned them for who cares for etiquette at an age when "we were young and restless; we needed to unwind" But true to Bryan Adams, I guess nothing can last forever.........Like the ragging sessions where my friend Upasana who hadn't a pair of Salwar suits in the world; had to get a dozen stitched for that one month. Like the smell of the college loo where I hid for three hours in order to escape being ragged. Like being there at Rajghat, the day Bill Clinton was there. Like squatting on the streets in my brand new Salwar Kmaeez and shouting "Hamaari Maange Puri Karo!"

Then there was the computer laboratory. The great misadventure. Where computers crashed at the innocence of my well-meant C++ programs. When seven of us sat at one terminal not because it was the only connected to the Internet, but because we wanted to read each other's "private mails". Where the air-conditioner offered us respite from the summer of forty-five degrees. We stayed there till we were driven out.
When we chatted with unknown netizens we knew we had arrived. When we hacked email accounts and fought over our favourite terminals we knew we belonged.

From here to eternity, God alone knows where destiny will take us- Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Hughes, Cadence, IBM, Microsoft, - the names whirling round us in a labyrinth of bewilderment. Sometimes it scares us, like now, when they are saying that the bubble has burst. Sadly though, what I’ll always regret about college is that despite all the fun that I had I probably remain the only one in my class who's never been ragged.

[Written during my summer vacations, 2001]


Nalin Ladiwala said...

I always thought I wrote rather well, ofcourse that was till I read your blog. great work, only if u wrote me such mails. keep blogging !!!
Some how i get the feeling that you are at the threshold of a new life. Best of luck

Oirpus said...

Same here!