Engineering to Events management – The twisted paths of a new generation kid! Part II

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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)…

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Engineering to Events management – The twisted paths of a new generation kid! Part I

I will admit that out of approximately 150 working days in an academic year for my affiliated university, where I did my engineering, I must have attended wholly around 20 classes. About 10 bunked midway. The rest, bunked wholly. And well .. I wouldn’t claim to be repentant and everything ( shut up, consciousness ! ). But I enjoyed every bit of my college life. Almost… Well not fully… Allow me to explain.

I started college in the monsoon of August. I mean do we Indians have any other season other than summer and monsoon? 😛 I remember when my mom ,sis and bro along with a couple of aunts, and some uncles and some cousins and few of their friends, waved me off from the railway station, as I set journey down the path, that my dad and mom had diligently thought of (read stubbornly fixed) since my inception! I was seriously homesick and I missed my mom and those aunts , and those few uncles and my cousins and their few friends , like hell after reaching the place, that would eventually bring about a lot of memories for me. Chennai. The land of sambar vadas and jasmine flowers. The land of Rajinikanth and MGR. The land of my future love(s) and heart breaks.

The first year was pure torture. The whole ‘tamil’ factor was very unsettling. It started from the dinner , the very first day of arrival. As I was given a plate, bucket, mug, mattress and a pillow at the mess hall, I was reminded of being taken in as a prisoner in some central jail.  As I watched , there was a ‘master’ (tamilians address head chef this way). He rang a bell, and out came few lungi clad minions the kind of what u saw in ‘Chennai Express’ complete with long greasy oily hair, coloured vests and holy threads on their arms. Carrying in between them , were 3 huge vessels having rice, some curry (that I till now have no idea what it was), and buttermilk. Like hungry poor somalian children ,we all have seen pathetically waiting for morsels of red cross food, we were in the queue. As I came up the counter, my eyes were roving over the entire setup ( which in hindsight, I shudn’t have 😦 ). As I extended my plate out, I saw one of the hairy minions, digging into the rice vessel with a plate. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was, the said minion, had pasty pulps of rice in between his nails, something so long, that it would have put Wolverine’s claws to so much shame, that he would have cut his own balls off with them claws! I’m not kidding folks, even though I would have dearly preferred that, to this. However it’s true. Moving on , some semi solid oozy mass of curry was smacked on my plate. The next scene, is what took my entire concept of disgust to heights hitherto unexplored nor felt. As I came on to the buttermilk serving minion, I saw him dipping a cup into the tummy height vessel, that was being kept on a stool. HIS ENTIRE HAIRY ARMPITS WERE WET WITH THE BUTTERMILK AS HE SCOOPED IT INTO THE CUP, TO SLOSH IN MY PLATE!! The moment he did this , I threw up in my mouth and I ran, and slept for the very first time in my life hungry and starving. And it followed every single night from then for some or the other displays of hair, skin, cockroaches (in cauliflower curry), frogs (in chicken gravy) and even baby rats(amid sacks of potatoes).

After tons of ragging , getting physically handled, I scraped wounded through engineering. As the flight rolled for takeoff from Chennai to Dubai, to meet my parents for my semester leave, I wished I never should come back. And to add to my desperation, my own parents didn’t recognise me at the airport arrivals. They were expecting their portly chubby 90 kg son to walk out. However I walked past them smiling, and they never knew it was me. I then went back , and called them out. As they turned around, I still remember, both of their mouth’s opened wide in shock. I now weighed 67 kg and my oversize clothes flapped around me. My mom cried and hugged me. My dad just stood there. Rest of my leave was spent in getting new clothes, mom fussing around on menus for new variety foods, and siblings smirking at my college stories. I was at peace. But not for long.

(to be continued)…….