I just want to keep on writing, and telling stories. For me it’s wonderful! So, here’s one, on trial.
Yesterday “the gang” (the authentic and original version, before dilution and corruption had spread their tentacles, found nowadays on rare instances… oh, i could go on for lines on this! Okay, this is coming up in future blogs!) of our university made their way into College Street University Campus for the final day at the fest, Campus ’09, in full glory. The main catalyst for this reaction of very high positive free energy change (because so-called members of the gang who don’t like going anywhere ever, actually went as far as College Street with the rest) was the impending arrival of none-other-than Sourav Ganguly as the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. And because of our ‘over-enthusiastic’ nature, we arrived so late that we missed the man (in Bengali colloquial, we term it “lath”). We took the bus, route 240, after a lot of debating which would be faster, the metro or the bus… by the way, the metro would have been much faster. However, we did reach in time for the prize distribution ceremony in sports. Well, we didn’t miss our friends getting their awards and those friends, luckily didn’t miss their own awards ceremony (they didn’t come any earlier after all)… guess, that was something.
But as soon as we learned there are no more prizes coming our way or even our campus’ way… we made a dash. Young blood, you can’t keep them in one place. (That was the joke of the year, by the way! Try budging one of us when ‘collapsed’ at one place!) Anyways, we made our way to Coffee House, one of the heritages of our city found in College Street. Me, I’d never been there… it’s a very big secret… never ever go out there (at almost the end of your college life) and say that you, as a college student have never been to Coffee House, it’s a sacrilege. Of course, you can whisper it to your boyfriend, if he really really loves you and you’re sure you won’t end up being the brunt of every one’s joke of the moment. We went there with a bunch of juniors from our campus… see we are the only “cool” seniors, we know everybody and are on good terms with them too… we’ve almost made it sound like we own the college (being the only ‘interactive’ seniors and all) or at least our fathers do. Honestly, we are the only seniors who know several juniors from several departments… hell, why we don’t even know the students of our year from the other departments. Well, the credit for this ‘healthy’ interaction definitely go to us who hang out in canteen at least for an hour every day in a disciplined manner, the guys who are into sports and games especially the ones who have made the common room (has TT and carrom) their second home and lastly, but not at all the least, the guys’ whose tails are found wagging on any sighting of the female juniors… pun, very much intended!
So, we have made it till the Coffee House. What happened there is pure “khilli”… over our cups of ‘Infusion’… you may know that by its more crude name, ‘black coffee’. We sat on the second floor of the newly renovated Coffee House (it’s not your usual cafe… purrrlease…iska charm-hi kuchh alaag hain…hey i didn’t say that, everyone does or has, before me) scavenging chairs from everywhere around one table that barely seated four (at first we were only nine, then became eleven… not by procreation but others joined us… thankfully the several who were remaining took tables elsewhere). Anyways, we later even managed to scavenge another table (some poor customers who came along later got chairs to sit on but no table to eat on!!!). We finished pretty quickly (also the mutton and chicken kabirajis and sandwiches that some of us had ordered… food has a way of disappearing around us) but refused to pay the bill as otherwise the staff would throw us out as soon as we did that, given the ruckus we were making… and we had much time to kill before going back to the programme’s last part, ‘the show’. Then somebody had this brilliant idea of going to Presidency College and sit in their field (which is allegedly not their, but Hare School’s).
So, our next destination, across the street- Presidency College. The best feature of walking in groups of more than ten is that the distance between the person leading the group and the one bringing up the rear is in several minutes. So, we ambled along in pairs, stopping every now and then, because College Street is a busy street and we kept losing one of our members in the crowd, and the whole group had to stop to find where they were. Then again, one guy would stop to buy cigarettes and/or Rajanigandha (those guys are not my friends, pleeease), and of course, the rest would stop too. So we reached Presidency, that was 2 minutes distance from our chairs in the Coffee House, in good time which was around 15 minutes. Presidency campus houses two fields that are totally fenced. We found a few kids in the larger field, but we were not up to crawling, as that’s what we would have had to do to get into the field through the hole in the fence. We settled for the smaller field (as the hole was much bigger… no puns… and we didn’t have to crawl… again, no pun implied) and collapsed on the grass forming a big circle. Killing time was a pleasurable activity (well, not so much for him whose father is a Professor at the college and thought his son was having practical classes…), actually it always is but in the open empty field the charm was something else. A kid, chaperoned by his mother came into that field to play football, the very mature ‘men’ of our group were eyeing the ball like a prey (only one thing can take their minds off the girls, and that’s football). The poor kid ran away at first when the largest of our group went forward to play with him, but he later acquiesced when the one of the less harmful-looking guys went ahead. One by one all the guys went up to play football (except the one who really loves football but was sitting really cautiously in order to escape notice if his dad came along… it was nearing six, and people usually leave for home then) and after sometime, the poor little boy whose football it was could get his foot on the ball very rarely as our boys started showing off their talents near the goal post.
Anyway, we started for the Centenary Hall well before time, we keep Indian time, a show that’s supposed to start at six will start, very punctually, never before seven. It was ten to six when we grudgingly set off after a lot of badgering by our juniors who still didn’t know the time drill, well, that got corrected when all of us got cooked in the heat while waiting with the crowd. However, at least one of us was happy that we got out of Presidency College before six… a confrontation well evaded, no explanations required to be given to his father.
The programme for which we were all hyped up was a performance by Cactus bangla band. It is no rock concert but that’s how close we come to one. The moment we reached the entrance of the hall (which we knew would be closed) the doors opened. We (the seniors… “been there, done that” public) were astounded by the time-keeping. The whole crowd herded in through the doors to be ceremoniously told by the organizers from the stage, on the microphone, to leave the hall so as to allow the band to get on with their sound-checking, Cactus band members had suddenly turned shy and actually refused to do that with the audience watching… as if they ever got this choice when performing in open theatre. Anyway we, the seniors, were happy to be proved right as all of us went outside the auditorium to give them ’10 minutes’ for completing sound-check. We were allowed back into the hall at seven, the ’10 minutes’ being equivalent to minutes less than an hour. By the time we got back, every one was drenched in their own sweat, smelling their best, our feet were ready to give away, and our patience were riding thin, meaning, any volunteer in front of us would have ended up on the wrong side of a perfect right hook. Well, at least the hall was air-conditioned. We got our seats (though there was no plans of sitting through the programme… of course, we’d be dancing… and of course, except those who never dance with the others, heard a rumour they only dance on personal requests, for a price!), soothing our feet a bit and as well giving each others’ noses a hell lot of reprieve. But what about the show? There was a half an hour long announcements made continuously for volunteers to go back-stage (so much so, we thought Cactus would be performing back-stage) and to ‘keep off the railing of the balcony, which was a little too flexible and might cause a little trouble for anyone who chanced to topple over’.Two nattily dressed hosts came on to the stage with their well-rehearsed speech but left very quickly in response to the well-executed booing. Then, the whole auditorium went pitch black (with a lot of warning) to a lot of yells from the very rowdy audience. Then Cactus finally made it onstage.
…… will be completed soon… keep tuned!!!!