Habits, Addictions and Obsessions

College is over, and there is nothing much to do for the next one month. So I’ll get back to blogging and its time to rewind the past 4 years. I guess I’ll have different blog posts covering different aspect of my college life. This one is going to be about habits/addictions which I owe to the 4 years in college. Not that I repent all of these, but I guess its worth putting it on the blog. Here is the list:

1. Abuses: It all started from the first day at Chandigarh. Punjab has a comprehensive influence over Chandigarh. And of course the Punjabi language is very widely used in Chandigarh. The problem with punjabi language is that it is no longer simply a medium for human communication. It has transformed into a medium to swear at people. After being at the heart of it every sentence I speak now starts and ends with an abuse. Interestingly people no longer restrict them to “behen” or “madar” or even “chu****” (these have started featuring in movies as well - remember “Omkara” or “DevD” or “Gulal” or even the lighter ones like “Khosla ka Ghosla”). Innovation is the key and people take pride in abusing in a creative manner. Infact this habit is so deep that even hearing plain Hindi language seems so unnatural. Remembering the school days, when we were scolded for saying “kutta” or “gadha” or the hifi “saala”, gives me a mixed feeling of amusement and guilt.

2. Coffee: I have never liked tea which my parents and most of India has been fond of. Every place I go, I have always been refusing tea all my life. I still remember those old days when I used to love traveling on Rajdhani Express. Why? Because they would serve you coffee instead of tea if you request them to. Over the last four years I have been exploiting my freedom as a hosteler. I would always yearn to take coffee and I would grab every opportunity. It doesnt matter what time is it. Even past midnight I would often go to Aroma (which is open 24 hours and has a Cafe Coffee Day outlet) and take Redeye shots (Expresso) without milk or sugar. I can still remember days when I have had coffee 7 times in a day. By the end of 4 years I have a choice of coffee for every mood.

3. Lost: Rungta initiated it when I was in first year. Then I used to love it as a TV show. As time went on Lost started shaping up. Most of my friends in my hostel and I became a fan of it. Little did we know that it had become an addiction. In the last one and a half year at hostel various restrictions were imposed on the use of internet. Many of the download websites and filetypes were blocked. I realized that I was addicted to it when we were more bothered about download websites being blocked (from were we used to download the episodes of Lost) than Gtalk being blocked or ‘zip’ filetype being blocked. Lost had-to-be watched at any cost. I still remember requesting day scholars do download the episodes and rushing to them to procure them.

4. Music: I loved music even before I went to college. But the love for music has taken a definite shape while I was in college. I have grown a distinct taste based on both the music and the lyrics. There were people in hostel who would always recommend particular tracks. Being in hostel the music library was never stagnant. It kept growing in different genres and languages. By the end of the college, I realize that I have tracks from at least 15 different languages and many genres. In fact I have started appreciating the OSTs of different lesser known movies, something I never did before I was in college.

5. Playing Card (esp Sweep aka Seep): It started in my final semester after the trip to Udaipur and Mt Abu. We played cards when we were in the train. And we never stopped playing since then. I remember that we have played out about 4-5 decks of cards in the last one and a half months. I would perpetually sweep (Read the game rules here). Day or night. At times even miss a few meals for playing cards. We slowly attracted the entire hostel in playing with us. At times we would bet meagre amount over a game to add excitement and thrill. I will really miss this addiction of mine, since being at home I have no one to play with.

6. Clicking Photographs: Note that I did not say photography, I have always been fond of photography. Even before joining college I have about 5 different kinds of cameras at home. But none of them were digital. This is why I bought a digital camera as soon as I managed to save enough money. Digital camera has given me a power to click. And this has turned into a habit. A habit to click all the time, capture all moments, weather good or bad. As pointed before, this habit has nothing to do with my love for photography. During the 4 day trip to Rajasthan I clicked more than 2k snaps. Out of these only about 100 of them were with an intention to click “good photos”. The rest was a result of the addiction. When I have a digital camera, I just click click and click. By the end of four years of college we have about 25 GBs of pics. I hope I can get over it.

7. Anytime Internet: Hostel has certainly pampered most of of us in respect to this aspect. I just can’t live without an anytime internet connection. Till about a year and a half ago my hostel was blessed with anytime high speed internet. Although the official time for the internet to be working was from 6pm-8am. But unlike the other hostels in Panjab University, we had found out methods to access internet all throughout the day. About an year ago the loopholes were discovered and internet in our hostel was also restricted to the same timings. It is not that I am perpetually hooked to the internet. Nor is it that I need to download lots of stuff. But yet (for reasons that even I am not aware of), I just need to have access to the internet, anytime. So I subscribed to GPRS internet connection on my phone, which would give me unlimited access to the internet. Its so odd that before I joined college, I seldom needed the internet- mainly to access my email.