I didn’t blog for a long time… Maybe I was waiting for this Day.
On 27th March all the hostels in Panjab University celebrated Hostel Annual Day. A Hostel Annual Day celebration has three highlights. Fun filled annual day function, buffet dinner and a DJ. On the down side, the cultural show mainly consists of Punjabi songs and Boliyas. Most of it I don’t understand, and therefore, I don’t appreciate. And to continue the down side, the buffet is way different than what you can imagine. And finally the DJ brings along with him a collection of “yuk” Punjabi Songs and 3rd class speakers. But interestingly in spite of all the down sides we look forward to it, and amazingly we end up enjoying a lot.
So here is how the show proceeds… The stage is set up. All the audience (mainly the hostel residents) reach by 7 in the evening. The cultural show begins. There are people who sing, people who dance and even some fun games are played during the entire show. This time there was a competition on paper dance. I hope you realize that we are in a “Boys Hostel”. A normal person might find an all boys paper dance to be an “homosexual” act, but after spending 3 years in hostel we found it pretty “normal”… lol!! It only requires a hint, a small clue that one or two person is moving towards the dining hall for dinner and everyone the rushes for food. Now here is the buffet part. When you reach the hall you will find that the food is not served yet. But you don’t wait. The plates and salad is there. So you rush and make sure you have a spoon and a plate in your hand. Cause if you cant manage a plate then, you might end up not geting your hands on one till the end of the dinner. Then you push yourself through the mob to reach the table where food will arrive. You need to somehow manage to hold on to your position in that hustle. As soon as food comes, its show time!! You cant wait for the serving spoons to come. Use your own spoon to stuff your plate with the food. At the same time you need to be extra careful that no one drops some food on you, although that is inevitable. The final task is to balance your plate and come out of the mob… victorious. All this while there might be a corner where you can easily go and get your food, but there is no fun in that!! At the end of it there is ice cream. The biggest problem is that by the time you reach the counter that serves ice cream, there are no plates left. Any how, you do manage that. So after the meal its time for some dance. The DJ is playing in full & “PHATI” volume. But the rules in Chandigarh says that No Loud Music after 10 so at 10 the police shuts down the DJ. Till this point you enjoy the official Hostel Annual Day.
This time we were not satisfied with the Celebrations. We wanted some more music and some more fun. So we decided to go to Cambwala Pul. Now cambwala is the place remotely located and the north-most part of Chandigarh in the green area next to Sukhna Lake. Thats were you need to go to drink during off hours. Although the “Daroo ke Theke” are officially closed, the business still goes on. After purchasing your dose of booze, you enjoy it at a small over-bridge further away from the city almost where Punjab starts. That area is totally dark with farms all around that narrow road and the bridge. Now I dont know why people enjoy drinking there, maybe because I dont drink. But I know that people like to piss off that bridge and no one disturbs them there. Now we reached there at about 11-11:30 pm to continue our celebrations. There were 12 of us. 2 cars and one bike. I was the pillion rider. One of us bought a very light dose of drink consisting of 3-4 cans of beer and a breezer. Many of us, including myself, dont drink. We were just there to enjoy ourselves. I also carried my iPod to play our favorite music. The celebrations continued with loud music and few cans of beer and we all danced like mad men. After about 5-6 songs ie about half an hour we saw few torches in the farm and a few men walking towards us, shouting abuses. Our sixth sense told us that they were policemen and we decided to RUN!!! They were about 200 metres away, moving swiftly in the dark. Everyone ran towards the cars but I realized that Dhananjay(aka Dhanno - the bike owner) would be left alone. So I decided to be with him. I quickly went upto Dhanno and asked him to take out the keys. He fiddled in his pocket, got the keys and sat on the bike. Now the bike was standing on the main stand and he managed to get it off the stand in his third attempt. I jumped onto the bike and he started the bike (self-start). He was just about to accelerate when one of the policeman had managed to come close and give a blow of his lathi(“sottah”) on my back. As Dhanno accelerated and switched the gears he skipped the second gear to third gear by mistake. Obviously it got difficult to accelerate. One of them was running just behind me on my left ready to pounce onto me. I was pleading Dhanno to get the gear down to second and he did that just in the nick of time. And we managed to sprint away from them. We didn’t look back for the next 10-15 secs as we paced at a very high speed. Unfortunately our bike and the two cars were parked along opposite direction. Thus we ended up running in two opposite direction and got separated in the process. We were further away from Chandigarh and they came back into the city. We stopped at an isolated area to cool down and think for a while. It was really tough to control the adrenaline rush. Although I knew another way to get into the city, but our helmets were left in the car and most likely we would be caught without helmet once we enter the city. Furthermore most of the times our mobile was out of coverage. We waited for sometime and then decided to go back the same way and meet our friends but I was a bit skeptical that the policemen were still there on that bridge. We noticed a car going that way and we followed it at a distance. As soon as the car reached the brige 4-5 torches illuminated on the bridge and we realized that they were waiting for us. We quickly turned back. We could hear them shout as they saw our light turn around. Again we raced away and this time went further and inside a village. We parked near a few buffalos and in the process, woke up a few residents. I quickly alighted and went in search of mobile coverage. Finally I managed to get my phone working and we decided to meet near Chandigarh IT Park where they can hand over the helmets before we enter the city again. Meanwhile Dhanno was talking to the chowkidar of the village. Then we started for the other way back. I had a little trouble in recognizing the way in the dark, but I did manage to take us to the IT Park where the two cars were already waiting for us. Ah.. rescue at last. My friends checked out my injury and gasped when they looked at it. Finally, before we returned to hostel, we spent sometime at PGI 24 hour canteen.
I had two things before I went to bed that night. An injury that would last a week, and an experience that would last a lifetime!! :)