The Night Bus

Mornings have changed since we have bought our football. Every morning should begin with a game of football. Although it may not take place everyday, we still try our best to play once before going for our classes. One of my friend’s brother visited Chandigarh for some work. A tall stout fellow with good football skills. We asked him to play with us, which he obviously accepted. It was a lovely morning and about twelve of us were ready to play early (even before dawn). Such was the passion. It was a wonderful game of about an hour and a quarter. End of the game we all got a short briefing from the hulk. The football session was followed by a series of different feelings- excitement, anxiety, confusion etc. It was the UIET freshers’ day!!

The event was called Aagman-2005. Cultural programme 3:30PM till 6:30PM followed by dinner and dance party 7:30PM onwards. We were really looking forward to this day, not because of the party, but because it will officially end ragging. The day before the freshers’ was the worst day in terms of mental stress. It is supposed to be the day when the 1st year students are ragged till the highest degree of satisfaction is realized by the seniors. That is why we stayed out of the campus for a long time. At night no one came to our hostel as very few UIET freshers live in hostel 6. Some freshers from other hostels were not as lucky. Obviously we very excited about the party but we were really confused about what to wear?? Formals!! We do not have any of those with us!! Some students went back home to get clothes, some of them bought new ones and few lucky ones had their clothes sent to them. The rest (my category) had to work out without proper formals. I had to manage the day in simple trousers, shirt and sneakers!! In the first half we enjoyed good cultural performance by the first year students as well as the second year students. But unfortunately only the group performance which involves dance performance or drama was appreciated. Most of the audience made fun of the individual performance like jokes, whistling talent. These performers had to leave the stage annoyed, humiliated and embarrassed. The events that we enjoyed the most were the dance performance on rhythmic Punjabi and western tracks. The whole Audi was up on its feet dancing to the tunes. The ‘Whenever Wherever’ performance was enjoyed the most by the male seniors. ‘Julie! Julie!’ they shouted at the female dancer. Rounds of Mr. and Ms Fresher were taking place between the performances. The last programme I saw was Punjabi Bhangra in original bhangra outfit - pag, kurta and chadra. They were dancing to the beats of dhol. Even the teachers joined the dance on stage. Although Mr. and Ms Fresher were not declared yet, we left the Audi as we were getting late for the dance party at night. It was 6:30 already and we had to freshen ourselves, arrange for a transport to the Chandigarh Club. So we all arranged for the famous ‘Dus Rupay Savari Autorickshaw’. About 9-10 of us in each auto and we all reached club by eight. The party had already begun!

The whole Chandigarh Club lawn was booked for the party. The Disco setup was at one end of the lawn and the arrangement for the food was at the other end of the lawn. Snacks were being offered by the waiters- Gobhi roast, spring rolls etc. There was arrangement for juice, soft drinks and coffee. Some of the seniors were having hard drinks. Dance was going on at its best with some refreshments at regular intervals to compensate the energy lost. Although it was quite chilly, the shirts were drenched in sweat. Finally at around 9:30pm we were offered dinner- one plate per coupon. All UIETians like me are real gluttons. They were so desperate for food that they started filling up their plates from both sides of the buffet counters. As a result the waiters were unable to refill the contents in the dishes. Thus initially there was a shortage of food. The problem was solved after a long time. The menu was very good but the food was not tasty as almost all the items lacked salt!! The sweet dish was very good - ice cream and gulab jamun. At the end of the day, around 10:30 most of us had run out of energy and the music was stopped as loud music is not allowed in Chandigarh after 10pm. But our spirits were still high. Some of the friends decided to go for a movie at that hour. I, on the other hand had to return to Delhi after the party for Durga Puja and Dusshera celebrations. So, some of us returned to the campus. Finding an auto at that time is really difficult. We had to walk a long distance to catch one.

As soon as I reached my hostel I picked up my packed bag and took the same auto to the bus-stand (ISBT is called Bus Stand in Chandigarh). Busses to Delhi operate round the clock. But since I had to travel with my tired body overnight, I decided to go for the deluxe bus. The deluxe bus costs a bit extra but offers comfortable seats whose backrest can be tilted. Also it only stops once at a Mid-Way and goes directly to Delhi. The last deluxe bus is at 11:45pm unfortunately I was the second last person to buy the tickets. I got the last row seat and my backrest could not be tilted. The bus took only 4 hours 20 minutes to reach Delhi, which otherwise can be as long as 6 hours on a normal inter-state bus. The fact that I was returning home to celebrate Durga Puja with my family compensated all the problems I faced during my journey.

I leave you with some of the moments:-

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