Exactly an year back, we were all cribbing and complaining. Be it the roads or water supply, be it power or food - each day was providing an avenue for us to complain. Every step or decision of the Institute was equal to stirring the Hornet's Nest! There wasn't anything that the Institute thought of and we accepted it gracefully. It would require nothing less than a noisy and a chaotic 'Open House' with the CEO and a perseverance of the highest order to convince us that whatever they intended to do is in our best interest. It took a term to prove us right, atleast me, when my GPAs started skyrocketing like the indices did during the stock market boom! (Trust me - my indices since then have no clue about a downturn)
Now it's an year or more - things have changed drastically. From an erratic to a minimum 23 hours free flow of power & water, from Hostel food to the much awaited Ho(s)tel-like food, from an internet connection that proudly worked like a 'Non-Executive Chairman' to a '25MB YouTube video downloadable' speed - it has all undergone a sea-change. If at all a promise that has gone unfulfilled, it is the ROAD which is still in a dark tunnel with no much hopes of seeing it in daylight. But we need to compromise on that, since we live in a country where many people who have been casting their votes for decades haven't seen roads till date :-)
So with most things put in order as promised and the complaint box carrying very little issues (so did the Facebook Wall aka 'Grievance Cell' of many a hostelites) and having completed over an year in the Hostel, our plans of celebrating 'Hostel Day' materialized on 04.12.2009. We were all there - The CEO, Administration Dept., IT Dept., Faculty members, Hostelites and a few Day Scholars. Special lunch was arranged and all the bigwigs of the Institute queued up with the students, waiting for their turn to take food. It was a 'between moderate to sumptuous' meal which was relished by everyone. That was followed by a casual chit-chat between me and Parwez along with the CEO, sharing a few jovial talks, our initial days in the hostel and some of the pros & cons of being in the hostel which is miles away from civilization! Soon the rest had gathered and it was time for the 'Hostel Day' proceedings to start. The CEO, Director-Research and GM-IT were seated on stage and lit the lamp, a traditional way of starting any event at IFIM. The mood amongst the audience was upbeat as usual and add to it, the CEOs inaugural speech, which normally reflects intellect as well joviality.
The programme then began with a much awaited (to finish) prayer and soon it was time for the Holly-Glitz (Sounds similar to Bolly-Glitz? But here it means 'Hostelwaalon ka naach gaana') I don't recall much as to who did what since basically everyone did the same. But let me try my best tickling the memory chip - Yeah! There was a solo song by Bharath Shenoy, a 'Hinglish' solo by Richard (Hinglish because it was a Hindi song in an English accent), a solo dance by Paulomi... Hey hang on! Her solo dance stole the show (and of course the peace of that 'scapegoat' whose name was yelled at every other pelvic thrust of Paulomi). Basically, the whole song was all about what she doesn't need - as if she were to say "I care a zilch". Some of the lines of that song were "Mujhe dil vil nakko tera deva.... baD-baD nakko, maTT-maTT nakko..... pak-pak nakko.." (To put it in simpler words, she danced to the tunes of 'Aika Dajiba', a Marathi album song). Nithya came out with another classic number from 'Murder' (Dil ko hazaar baar roka roka roka). But standout performance of the noon was from Anindita (I hope I am right with her name) who sung "Wherever Whenever" of Shakira - ditto to Shakira's voice. TTs came up with a mini-dance to the tunes of "Say na say na...." from 'Bluffmaster' - BTW, by TT, I meant Tanaya and Tanistha.
But there was a twist in the tale, when the students rallied behind our Finance Professor Dr. Raju Indukoori. This man has got a physique and dance steps which would put even the youth like us to shame - and he did exactly that when he entertained the audience with a jig to the famous Prabhudeva-featuring-song "Mukkala, muqabla...." (Listening to that song now) Varun and Sijin managed the show with their MC-ing, some of our omipresent MCs too popped up every now and then, did enterPAINED the crowd :-) But who can forget the 'dark horse' Amit Pandey, my buddy, my bhai, my duet-partner in bathroom singing (adjacent bathroom) - his mimickry of several Professors and a few buddies of ours. He just rose to fame with his sublime act. That was followed by 'Rose distribution' as a token of welcome to the students of November 2009-11 batch - Most guys missed a chance to give a rose to their current favourite girls from the November batch. I could see a grim on a select few faces as their favourite girl was being hijacked for a moment by others!
Then it was time for the Cricket match - Faculty v/s Students. The Faculty team went into the match as underdogs, but soon started giving nightmare to the students who bowled first. Sixes and boundaries never seemed to dry up even after the power-play - It was only powerful-play! Ace-pacers like Dipayan, Tabarak, Laloo were leaking runs. They were being driven, cut, hooked, lofted, glanced. Star-packed Students' team were in the backfoot even before halfway of the Faculties' innings. Finally, they ended their innings with around 80+ score in the alloted 8 overs. It was a daunting task for the Students who had to save face in front of a full-gallery girls who were viewing it from their Hostel galleries. The innings of the Students did not begin with a blitzkreig as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. After 2-3 wickets and with still little under 25-30 runs on the board, it was me who walked into bat, oozing with confidence. To deliver was Dr. Indukoori with me on strike on a legstump guard. He came with a nice rhythm and bowled a FULL TOSS and then BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was on target and the first ball I faced hit me on MY MIDDLE STUMP!! The blow made a noise 'ChhaTTT' and I was down with terrible pain in my OBVIOUS and the abdomen. It proved to be a laughter-bit initially, but, soon did everyone realize that my condition was serious. I was not able to stand, hop, buckle, walk though I did everything of those!! I was surrounded by all, leaving little space for me to breathe. As I was on my knees, running came Dr. Indukoori, the culprit, saying "Rub IT, rub IT". I was now under the threat losing the POWER completely, forever, with no results from the much-acclaimed advice of Dr. Indukoori to RUB! ;-) (My 'Eligible Bachelor*' status message was under a potential threat) I had to discontinue batting with just a ball faced. We eventually lost the match with a huge difference. The underdogs beat us like cats and dogs :-)
We were back to the Hostel now. It was time to wrap up things and the prize distribution followed. Those who performed were given mementos. Winners of various sports events that were conducted earlier that week were also rewarded. After the Cricketing debacle I had earlier in the evening, I was surprisingly given the 'Mr. Hostelite' title. There were strong contenders like Vikas, Sijin, Sunny, Moses et al. But guess it was given to me as a consolatory prize (with due respect). Research is still on to ascertain why was it conferred on me. But I have taken it proudly. After 2 narrow escapes earlier during the match (one was the bouncer that hit me on my ear during practice session), I had something to cheer for. That's exactly what the CEO also told me while giving away the title which I accepted with a wide grin. Afterall, I had emerged out as a 'dark-horse' against a bunch of strong contenders. The 'DJ Nite' followed soon and the hostel was lit up as if we were to celebrate an early Christmas/New Year. Girls dressed exotically and boys surrounding them, foregoing no opportunity to dance with them. Some hearts might have been exchanged already, some are lost, some might be broken. How about me? Naah....! Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya...........
* - The 'Eligble Bachelor' tag has remained safe. There hasn't been any nerve disfunctioning. EveryTHING is still symmetrical ;-) (Yippeeeee!!!!)
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