Wednesday, 26 September 2007

One Night In The Capital

“Desperado... Why don't you come to your senses?”, I crooned for the nth time that night, much to the chagrin of the Bulk and The Hairy Hick who were seated beside me. “I'm trying to catch some sleep here, you ass,” the Bulk cursed, and gave another of his huge, Neanderthal yawns. My habit of singing while travelling has gone down badly with quite a few people, which I must say, is not too surprising. Not that I sing badly. Out of touch, I guess, would be the right phrase. Sixteen more yawns, five 'chole'-vendors and four hours later, we found ourselves in the capital, thanks to a bumpy ride on the rickety Uttarakhand Parivaahan that we have all come to recognize. A bumpier ride on an auto-rickshaw and we finally arrived at our destination- IIT Delhi, and the occasion was their cultural fest- Rendezvous, which, for some reason, is attended (and mispronounced) by most of R-land.

Picture this- you are exercising your bowels early in the morning and halfway through, the taps run dry. Nonplussed? You wouldn't be, if you were an IITD student. Four years in a place like that, and you'll never find any situation in life complicated, thanks to their water-for-an-hour-a-day system and the weird nomenclature of their blocks (A-long, A-short, A-perpendicular, A-parallel, A-tangential, to name a few.). “It's 10, right? Hurry! 'The Best Chick in Town' must have started,” advised the annoyingly huge first-year localite whom the Hick knew beforehand owing to the fact that they were both from the same village. I say annoyingly huge because his 6 foot something height was giving me an inferiority complex. I looked like a schoolboy next to him. I look like a schoolboy next to most people, but even so, a first year?

Anyway, getting back to the point, 'The Best Chick in Town' was picked and awarded. What do you do when some of the hottest girls in the country stand right in front of you? Well, nothing at all, if you are either Dela or the Bulk. True to the spirit of LitSec, all we did was gape at each other. (Oh my God, there is something wrong with me! I must see a doc about this.) “Now what?”, we asked the first year, to which he went on to name a dozen other voyeuristic events. “Isn't there a quiz or anything of that sort?” I asked. “What sort of a geek are you?” came the reply. Proving that I wasn't a geek meant I had to endure a 4 hour long ramp show. Halfway through it, the Bulk fell asleep. “Lets get out of here,” I suggested. “No way! We have bunked classes to come here. There are events for two more days. We can't go back now!” is what I thought would be the Bulk's response. But I was wrong, though. All he said was, “Yeah, sure. Let's go.” In order to ensure that our trip to the capital wasn't entirely fruitless, we had a couple of pav bhajis and half a dozen chuskis just before we left. (And after all this, the Bulk still claims he's on a diet.) An hour later, we were in the same rickety Uttarakhand bus again.

Friday, 7 September 2007

The Knights At Fort Knox

R-land has more than its share of absurd rules, none perhaps more ludicrous than the fortification of the sole domicile of the feminine half, oops, sorry, one-twentieth of the insti. What is perhaps even more depressing is that the same fate has befallen the Fachchas. RJB has become completely out of bounds for every single guy who, even remotely, looks like a sophomore. Despite all these huge hurdles that stood in their way, four valiant sophomores, viz. the Reptile Legend, iPot, The Bulk and Dela, took the task of sneaking into the fortress upon themselves. (Yeah, I often refer to myself in third person. It makes the narrative seem less boring.) 'One for all and all for one' was to be our motto, but we realized later that the P&I 2nd Year Batch had patented the tagline. (If you didn't get that, contact me, or better still, contact iPot.)

Like most dangerous expeditions, half our team chickened out at the eleventh hour. It was finally down to just the Reptile and me. At the stroke of nine, while the rest of the world prepared to go to bed, and the rest of IITR was busy planting bombs and detonating them, the two of us set out on our journey....

At the entrance of RJB stood our first hurdle, or rather MY first hurdle, as the Reptile had slipped away to Lipton with the pretext of getting himself a cup of coffee, leaving me all alone with the blood-thirsty security guard.

I found some strength in the fact that if I couldn't come up with a convincing story to get past this guy, noone else could. After all, I was Dela. 'Notice lagaana hai, bhaiya', I yelled to the guard, though my mind was still lost in self-admiration at the brilliant fib I had come up with at such short notice. The watchman, though, contorted his face and gaped at me as if I had just mumbled something in Swahili. 'Notice lagaana hai, bhaiya', I repeated, and this time, I even drew some sort of rectangle in mid air, in a desperate attempt to make the dolt understand. 'TV Room?', came the prompt reply. Disgusted, I was planning my next move. 'He doesn't understand me anyway. I might as well dish out a few of the many Hindi expletives I have picked up during my stay here', I thought. Just in the nick of time, the Reptile arrived, in true Bollywood-hero fashion and two minutes later we were in front of the mess that we all know and hate. Huge posters, in bright yellow, magenta and a dozen other gay colours, greeted us with the message, 'The-Act-That-Must-Not-Be-Named is Banned'. By the way, I'm avoiding the r-word as a security precaution. For all you know there might even be a clause in the SC Ruling that makes even the mention of the word a punishable offence.

The Reptile and I parted ways, as we set off for G33 and F46 respectively, in search of our progeny. I entered F46 and was distraught to find my former room with everything neatly stacked in its right place. What was worse, both my kids were busy studying! My legacy, it seems, has died away. My entry sent my 'betas' into a state of hysteria. They were suddenly were suddenly all, ‘Sir, bait jao, sir’, ‘pani lata hun, sir, ‘blah blah blah sir’ and so on and so forth. In an attempt to gauge my popularity among the fachchas, I asked them, 'Room Baap se mile kya?' I was not sure whether to be elated by the fact that someone had finally understood my Hindi or to be disappointed by the reply that followed. ‘Both our room baaps are useless wimps, sir. They both have pathetic GPAs.’ I was shattered. Damn these fachchas. Why do these guys reduce people to just a number? Son, indeed. I was beginning to hate both these creatures that had been thrusted upon my poor room. I decided to leave the room baaps topic aside, and went on to tell them a dozen tales from the days of yore- all starring, written, directed and narrated by Dela. Their naivete surprised me. I couldn’t believe my luck when they actually fell for the story in which I told them that I was responsible for the bandage that a certain Really Pathetic Man was sporting lately. I felt a sudden urge to reveal my true identity to them. ‘Luke, I am your father.’ I decided against it, though. After all, the moron had called me a useless wimp. Some day, I shall reveal myself to him, and while I’m at it, I might as well chop off his hand. May the Force be with me…