So, any of you guys smoke or have ever tried your hand with the paper roll?
The mammoth gates of the College were imposing in their silence of having witnessed the rise and fall of many a careers shaping up and shaping out. The ignominy of being a fresher just out of school was nothing compared to the trepidation that lies ahead of the uncertainties for the next few years. However, I started drawing comfort in finding many of the dreary eyed scholars walking around with their application and mark sheet for the admission procedures to begin while the likes of mine were so casual and content, comparing notes in discussing career opportunities for the students in Humanities.
The cacophony in the air was occasionally getting subdued, when the ‘waiting lists’ started coming out for the aspirants to settle down for the second best alternative to their application for preferred subject combinations. It was at this point, that I made friends with some of them who were to become an inseparable part of my college days for I was left with no other option but to be seen with the achievers and be considered one of them, when they were gracefully settling down for subjects that were derisive of their score of having been a front bench-er at school.
There were others who had made it a point to outsmart the ‘cut-off’ marks, not by being scornful of the Humanities and the Commerce streams but by being absolutely clear in their pursuit of a career of choice that need not necessarily was a fall-out of studying Science. These were the ones who defied a tradition prevalent those days which essentially established the supremacy of marks by the subjects that you get to study and not what you wish to follow. I became friends with them, out of awe for their compulsive conviction of self belief and commitment.
The next hurdle was to settle down in a Hostel which were to become our home away from home minus all the pamper and cajoling of the parents who, otherwise, were mostly meant to be issuing dictates and doctrines, according to most of us, that were so much of an invasion to the ushering of ours into young adults. We wanted to outwit the dogmas with the new found resilience of young adulthood by simply choosing either to ignore or to defy. This new found attribute of growing up with diffidence was considered to be rebellious of the parental control and was so very natural that, in the times which followed, I must have been made to rethink many a times, what if I had cared to listen to them!
Uncertainties being over for the time being, we were left with settling down in our rooms that barely had a breathable space for three and yet accommodative of five people initially marking boundaries for their belongings but soon to realise that if one were to settle for the window side bed, he had no other option but to offer a white flag to the rest of the room mates, if he were to rush out in answering the nature’s call. The policy held its ground for the other occupants who gradually got immersed in deciding an ergonomic placement of the rickety furniture, bare essentials for a boarding life in our luggage, mattresses, stationery, toiletries, some homemade delicacies that were handed by our mothers and yes, the signature of ultimate pride and prized possession of being on my own, a wallet with considerable money, that was no more to be counted as pocket money!
A new chapter begins with the aplomb of independence and the fortitude of no accountability to anyone.
The ice-breaker, so any of you guys smoke or have ever tried your hand with the paper roll?