Thursday, June 01, 2006

Where's the story, morning glory?

Hate being hungover in office.
Drank wayy too much for own good last night. Shalom's launched a range of new summer cocktails and self dragged Kbeer along to experiment with the boundaries of liver control.
One thing for sure, Goan livers can drink pretty much anyone under the table.
Kbeer is half Punju and that's another breed that has a lot in common with Goans..
No.. seriously...
Both Punjabis and Goans are essentially village-oriented people, they love their music, dancing, pretty girls, alcohol and especially the food...
Ok, so there's a huge difference in culture, but being a susegaad in Khalsa College was a relatively easy experience.
Except in first year when self looked like a myopic plucked pigeon.

Ragging was an experience. Sirdie boys in college made me stand at the Mall Road stop light with two basketballs stuffed under my shirt..one in front and one at the back. I was supposed to hitch from the stop light to St Stephen's Hospital saying I was expecting twins.
Got a lift pretty quickly from a nice old lady who seemed to understand my embarrasment.
Damn sirdie boys still followed me all the way to make sure I didn't run away.

Back at college, W and Ladoo (they were, along with Chottu and Jas, in my honours class) had been apprehended and made to make believe as husband and wife. Except Ladoo was the pop and W was mom. I was supposed to be the new-born baby emerging from between W's thighs.
Of course, all this happened on the basketball court (BBC) somewhere around lunch time when its too crowded to stand in one spot.
Chottu never got ragged. No one really bothered. That's the advantage of being 6.4 and 110kg.

The sirds in college were in a league all their own. Around Diwali, they'd get together to play "Diwali cricket" on the BBC.
They'd take a stainless steel tumbler, the kind you drink lassi in, light one of those nasty green bombs and place the glass over it. The bomb would go off, the tumbler would be airborne and you'd hear plaintive cries of .."Catch it, catch it..... Out hai!!!!! Next ball!!!"

Festival time was another time of the year for Sirdie boys to exercise community strength.
Across the road from college is a hostel for Northeastern boys and the latter and Sirds never see eye to eye anyway.
Since every single turban within 200 km had arrived for Lishkara 98, the road outside was packed with cars. One enterprising Sirdie drives into the Northeast boys' hostel and parks his brand new Honda City in the warden's space.
Festival over, everyone's returning to their cars and Sirdie finds all four tyres slashed.
So he punches the first hosteller he sees. Three hostelmates see this happening and kick the living shit out of the Sirdie. Rip his turban, take his pants off and send him back across the street in humiliation.
You never humiliate a Sird when he has throngs of adrenalin-charged brethren within shouting distance.
A few Sirds hear his "Bhen ke lode Chinki..main tujhe maar daloonga!!!" and run into the hostel where a proper fistfight ensues.
Everything goes to hell in a handbasket after that as war erupts. The auditorium in college was under construction then so a ready supply of bricks found their way into hostel windows and hostellers' faces.
Northeast boys aren't really ones to bow down from a fight and the hockey sticks, cricket stumps and iron rods emerged with one crazy Naga walking down the road, unmindful of the stones, punching car windows with a fist wrapped in a bloody handkerchief.
We were the ones standing wayy back, watching in morbid fascination.
The cops took some time to come....by which time we'd left by the side gate.

Early in first year, after all the ragging was done with, I was playing a pick up game of ball on the BBC with some classmates, while the ball team sat nearby watching. Chottu, also on the ball team, got through sports quota and one thing led to another and self was soon the reserve point guard.
Never really could muster the balls to show real skill in college, was too scared I'd fall and break something or my glasses would fall off, though I think I could kick a fair amount of ass now.
Im a git compared to average cager size but I can get around pretty fast, I get up pretty high and I can sense my way around the court.
Practice was at 6am, which meant me leaving home in Gurgaon at 4.30 to get right across Delhi to University in time, coming back at 11pm after theatre practice in Gautam Nagar.

One thing I never forgot about college was that the jocks stuck together. No matter what.
A couple of months after I joined the team, I was playing a half court game with Jas, Ladoo and some of their chicklet friends when the ball went out of bounds. Went to retrieve it and saw it was with one of the Sirdie boys who sent me on the joyride to St Stephen's.
He was with a group of friends and says I have to bend down and touch his feet before he gives the ball back.
The words are barely out of his mouth when his expression flip flops and he hands me the ball with a look of extreme fear on his face.
I glanced behind me to see half the hockey team with their sticks raised.
"Vapas kar raha hai ki nahi?" asked the captain, tapping his stick in his palm threateningly

It really felt nice to have a back like that.

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