DISCLAIMER: The comments on the last post have led me to believe that my writing comes across as anti-Chennai. At the risk of sounding b*tchy and having all those threats of physical assault take shape, I’d like you to view my posts as experiences of sheer culture shock. I don’t intend on offending anyone, nor is it a reflection of what the city may come across as to someone else. I re-iterate, everything that I have written (and will be writing about) is a personal experience or opinion, although I shall make liberal use of hyperboles. Please read with a pinch of salt and a cup of chai 🙂

Moving on.

I stayed in the hostel for the first eleven months of college. The first 5 months were spent in the college’s residential hostel. There is a river in Chennai, known as Couum, that flowed through the college campus, thus bifurcating it in two. The engineering campus contained the boys’ hostel along the compound wall along one end of the river. The dental campus contained the girls’ hostel along the compound wall on the parallel end of the river. This river was, of course, a glorified sewer and the college was built largely on illegal land. A bridge connected the two campuses and owing to its proximity with both the hostels, it was rather smartly named ‘Veer-Zaara’ 😐

Then Flood Number One happened. It rained for a couple of days and the water level of Couum went up, till one overcast morning, we found the water touching the underside of Veer-Zaara. Panic ensued, to the extent that boys and girls stood TOGETHER on the bridge, in enough numbers to ensure that the bridge stood the chance of breaking from the sheer live load if not the onslaught of an overflowing river. The guards didn’t seem to care either… I mean, you cannot possibly be making babies when a natural disaster is imminent, right? The very hot-blooded first years (me, in-charge… heh.) attempted to ask the warden to take some action. While I talked, she continued brushing like she controlled panic-stricken girls for dessert everyday.

Soon after, a representative arrived on the girls’ hostel premises and announced that college was declared closed and the premises needed to be vacated in two hours. Now, imagine experimented-on animals being let out of a drug-testing facility. Then imagine them in PJs. That’s not even half of what it looked like. I stayed over at a doll-of-a-friend’s place and as gratitude for providing me with shelter and awesome home-cooked food, stayed up all night listening to her talk about her current crush while she fed me endless cups of coffee to ensure she had an audience. She, in turn, was astonished at my ability to listen to the same Tamil song on an endless loop and mouth the lyrics she didn’t know (She is a Tamilian). I spent a bomb on an air ticket back home and also carried back EVERY bit of luggage I owned, thinking if it stayed on in the hostel, I was as good as robbed.

That, is the story of how I was home for Diwali in my first year in college. Also, when I went back to the hostel a couple of days after vacating, to meet the warden, it looked drought-stricken. Including the river. Heh.

IN OTHER NEWS: Much joblessness has occurred since thesis culminated two weeks ago. Since it was a Saturday, I was jobless and so was a dear friend, we thought we would go be jobless together at a nearby mall. So we ended up being scum-of-the-earth for 3 solid hours at Ampa Skywalk, indulging in activities including:

  1. Spending more time deciding whether we want to have peaches or mangoes with our frozen yoghurt, than we would spend looking for a groom.
  2. Torturing an extremely helpful sales executive (I know big words :|) at Soch into showing us almost every saree on the shelves, ooh-ing and aah-ing and trying them on and then very conveniently walking out the moment he asked which one we would be buying.
  3. Stalking this tall, cute guy and bursting into very teenage giggles every time he walked past.
  4. “Where do you put toppings on frozen yoghurt?!!” “The fruits go at the base, ma’am.” “Toppings at the base!” *guffaw* “Get it? TOPping at the BASE.” *hysterical fits of laughter*
  5. Fretting over and over again about impending doom (results…) and then deciding that the misery can only be soothed with more food.

I had a fabulous day today, Aishu. I hope you do go back and buy that saree. Or atleast give me the money to buy it for myself. No, really.