Thursday, April 12, 2007

Friday the 13th

April 13th, 2005
Yes. Friday the 13th. The day of the devil.

Let me take you for a ride down the memory lane. I am talking about my college days, specifically, the days as Freshers. The days when being ragged by the seniors had become a daily routine. And then suddenly, one fine day, the Big Bang happened!

April 13th, 2002
I clearly remember the mixed feeling, everyone in my batch, had that morning. Considering what had happened the previous day (A bunch of us dared to fold our shirt-sleeves at college; which was a sin according to many of our seniors) many of us were skeptical what will happen at the morning breakfast. Everyone was waiting for each other to gang up together, so that, we are not caught aloof and made a bakra by the seniors. Yeah, the way we walked up to the hostel mess can easily be compared to a herd of sheep or goats. All were glued together, heads down, to form a highly concentrated irregular shape. Everyone trying their best to be at the center. Not because we felt guilty of what we did the previous day in college but because we didn't want to exaggerate the matter any further, hoping our seniors would call for truce and will throw the Fresher's Party soon.

We occupied the tables at the extreme corner, trying to avoid eye-contacts of any sort with the seniors. Some were brave and even dared to go close to the coffee containers next to the senior's table. There it started! One of the 3rd-year guy along with a bunch of 2nd-years asked him to sit with them. Nothing very flashy happened, but the grim face of my friend as well as the seniors indicated of the sour time that was coming. After one and half semester, we had an understandably close relation with the senior guys. After looking at their faces it felt we have gone back to day one.

The seniors had sent a message along with that friend of mine, asking all of us to assemble in the cricket field at 9AM sharp. We have had numerous such call-outs in the past (especially in the first semester) which ended up being ragging-sessions. I hoped that this one would be for truce as everyone of us was asked to be there. I also secretly hoped that they'd understand this act of ours and would apologize to us for not releasing the grip until now.

But the cricket-field was set for a completely different ball-game. There were at least forty seniors and super-seniors [Wiki: Seniors who have struggled to graduate even after umpteen number of attempts] as against seventy of us! Yeah, there have been times when even two guys alone have ragged thirteen of us in their flats. They always targeted the weak links to show their 'prowess'.

Immediately after the small introductory speech was interrupted by a question by my brave friend, and later, by a thundering slap to him, we knew, the assault is on! The seniors follow the divide-and-rule policy. They divided our group into Biharis, Bangalis, Delhiites, Rajasthanis and other Northies. Soon after that our 'dear' seniors turned into 'devils'. People were slapped, abused, thrashed for no logical reason whatsoever.

We gulped the humiliation we went through for about two hours and returned back to our hostels. Everyone was fuming with anger and hatred. (In todays context, you can imagine our situation similar to Rang De Basanti). Some of my batch-mates who were in the senior's hit-list were asked to stay-back in the ground. We all got really worried about them, constantly looking out of our windows at the path way that led us to our hostels.

As far as I know, no one went for lunch that day. Its not that there was fear inside us, but because, there were bigger concerns at that point of time. Soon fellow batch-mates started showing up. The later they came, the more swollen their faces were. As they narrated their horrifying stories, the anger started fuming even more vibrantly inside each of us.

And then it happened. The Big Bang!! One my close friend (who was made a scape-goat) was left at the hostel doorsteps, half-dead, by some seniors at the middle of the night. His face was completely swollen, with multiple cuts and injuries. His eyes were hardly to be seen. I am not exaggerating, but his head size was nearly twice of normal, because of all the injury. Everyone in the hostel felt this angst to rip off the senior's head who has done all this. We took him to his room and called the warden. After that administration took over its course.

Just to conclude, I'd say, that we took all the steps we could to fight back our rights. Some of the seniors went to jail, many were detained. Most importantly, my fellow 'scape-goat' friend recovered well. Soon, there was a truce and people began to live life normally thereafter.

The End. :-)

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