Returning back to Chennai was a tumultuous situation for me. I regretted leaving again the safety and comfort of my family in Dubai, back to that horrible place called Chengalpattu(which is in no way, a part of Chennai. However ,for all intents and purposes, I’m gonna refer to it as only Chennai! :P). Finally again after lots of tears and hugs with mom (my dad is akin to a neanderthal caveman , when it comes to emotions. The maximum he does is grunt! ;)). Just kidding dad..
Landing back in Chennai, I went to my aunt’s place , which was my safehouse in Chennai. I went there for predominantly 3 reasons : money, non appendages dipped good homely Kerala food, and general happy time in the company of my cousins. From there, I again loaded my luggage and was on my way back to college after 2 days. But this time there was a major change in the wind. I was in 2nd year. The year where you shed your scared, feared and docile skin and is born again as a raging lion ( Singam if u prefer tamil! ;)). Landing back in the hostel, I was quick to find roomies, my favorite mechanical buddies Amith, Lijin, the I.T guy Arundas. Quickly settling down, we were eagerly waiting for the 1st years to come, waiting to play seniors! 🙂 At last they came, and the ragging began. I remember one day, when just going in and out of rooms, visiting to see which person had each room alloted, I witnessed 2 juniors each in every room, stripped to the bare necessities, (essential to prevent a gay atmosphere) ;). The very people who had been so muted and silent, that I had doubted if handful of them were even suffering with down’s syndrome or dyslexia, were seen giving punch dialogues and slapping their thighs, pushing and manhandling them poor juniors! I’m sure many of you might be wondering if I didn’t rag! 😛 Well, I discovered in that very year , that I’m a pacifist. I mean I get really mad and violent fits of temper. However I hate ragging, or physically manhandling anyone, just because I don’t feel it’s necessary. (Though towards the end, I had to change a bit of that too :P). The maximum ragging I did is make my juniors get me biscuits, recharge cards and do my records! 😛 ROFL… I’m sure my juniors who read this are gonna agree to this.
But soon after the initial stages , we all became one huge gang. The juniors did respect and love us , and in turn we helped them in studies( atleast others did :P), and helped them in their girl issues, other senior’s issues. In short, we molded into one big solid fraternity of brotherhood . By the way, none of us were called by our real names, in the hostel. Some of them were BBC, shaddy(underwear) 😛 , Dingan(superhero in malayalam comics), Annan(bro), Ashaan(master), Kotta(basket), Girigiri(gregary), Kunju(pygmy), Pappan(Padman), Thotti(long pole- Ananthu), Kanjan(druggie) etc.. ;). And some of them even leaked to the girls hostel and hence bacame famous in college.
Slowly I found my best friend. Gregary. The kickass, carribean beauty 😉 , as we used to make fun of him. However ,he remains one of the many assets I can count from college days till this day. Over the years, including batchmates and juniors , Pradeep, Ananthu, Rahul, Dhillroy,Clint, Hariprasad,Philip,Vysakh,Uwaise, Lijeen, Lijin, Finaz, Deepak, Nithun,Prasanth, Akhil, Aghil, Arun, Gokul, Shyam, Dilip etc were the members joining the roster of besties. All of us shared a passion for fun and adventure and mischief and whatnot. One of the best incidents till this day would be our nightly hostel bunking, from a 1×1 ft toilet grill on the 1st floor, slide down through a reinforced pipe, to walk 2 kms through dog security, paddy fields filled with thorns and thistles, shit filled by lanes, barbed wire, to the nearest junction called Padalam. Here interstate truckers used to come and hence there used to be 24×7 functional road side dhabba serving hot egg dosas, porotta, chicken, omelets, and teas! One of our such trip , proved to be the most memorable one. Gregary and me were leading a batch of newbies through the above said obstacles. It was a full moon night. We were returning after eating , and were stealthily running from cover to cover and reached the backside of our mess. As I was checking for securities or dogs, Lijeen(Kunju) suddenly exclaimed
“Aliya, Dheda oru tar itta roadu!!” (“Dude, See there is a tarred road!”)
I was thinking in the back of my mind, where the hell would there be a tarred road at the back of my hostel! However , the adrenaline pumping or the excitement of what we were doing, blurred my analytical skills temporarily and I walked on to the so called “road”, which was shining bright with the moon light. Wait! Shining? Do tar roads shine in moonlight? The next sequence of events happened in a blur. I heard a “PLONK” and Lijeen vanished from sight. I ran to see what happened and “PLOOONKK” , I sank into the so called tar road, which turned out to be the fricking mess canal, where all the previous night’s waste food , soapy water and kitchen waste was thrown!!! 😦 It stank to almighty hell and it was till my neck. I was so shocked that I lost all sense of bearing for a second. The next moment I saw Gregary who had walked front of us , avoiding the “tar” road, laughing hard rolling all over the ground. I could only stare with contempt and disgust as I came out of the canal, smelling like a year old putrid shit and waste.Lijeen was already out and looking at me , with what I can remember as of now, guilty and confused. We walked all the way back, climbed the pipe, got inside the toilet through the window and entered the room, where out junior customers for the food packets we brought were waiting. As they saw me and lijeen coming out the toilet, they looked shocked. And then they covered their noses and started roaring in laughter . All we could do was strip and throw the clothes away, bath 8 times to feel human again and then laugh with everyone else later ! These are the very memories that I find now, to form what constitutes my college life. Stinky , blobby , cheerful and friendly nostalgic memories.
Some of you might have been thinking ,I’ve till now avoided purposely the topic of love and heart breaks in Chennai. Of mine and my friends. Of true love and time pass affairs. Maybe , those of you reading this , should take a deep breath and settle down. I promise not to make it sensational. 😛
(to be continued)…