Boys’ hostel – the very word would dawn you with images like stinking cupboards, cluttered rooms with half open books spilled all over and ramshackle doors. And describing words of the residents here would include: bulling men with stark deodorant smell (preferably Axe!), punky outfits, ruffled hair and shoes which knew no water in their life course. Yes, this may be true to some extent but there is a lighter and more jovial side of hostel life. This is a chunk of a bigger picture.
People here may seem a bit ravenous, but at core are gentle. They may screech out there music players with hard pop, heavy metal or Lady gaga’s numbers, but croon for Chaurasia’s flute locking themselves in their room, when roommates aren’t at room. Their tongue wouldn’t be parliamentary – I know parliamentary is a softer word to describe it – but would be the first to help out. They may glitter out dry machismo, but miss home food; are home sick. You know, an edible sweet fruit grows even in cactus beyond thorns!
But I must also admit our stupidity: most of us are duffers. We howl at a TV screen, when an Irish batsman hits a six against a Kenyan bowler. Fight hours for gummy bhindi, rubbery chapattis and coloured water with some vegetables floating in it (I don’t know why mess people call it sambar). Messages are worth mentioning. They come with suffix ‘happy’ for all occasions, including new moon day, Good Friday, polio Sunday and even bandhs. I wonder if Einstein visited a hostel when he wrote, human stupidity is infinite.
Other day, it was fine evening until a person came asking for a blood donor with a rare group. People usually rush to a hostel in such cases, because they would access many potential donors at once. People here were quick to find the blood in no time. I could read worry and anxiety in their frowns. I wondered if these are the same rude old duffers with whom I live. I was feeling prouder being a part of hostel that my phone tinkled showing a new message. Reading that, I concluded that we would never change and will continue to be good old duffers. The message read: ‘Happy valentine’s day to you and your family:)’