Thursday, July 8, 2010

Induction to the Rest of Our lives

Many of us were with parents or local guardians. Many were proud to have landed there alone - albeit after many misadventures. One thing that was common among all of us was the anticipation, the fear, the exhilaration, the butterflies in tummies... the first day of college.

The sight which greeted us did nothing to clear away the tension - whether it was the potholes in front of the minuscule building, or the sinister looking guys who could have been either our seniors, or the local mafia! From the first day we walked into that building, till the last farewells, we were learning.

The learning curve was a straight line; and we were clumsily stepping over everyones' toes, including our own, trying to learn the ropes! Some of the "Firsts" we learnt in the little white building, the red-bricked, thatched roof restaurant and the 'natural' cafeteria of our college:

1. The first time we Laughed at the face of adversity - literally! We had 'sessions' with our seniors, were nervous to the pit of our stomachs, but ended up giggling like nervous Mr.Bean - causing only the 'sessions' to be more intensive. We then grew to laughing about the prospects of failing a year, getting beaten up by unfriendly local population, not getting a job..... and many more....

2. The first time we wore a 6 meter drape called sari, or tied the chef scarf. Also would like to add ... not just wearing them, but also washing them, ironing them and stealing whatever piece we had lost! We also learnt to flick knives, whisks, chef caps, aprons..... just so that we could attend a class we would otherwise get thrown out of. Heard of beg, borrow, steal? We added life to that !

3. The first time we slept with our eyes open - an art mastered after intensive training in the Samudra classrooms, especially after the challenging lunch! Other things included completing journals (I could write a whole essay on THAT one!), writing scandalous chits to one another, honing finer skills like dreaming, flirting, caricature and food-tasting!

4. The first time we ate fish, meat, rubber......oops beef, and everything resembling food that was on the plate without complaining.... ofcourse, we would go and kick the batchmate who made it later! Not to mention the first time we were coerced into eating dessert with a generous helping of table salt -we call it innovation. And how can we forget the frustration of having to eat meat with cutlery - while avoiding eye contact with seniors!

5.The first time we sat in/rode/owned a real bike! From identifying Yamahas, Hero Hondas, Yezdis, Suzuki samurai and bullets, we graduated to the art of identifying whose bike had just turned round the corner. Also the first time most of us have fallen off / flown of a moving bike! And we all had proud scars to show off!

6. The first time we tasted Ethyl alcohol ... in class. For the record, it was called cocktail session and the end of the class saw a lot of multiple personality disorders.... this progressed to many million gallons finding their way into our lives !

7. The first time we knew what 'fluttering heart' meant... ofcourse, hearts on sleeves, heart aches and heart breaks all followed in due course.....

8.The first time we understood what 'Politically correct' meant - by doing the politically wrong thing first. It is a wonder how we managed to have broken every rule in the book ..... and be pulled out of trouble by the most unexpected quarters! Also must mention here, the first time we felt the practical hues of the words 'playing politics' !

9. The first time we put our lives (or whatever we thought was worth our lives) in the hands of friends... creating bonds that were to last for a long time. The first time we fought someone else's battles, cried someone else's loss, covered someone else's mistake, paid someone else's bills...... we discovered friendship!

10. First time words meant more than words - Attitude problem, counselling, journals, Sitara, Gokulam, Oberoi Interviews, Fandango, Vellar gang, Chefcomp, ATKT - condoned...... and many more. The times we laughed till we cried or the times we discovered emotions ranging from envy, jealousy, inferiority, superiority, to infatuation.

We are one of the lucky ones .... One could fill pages with the memories from the little white building and the red bricked restaurant and the amazing natural cafeteria...... but words wouldn't do them justice, would they?


  1. hero hondas,samurais.yezdis aaand..the kinetic honda:))which i hold on to still..will hold on till niki has ridden it atleast once.. rides during loadshedding:)

  2. how could i forget the first vehicle i crashed???? :-)

  3. @A, college life is almost always the one that creates maximum nostalagia! Thanks