Sunday, 12 July 2015

2 Years since JS Hall, 2 months since separation...

They say if you stay at a place long enough, you become that place. Being a guy who never had to stay away from home for more than a couple of weeks at a stretch, the prospect of adapting in a new abode was both exciting and debilitating. But with time, JS Hall, the celebrated Mumbai University boys hostel situated right next to the lavish Marine Drive, embraced me like anything. And as I complete two long months since I permanently moved out of the hostel, courtesy me not being a student anymore, I decided to reminisce the good old times, yet again. 

Class is so evident. Talking about mitra. :D

Induction into a coveted B school was always going to be interesting, but induction into the closely knit coven of hostel mates was definitely a bit more demanding! Details of the induction shall be omitted to keep it as interesting and invigorating as it is. So as we all forayed into the vibe of JBIMS, we were told our laidback attitude was not going to work anymore. So we had to rev up during the day at the college, and during the night in those hostel rooms. Everyone was putting in the effort and so did we. But while we all were toiling individually to transform ourselves, we didn't realize how much we were getting acquainted with each other. And that is when it happened! 


We knew life at a B school would be tough and challenging. We had the best minds of the country at JB, and we all were now getting into the biggest slugfest of our lives. Everything was new, and we surely had to pump ourselves up. So that was the time when I was exposed to the culture of staying up till stuff was done. We all struggled individually, but as we stayed together, our collective woes always fizzled out with a burst of laughter that would come up when one of us announced something bizarre. "Wipro also makes computers. Computers! Computers!". And then what happened when someone just had 4 minutes to shave his beard off, wear formals and get his shoes polished for a very unique endeavor is a different story altogether. And then the one single guy who'd laugh subtly but whose laugh would incite laughter on everyone's face even when they were not supposed to, added a different dimension. And finally that one moment when everyone was hurling abuses and swear words at something as innocuous as a ceiling fan, was definitely a moment to relish. #Havan soon became a part of our life, and those first few days toughened us as individuals, and bonded as a family. 

Getting in the groove

A renowned professor once said "Everything is culture", and JS hall was no different. We all soon realized there is a way in which life has to be lived in the boys hostel. There is a reason why someone from the music faculty would take his harmonium out at 2 in the night and there is also a reason why you shouldn't eat at the hostel canteen. I guess FSSAI would've been flummoxed if they inspected our canteen because they wouldn't have known there are so many additional ingredients whose tests they didn't have technology to carry out! Including ants! Then there was the ritual of getting the security guard to connive in letting you come back to the hostel late on some mate's birthday by handing him a cup of Natural's sitafal ice cream as a truce. And finally there was the graffiti all over the inside of the elevator doors, which was definitely not artistic, and which included some really nice words and praise for the warden of the hostel. But I definitely didn't imagine a guy would drink and smack so much that he'll end up in his stupor in the inside of the toilet, and would carry out a GD with no one but himself! Man do I miss all the mania.

And suddenly when we were staring at the first sem exams, wherein we had a couple of horrendous subjects to wade through the wrath of, we decided not to be saturnine. Instead, we chose to make the most of the time. We decided to carry out mammoth counter strike gaming sessions night in and night out. In fact the closer the time for the end sem exams came, the more and more we indulged in the game. And suddenly we found heroes who were invincible. The guy who was a champ with the sniper and the guy who could kill with knives. And as we got so engrossed in the game with having tested our expertise on every map, there would be one occasional guy screaming random derogatory terms from his room because we forgot that some people would actually prefer to sleep at 4 o clock. So as we played without earphones, a bomb explosion was definitely enough to rack someone's brains off! More so when the guy was high and no sleep would've meant a hangover throughout the next day!


