Sunday, February 17, 2013


          To get a seat in that prestigious institution was indeed a dream come true event in our lives. Freshers were put in a room that could accommodate only a bunker bed but an additional cupboard, 2 tables and a couple of chairs were squeezed in. The windows were never to be opened, because you might be pulled in for ragging any time by the seniors passing by. The hostels were separated and the mess timings were different for us. All these actions were the so called preventive measures to save us from ragging.
         Our college opened on 17th of August - 2005 and the department lists were announced. As soon as we received our register numbers we were supposed to meet our T-Seniors without getting caught. T-stands for Technocrat, the series is what they mean but actually the relationship is far more than that ! The punishments were so severe that could cost a seniors life was the senti dialogue those days. This post features all that happened in the pursuit of finding ones real T-Senior. You might wonder, whats the big deal about it ? But, no .. They wouldn't reveal the real person that easily. To find most of our lady T-seniors it only costs a cadburys dairy milk (provided that she doesn’t have her boyfriend in the same class) but to find a guy and that too if he is a hosteller then you’re so dead..  !!
        After a couple of weeks, I went to visit some of my native friends at Santhome church and it was when a couple of my school seniors made a visit to our room unofficially. Till that day, we had thought that it was they who would save us from all this ragging woes, but we were totally wrong. They were the ones who took us into the den, "the birla hostel", the place were the second year seniors who suffered ragging recently lived, in other words the ones who were waiting to experiment things on us. And so, except me all my friends were taken in for the first time. So many thoughts were running in their minds along with some odd newspaper articles related to ragging. When all these things were happening, the first senior whose face had a 99% resemblance with the gulfi ice vendor, called one of my friends and asked him, "have you ever seen Discovery channel ?" , my friend was puzzled but then he replied "yes senior, a couple of times".. The senior guy then said in a commanding tone, "oh then, please hunt the Lion roaming around".. He was like what ? Lion !! WTF !! While he was wondering where to find one, the senior raised his voice once again.. "oh so you don’t see a Lion around is it ? You are supposed to do a mono act, you are the hunter and you are the lion, now do it.." When he was trying to jump over the rock and shoot the lion, the other friend was asked to dance (belly dance) for a romantic song imitating the same steps as in that song. This was the Welcome to *** banner for us.
       As days passed by, the number of victims exponentially increased and our roll number info was comfortably passed on to the seniors. Based on the 200538XX I was taken by my T-Senior's close associates for a formal introduction. Whatever happens, remember they never tell you who is who while ragging us (unity in diversity). I was taken in while returning from our Workshop classes in a Khaaki uniform looking exactly like a KTC conductor. One good thing while being caught was that none of my friends were around :P. I went in with a face of a stray dog standing in front of a tea shop expecting some one to throw the half bitten biscuit. As soon as I entered, I was made to sit down in a corner of the room just like how the accused were made to sit in a police station. First they pretended as if they didn’t notice me at all, but after some time they came to me. First it started with narrating a story with *certain set of words inserted*, then they asked me to write a poem *similar rules as 1*, and then the stout one asked, have you ever proposed to a girl, ( whatever the question it may be, my default answer was NO ! ) I moved my head from left to right. His reactions told me that I gave out the wrong answer, and he asked me to propose my love. I was like ( Avana nee ?!) and looking at me standing still, he showed me the tubelight above and said, there's your girl now, PROPOSE !!! While I was pretending to stammer, a senior who was lean, skinny and tall came to the rescue. He took me out, and asked me to take a ticket to the beach station. For me, it didn’t matter at all, spending 10 bucks is far better than being in that seniors hostel for that whole day.
      As the train moved, he kept explaining stuffs like how this Senior Junior relationships work here and about the heritage that we have been following so far etc. It was an inspiring speech and I was almost out of that ragging fear that was induced an hour back. When the train reached Saidapet, bunch of seniors got in and the timing was very bad for me (as usual). I couldn’t help but laugh at one of the seniors' hairstyle (they call it koluppu) and that’s it. He shoveled me out of the train, and he asked me to shout "America Vanthuruchu…." (trans : We've landed in America) (Note: T.nagar-> is the most crowded railway station in Chennai) and I was supposed to shout like this. He said if I don’t do it now, I’ll have to do it in every station till we reach the Beach. That was the first time I thought, (Single ah sikkitomae) wish my friends were here for the chorus part !! Granny's proverb came up to my mind : poonai vaala vitutu puli vaala pidichitomae (lost hold of the cats tail and by mistake I've caught the tigers tail instead).. Yea, yea I did that heroic task as well..
      Even after so many months it did not come to an end, once we were roaming behind the college for getting some fruit juice. As i said before, "the timing was always perfect".. That terror group saw me and my friends, and they called one of my friends to that tea shop near by. One good thing about them is, whichever ragging method they implement, they'll make sure that the public is totally unaware of what is happening, they treat us that friendly ! While the main guy was buying a tea for my friend, the other senior was looking at the heroines poster just like a goat looking at it. He quickly noticed that we passed a comment on him, and so he called us immediately. We knew this was coming anyways, he asked us to pinch that heroine's hip on that poster ! We told him repeatedly that our comment was not about him, but it did not help. Finally, my friend pinched the photo and the whole tea shop was like *WTF* is wrong with you guys :D
      Once the next set of juniors joined our college, we were treated properly. In the name of birthday bumps, we got the opportunity to do what we had to do to our seniors (cricket bats, tree branches and even hockey bats were used). The same set of people who ragged us were the ones who supported us in various ways. It was then we learnt the positive side of ragging, and the art of getting close to those unknown faces. That lean senior turned out to be my Linux guru and of course the man who taught me "Age of empires 2". The stout senior was the one who trained us for "organizing" functions and this list goes on and on !! Only when we reached our final year of study we realized that our ragging fun was a training to face something even more terrible. Yep,  in the name of project reviews, we faced a lot. We felt that jumping out of the train and shouting, pinching the hip of the posters, shooting a lion were a lot better than those God abandoned review meetings !