Saturday, September 20, 2008

october of 1997

All of a sudden, memory of a quite-funny-now-but-just-the-opposite-back-then episode, passed by my thoughts.
On one of the october evenings of 1997, during the regular evening power-cuts, me, Jawahar and two more batchmates of Intermediate-Science, 2nd year, were seated on the floor of my room, making attempts to study in the light of the lantern, but actually trying to decide whose food was less worse - bholaji's or ramnareshji's (they were the proprieters of the two food-messes of our hostel). It was a nice evening, with usual bulla sessions on full swing with no time-wastage-guilt-feeling as we had so many books lying all around us on the floor(!!!!), until two guys appeared at the door asking "Anand Gaurav kaun hai?".
The manner of asking was much too gentle to suit their appearances (its not in hindsight, but even then I could notice that) but anyway, I being the only Anand Gaurav in that room, thought of satisfying their curiosity, Though, I was not stranger to strange guys knocking at my room for some reasons or other (justified ones though), this one did make me uneasy.
When you have been studying in a college like mine, Patna Science College , which is surrounded by great(!!!!) academic institutions (where frequecnt police raids are much less commonplace than much worse regular occurrences) you get too familiar with the faces like those two which had appeared at my hostelroom-doorstep that night. The faces that makes people like me try their best to avoid. But of course you can't show you are scared so you do face them if it comes to it and face them with full confidence (your surviving-instincts is already working hard to bail you out meanwhile).
Suddenly another episode, about few months back, flashed by me. It was when a guy in white starched kurta-payjama barged in our room (we used to be 4 people in one room during that time in ISc 1st year) and sat on one guy's bed resuting which the two guys of that side of the room got up. He started talking nonsense to them with uncouth-confidence oozing out of him. Since I was getting disturbed, I started commenting loudly about useless people disturbing sincere students and kept increasing my voice till he BARKED!!!!!!!I still remember, it sent shivers through my spine. The reason is again the academic institutions which surrounded my hostel. He called me and I complied (my survival instincts asked me to do so!!). But thankfully the 'uncleji'-type-student-neta-ji gave me a BIG scolding and left me and left the room as well!!!!!
But that guy was afterall much worse in looks and appearance than these two and these two were of my age. So, it seemed all safe. They very gently formally asked me to come out for a walk till the hostel-gate while we talked. Seeing no harm, I joined. No sooner had I crossed the hostel-gate, one guy started hitting me from the back side while other held my arms.
I was TOTALLY dumbfounded!!!!!!! Who the hell wont be?????
Thanks to Jawahar's survival instints which was more customsied to Patna than mine. He sensed something fishy and started collecting few students while following me to the hostel-gate. The funny part begins here!!!!!
There got around 20-odd students gathered at the hostel-gate watching me being beaten, that too by just two guys!!!!! But thankfully, that gathering attracted the attention of Ramnareshji (the mess-owner-cum-cook-cum-cleaner-..-..) who came to the gate, gave a loud verbal thrashing to the two guys and surprisingly they left me and 'walked' off!!!!!
I still remember vividly that night. It was a big big jolt to me. Not only me and my batchmates, even the BSc seniors found it difficult to believe that I might have given somebody reason strong enough to do this. Anyway, I sometimes feel happy about this, in hindsight,that I got the experience that when you get beaten, physical pain is not that big an issue. Its other things, the scare, humiliation,feeling-of-helplessness, weakness, that eats you more.
Two days after the episode, Tinku bhaiya (son of an uncle of mine with whose family, I stayed for 2 months when I first moved to Patna and had yet to get hostel-acco) came to my room, for the first time (I frequented his place to get some nice home-food and nice time chatting with aunty and badi and chhoti di and bhaiya so there was no need of him to come to my place to meet me). He informed that a very close friend of his told him about my thrashing (and he added that the thing I got beaten with was a revolver-butt!!!! As if I was not scared enough!!!) and had asked him to ask me to keep a low profile!!!!!!
What the heck!!!!! No warning, nothing and you thrash a guy and then tell him the reason he cant comprehend!!!!! Anyway, I thought it better to leave the episode aside as it was not comprehensible and I also knew that is was way better than Pranay, a schoolmate of mine, in the same college but in another hostel, who got beaten almost every week (But everybody agreed that he gave lots of reasons to the local goons to do that. You can imagine the type of guy he was, by the fact that he quit IITKgp after two years over there just coz he didn't feel like it. (Went to Caltech for summers, stayed back for the full semester, came back, had altercation with his profs and quit Kgp!!!!)
Thanks to my many friends who gave me emotional support back then. I remember Sharad offering to get those two identified through some friends of his and then get them beaten. But then when I thanked him for the offer and expressed no desire for any such thing, the relief on his face was evident :-).
Now in hindsight, I find the episode so funny. Not an iota of remorse about it. Maybe strange, but thats the way some experiences are like. The moment they happen to you, they mean a lot to you but, once they pass and you move on, they seem to be so insignificant, you get surprised how could it ever affect you.

No comments:

Post a Comment