To err is human, to arrr is a pirate– Ancient Sri Lankan proverb.
To err is human, to arrr is Jagga– DCE Hostel’s motto.
For the uninitiated, Jagga or V. Jeganathan is the head warden of all the boys hostels at Delhi College of Engineering. Since time immemorial, he has stopped students at random and asked them a heavily encrypted (1024 bit secret key) question. To an average fresher these words seem like pseudo random utterance of a series of “Arrrrr’s”. As you spend four years in the hostels and as you heighten your sense of common sensibilities, you come to realize that the closest possible english interpretation of his question is “Arrr you a hastellerrr”. This is a trick question because irrespective of the answer, you know you are royally screwed.
How do you know that you are a true hosteller? Having spend the last six years of my life in hostels (school+college), I think I have by now devised a common set of things-you-do that can testify the fact that you are a true hosteller. Mind you, the list is pretty extensive and I plan to write down only a subset (say from around 12.01 pm to 5.59 pm everyday) of it here (hence the #1 thingy).
- A typical day begins at around 12.01 pm (or later) with loud screams of “Die, Mothafucka Die”. You realize that despite feeding on you the entire night, KKMTKPJ 1.0 (ref: Itch Hikers Guided to My Room) are still thirsty for your blood and you still have a few centilitres remaining.
- Then dawns the realization that you have missed half the lectures and labs (=>detention). This triggers a frantic set of phone calls and messages with the major data component as “Yaar/Bhai/BC sota reh gya. Proxy lagayi? Next main laga dio.”
- You are thirsty and there isn’t a drop of water in your room. You scout your room for any bottle of pepsi that might have survived your friends. If you fail, you ask the people around, “Yaar you have any water.” Friend replies, “Nope. Beer hai”. You quench your thirst with the first non alcoholic beverage you find and proceed.
- You still aren’t in your senses but you faintly remember that brushing your teeth is important. Now starts an unoptimized search for your brush. You find everything from the lost shoe polish to the missing slice of pizza from the party last month, but not your brush.
- Fed up, you take just the toothpaste and go ahead with the business wondering why the paste tastes funny. It is already too late when you realize that the paste was in fact ODOMOS cream (a mosquito repellent). You embrace yourself for the next ordeal. While excusing your body of the solids/semi-solids/plasma, you are under tremendous mental pressure by the thoughts of the water running out or organised insect strikes.
- Next, you step into the hostel mess where a huge board reads, “The Food has been tested on mice and all other life forms that we deem unimportant. Food contains no carcinogens or flavour. Side effects may include die-whore-ia”. The menu, which has been the same for over 3 years now, consists of some slimy objects and water with curd mixed in the ratio 1042:1. You pray for a stable stomach and push the food down your food pipe.
- You walk back amidst rumours of the results being declared today and blah blah. You check if the bathroom still has running water. If it does, you suddenly remember that you had a bath just three days back. If it doesn’t, you can’t help not bathing anyways. Moral of the story: Skip your bath.
- With every cloth that you own now being only a shade of gray (because of the dhobi), you pick up the least stinkiest one. Now, you obviously don’t have a deo, so you ask your friends for it while giving lame excuses like,” Kal khatam ho gya yaar”. If you fail, you just spray the HIT can you have. Hostellers wouldn’t notice. You don’t care about the day scholars and girls don’t talk to you anyways. You are safe.
- On your way you realize that you have no idea what lecture it is or what time it starts. You try to call your friends only to remember that the little balance you had last night was exhausted when a committed friend asked your fone for ‘5 minutes’.
- You somehow manage to reach your classroom 45 minutes late, give lame excuses like ‘i was busy in a project’, ‘i was helping a blind man cross the road’ or ‘the queue for food in the mess was long’. You hone your drawing skills (ref: Egg-jams), get the much needed attendance and proceed to the mech canteen.
- In the canteen, you are found saying things like, “Rs 10 dede yaar. Kal wapas kar dunga. Pakka”. If no one sympathizes, you try to act as friendly as humanly possible with the day scholar nearby who happens to have his tiffin. Whatever be the outcome, you try to hitch a ride back to the hostel and prepare for the things to follow.
You now enter into a completely new dimension. More on it later.*
*Terms and conditions applied. Subject to viewership and reader comments 😛