While the girls’ hostel walls are well guarded, the same cannot be accounted for the boys’ hostel. It has been proven again and again that no matter what the curfew time is, no matter what the rules are, we justify that ‘boys will remain BOYS’.
Hostellers and money cannot see eye to eye. The monthly allowances exhaust in barely a couple of weeks. But that does not take away all the fun we could have. As stressed earlier, hostellers are pretty much known for standing by their hardcore ‘no regrets’ policy. So here is a badass story being narrated in a totally non-How-I-met-your-mother style.
The Taj Redemption in “65”
The Day. Last exam. No after-exams plans made (the usual).
Friends. While some packed their bags and headed towards their beloved homes after being separated for 10 long eternal days, others gathered at their usual addas, making plans. Amidst all the cheers and jeers, the plans circled primarily around watching movies, going for bowling, eating outside or simply getting drunk!
And then there was always that one moment when someone says- ‘Kuch feel nahi aarahi’. Let’s go for a nightout. It had been shaping up as a mundane semester anyway without a single nightout.
Now the taxing question which needed to be stressed upon– Where? The choice or more so the lack of it, was just too bemusing.
India Gate. Check. Murthal. Check. Bangla Sahib. Check. Rajouri. Check. Movie at Regal. Check. Marriage at South Ext. Check. Frigging Delhi roads. Check. Check and CHECK.
#Fun fact 1: Never sign away the devious mind of a hosteller. Always, trust him to make the most unsound, stupid argument or in this case, suggest something totally ‘Crazy’! ‘Chalo Agra chalte hai?’
Heads turned. Everyone at the table gazed with piercing black eyes. I had started believing that ‘eyes could kill’ and if not for that genius someone who had started laughing, I was a dead man.
But then that’s the thing. Hostellers need that little push. That little inspiration. That small spark.
The pseudo-hostellers packed their bags to move to their cushy warm homes and enjoy a quiet dinner. The adventurous ones, got ready with their empty pockets and cozy and comfy jackets.
The itinerary was decided. Plain and simple. Carry no bags. Have some cash. Leave the hostel positively by 9pm. Make a dash for the Agra local. Reach Agra by 1-1.30. Rule the streets like a boss. Be mesmerized by the beautiful sunrise. Attain salvation. Click a few colossal pictures. Have breakfast and try to make it in one piece to the hostel.
Total expenditure=20 (Entry to the Taj) + 20 (Auto rides) + 25 (Breakfast)
If you are wondering about the cost of travelling via the local, and if it was actually Rs. 0, then the answer to your doubts is– YES. We travelled without a ticket, banking on the fact that tickets are generally not checked in a local. ‘Badass-ery’ is a habit of the hostellers.
#Fun fact 2: Plans made, never work, especially if they are made by engineering hostellers. They will be amended a 100 times during the event execution itself. Engineers would take almost everything into account. But that’s just it. It is always ‘ALMOST’.
Well, things went better than planned, except that we did not take the local train journey into account. The reeking compartment, the dirty floors and those lost faces had just spiced up the redemption extravaganza even more. The colors of Delhi. All inside a small compartment. Within the confines of a battered old train.
#Fun fact 3: Hostellers can survive in any condition. They are true survivors of any calamity. And hence the train journey did not deter their spirits much.
Sunrise. Sitting on the cold marble steps and looking at those first rays of the sun redeemed us from the tiresome journey. The bone-breaking journey was long forgotten as we stared across the horizon. That one moment of pure bliss is just inexplicable through words.
Capturing the scenic beauty in our hearts, for the days to come, we soon found ourselves at a dingy restaurant for breakfast. By the time the waiter arrived with our food, he was surprised to find 10 sunk heads on the table. ‘Being tired’ had just earned a new definition. After a quick meal, we found ourselves back on the glutted ‘choking’ train.
The journey could have been cheap-ass, but it was totally worth it and priceless. Those four pale walls of the hostel had never looked better before. The stuffy air seemed homely. The mattress-less bed and hard pillow seemed better than all the comfy cushions and eiderdowns in the world.
The Taj Redemption was complete. College started the very next day. But when I look back at the chain of events, I realize that as planned out, ‘feel toh aa hi gayi’.
• The author is an ardent fan of Ted Moseby.
• The author does not encourage the travelling in a local train without a ticket. Though you do save 150/- per person.
• The author believes that there is no dearth of options while making a plan, just make sure that you have your friends by your side. Even the most boring place would come alive.
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