So the boys hostel had a little too much of manhood residing inside and you sure as hell don't have no chicks. So people felt pretty lucky when they finally found some pussy! Pussy cats, actually! Real ones! So as the quotient of nothingness rose by a bit, something new was to be sought in those very 4 walls of JS Hall itself. So as the cats brought up their fury by actually causing damages worth 7K by being the reason why a guy's tab's screen got shattered(Some people liked it!), they were the obvious targets. So while cats should have felt the agony of penance, we all were humans and we kept our treatment gentle. We just made sure cats did not spread diseases so we forced some of them to a take a bath(Alternately with hot and cold water! Pasteurization you see!), and we also gave some cats the opportunity of skating with their skittering feet in pools we specifically made for them in their lobbies, And last but not the least, we named a dish after them. And while no one would still believe it but there is in fact a dish called #BilliPav which you'd find only in JS Hall and that too only if you're a part of the secret brotherhood. You can identify the group by their leader who has a pretty raunchy and wicked smile! 

<<<Second sem results, internships, coming back to the hostel, finding new places to eat, and a lot of gallivanting and idling around later>>>

Fuck! This gives me goosebumps. So as the amount of activity at JB went down and now that most of us were out of the hegemony that wreaks havoc during the very demanding first two sems, we had to make sure that #Buck***** reached a whole new level. Now being the budding managers we were, we decided to come up with the inaugural and the much ballyhooed ***JS Hall Premier League***. While not a lot many people knew JS hall had one large and colossal central field, we thought that we should better utilize our predilection for playing our own version of cricket on it. Ours was very different from the usual form of the game, but we bet ours was more challenging. And while we had one single indomitable champion who'd score more runs than entire teams, we also had a self proclaimed aggressive Sehwag, and players who were more about style and less about substance. So all in all we had all that it takes to be a successful cricketing tournament, and so we set a proper procedure for captain selection and team auctioning and carried out two successful seasons with round the clock action. And we also had all the media frenzy and the usual requests from the commons to be a part of this fantastic format. But then JSPL was exclusive and you had to earn your place!

Stars of JSPL having a light moment at the second JSPL Auctions held at the Oberoi Trident in March this year.
Main hoon sabse bada struggler

So as we were moving into the last couple of months at our most beloved abode by now, we just didn't have many things left to do by now. We already knew that we had a diehard Salman and Sunny fan and a unfettered Hritik fan who didn't quit even after Bang Bang! But now we went out to watch almost every movie that was there to be watched. And since we didn't have much to do, we'd wake up at as early as 6 in the morning(Which no one would've done on an exam day as well) and either go to the Oval grounds for a full format JSPL game, or go to Merwan's for a delectable breakfast. And we'd often come back to our rooms and sleep for hours again. But when we had absolutely nothing else to do, we'd have discussions on who has been the biggest struggler and who fought the most bravely. And then while someone would say that he never got a girl and his Switzerland dream got flushed because of inadvertent deterrents, the Hritik fan said he had to witness the tripe of lavatory where the level of water was a little too high for anyone's comfort! 

Goodbyes! Not really! 

So the last couple of days went with us just dallying around. While we were happy knowing we'd enter the professional realm again and now with no exams, the prospect of leaving Borivali(Room no. 79) seemed too hard for me. And so was the case with the residents of Kandivali, Bandra, Karjat, and even Bhayander(This was on a different floor altogether where the most alienated hostelite would put nets all around to protect himself!). And as we witnessed that the time to bid adieu has come, residents of Borivali and Kandivali who were the most ardent anti-felines, came up with a pact of reconciliation as two newly born kittens circled their rooms all the time, and they thought they'd caress them to leave things on a happy note!

The global cat fraternity extending their thanks to the residents of 78 and 79.
We all took up our jobs, and all moved on to different places. But somewhere in the stream of time, and in the cogs and sprockets of destiny, we were supposed to stay together in those hallowed rooms, amid the sultry chimes of the waves embossed all over Marine Drive. I don't know how I felt when I stepped inside JS Hall for the very first time. I was apprehensive, that's for sure. But when I stepped out and looked back, for hopefully not the one last time, I felt a tingling sensation telling me I'm leaving a part behind. The part that now belongs in those rooms, the part that now belongs in those lobbies, and in that sprawling center court, and the part that I'll recall all the time, and get the most heartiest smile I'd ever get! 

The first ever celebration when Mama got to taste the sitafal ice cream for the first time. :D

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