Five us shared the hostel room (OB-3) for the first two semesters in SJCE, Mysore. We had nicknamed the room as “Draupadi” [read this].
1. This was the first time I was going to experience hostel life. We had a senior by the name of Maruti Y Prabhu. He wouldn’t rag freshers, no complaints here. His first question to freshers was “How much did you score in Physics-Chemistry-Maths in 12th?”. He would continue the conversation only if the marks were above 90%. Maybe that was his concept of ragging.
2. We had a room adjacent to our OB-3 separated by a locked door. In OB-3 we had a new visitor – a rat. We kept rat poison in our room. After a few days, we heard a lot of ruckus from the adjacent room. The rat apparently died in the adjacent room. Perfect planning.
3. It was exam time. Stressful time for me. For some strange reason, I wasn’t able to read my own handwriting. My roommate cum classmate walked across and told: “Give me the book here, I will read it for you”. He kept the book at a “vague angle” and read it out perfectly. I asked him how did he do it? He said, “Simple Mahesh, I copy from you in the class in that particular angle”. Ouch!
4. Exam time, rumour time. Our senior Shailesh would start spreading the rumour, “Exam will be postponed”. It would go all around the hostel and come back to him and he would actually believe his own rumour.
5. When anyone returned to the hostel from home the only question we would ask was “Brought any snacks?”. Never asked, “How are you? How is the family?”.
6. The hostel lost the cook (chef!). Yes, there was attrition during those days too. A carpenter was repairing the kitchen and he was asked, “Do you know how to cook?”, he innocently replied “Yes”. He was immediately appointed as the head cook of our mess. Not sure how far this story was true but the quality of the food made us believe the story was true.
7. A new puppy strayed into our hostel. Boys were quick to give it a name – after our hostel warden.
8. At one point of time boys were returning very late to the hostel from Mysore city. Warden decided to put in a process. We had to sign a register at the college gate if we came back late (after 9 PM). The security guard was not exactly a smart dude. Boys started signing as “George Bush“, “James Bond”, “Mugambo“, “Warden”. The rule was scrapped within a week.
One of our seniors, Harish, was very interested in being a model. I don’t think he met any of those required parameters. His hostel “friends” decided to pull a fast one on him. They took his photographs – in clean clothes, several poses and told him it was sent to the agency.
They faked a letter from the agency to him which said he had to go to room number 312 (some number like that) in Mysore’s premier hotel at that time, Kings Kourt.
Harish was very excited and went to Kings Kourt. The hotel insisted there was no room “312” but Harish was not convinced. He supposedly went all around the hotel to double check if there was a room #312. You can imagine what was waiting for him when he came to the hostel.
Hostel life was surely the highlight of my engineering course. I can never forget it, I will relish it forever.