Tag Archives: Hostel

The Predicament

By Joybrato Dutta

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My eyes blinked. My eyelids fluttered. My hands trembled, as I tried to reach the button, which was just two metres away from me. A thousand voices had formed allegiance in my brain and were asking me to not press it. However, I was seeking that one voice that would make me aware of the repercussion. What if I am not supposed to press the button? What if it’s meant to be this way? The voices in my head told me, it would be better to leave it. My life could be much better. Something better might be waiting for me once the moment passed.

The excruciatingly painful moment just didn’t pass. I looked around. I was in a gas chamber, or a jail, or maybe the vault of a bank. I just couldn’t tell. My vision was blurred. All I could see was the button. I was like Arjun, the great archer from Mahabharata. Well, probably Arjun on acid. Because for some inexplicable reason my hands refused to follow my orders.

The sound in the room was deafening. It was like someone scratching a black board with nails. God knows what caused that noise. What had I done to deserve this? What happened last night? I tried looking through my blurry eyes. I couldn’t spot anyone. Where were my friends? Where was the girl who danced with me last night? I remember drinking with her.

Oh damn! She got me a drink. Did she mix anything in my drink? Why couldn’t I remember? I just remember leaving my friends and sitting in her car. My friends had warned me about such poison ivies. “Poison Ivy? She looked more of a damsel in distress” I retorted. “There’s a bitch in every bitchaari”, my friends cautioned me. Why didn’t I listen to them? Why do I have to always surrender to my stubbornness? Look what it has landed me into. Visuals from the movie Hostel started flashing in my head. Young men being castrated and lynched to satisfy the fetish of some rich Arab.

I couldn’t let that happen. I tried to gather the might and approached the button that would decide my destiny. The voices in my head tried to stop me. But I had already turned my back on common sense. As my hand neared the button the cacophony in my head increased. I hope I am making the right decision. I hope a beautiful day waits on the other side of this button. I hope I am ready to face it.

And then with all my strength, with all the power in my body I got up and pressed the button. The sound stopped. My alarm clock simply stopped. And just like that another day of struggling to get out of my bed was over. I can simply hope the day is worth the effort.

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RIP Ex College Heroes

By Joybrato Dutta

What is it about college that we love the most? Education? Women? Strangers? Or is it the sense of power that suddenly gets bestowed on us. The power to handle situations. The power to stay unshackled. The power to write our destiny.

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This post is not about preaching the philosophies of life, nor is it about a moment of reminiscence after gulping a few shots. This is about mourning the death of my hero. The hero within me. Who was brutally murdered by maturity, responsibility and EMI.

The ‘bring it on’ attitude during college days inspired me to win, to beat the opposition mercilessly. Today, it quietly whispers ‘Survive’ in my ears.

Hostel life was all about being a strong bond. There was a reason day-boarders didn’t mess with hostelites. There was a reason day-boarders never dared to sit on a chair which had ‘H’ inscribed on it. Such a strong bond comes from trust. People say it takes a lot of time to build trust. But in hostel it’s different. It’s almost like it’s written on their faces that you can trust them. And of course after seeing each other naked for a year you can trust each other with your life. (Is that why a man trusts his wife? Sorry I got digressed)

Fearlessness is another quality that strengthens the bond. The biggest challenges – the Warden, the Dean, the HOD, the nerdy day-boarder who does not believe in the term ‘mass bunk’, the seductive vamp who invariably tries to loosen the bond, can be dealt easily. Of course the seductive vamp problem is dealt differently.

College taught us to be fearless. Fuck logic, fuck ethics. Just be fearless. Just support your friend. Precisely, why I could go watch a movie with my girlfriend during weekdays, because there was a fearless friend ready to give proxy.  Precisely, why I could spend all my money on a stupid gift, because a friend will always give me the money to recharge my SIM card.

We never cared that we could be expelled. With exams round the corner we would still bunk college and go out for trips. We didn’t have the fear of empty wallets. Yes those were the days we did things we felt like.

n563520795_429786_6491Today, I have a job. I stay in an apartment in Mumbai where the rent is more than what my pocket-money used to be. I have narrowed down my objectives to that one dream. To achieve that I need money.

There have been times I felt like reacting with as much anger I had then. But today I am scared. Scared of losing my job, scared of not being able to pay my rent, scared of not being able to pay my EMIs.

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Ya, post college we all get a make-over.

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Today that bond hasn’t weakened but we all do have second thoughts. Today most of us have shouldered one family-responsibility at least. A lot of us have to repay the education loan.

Today we have learnt to take a lot of shit. We’ve learnt to bow heads. We’ve learnt to compromise, to lose, which often is the self respect. Today I feel I am no different from that ass-licking nerdy I hated during college.

We all have a role model. A hero, who inspires us, teaches us to overcome hurdles, gives us the strength to believe in a second chance and to stand up for it. A hero who teaches us to fight for what we believe.