Thursday, 28 February 2013

My Friend Mustaque, Part-2

My Friend Mustaque, Part-1

After we joined hostel, for the initial 2 months we used to visit our relatives quite often. The more appropriate term would be "LG", i.e. Local Guardian.  Almost everyone had some form of LG in the Guwahati city. LG need not necessarily be a guardian, in the true sense.  It could be any damn known person, could be a friend as well and we only had to say to our seniors that we would go to visit our LG. During the ragging period it was kind of customary for the fresher’s to visit LG over the weekends. After a few LG visits, it got quite monotonous to drop out there so frequently.  But there was no other option left, as most of the fresher’s preferred not to stay at the hostel during the weekends. Once the ragging period is over, the LG visits decreased exponentially for all of us.

In those early hostel days, one Saturday afternoon, I was well prepared to visit my LG. I was seated beside Mustaque inside the college bus, which used to go till Kachari, the heart of the city. I and Mustaque planned to watch a movie and I thought it would be better to watch in a theater, which was located in the other part of the city. So, we went to Anuradha Cinema Hall and the movie they were showing  that time was "Dil Se". We bought the tickets and were quite happy and relaxed, as we were quite sure that none of the college seniors would come that far for movie.

The movie was OK, not that boring and the "Chaiya Chaiya" song and it's choreography was fantastic. After a few minutes, I asked  Mustaque something regarding the movie, but he didn’t respond. Initially I thought, perhaps he's watching  the movie with his full concentration, but to my surprise he was actually sleeping. I woke him up and he started to smile and said that he was a bit tired. He was alive for a while and then started to snore like a lousy animal. I got little embarrassed, as people nearby got little pissed off and started to shoot glances towards us. Again I woke him up and he was alive for few more minutes. The same process repeated throughout the movie and I was literally frustrated with him.  I thought Mustaque might be very tired  that day and that’s why he acted like that, but later we realized,  it was actually quite difficult for Mustaque to survive the entire movie, no matter how interesting the movie was. 

When I was in my 3rd semester, my father bought me a desktop computer, the one which had Celeron processor inside. That was the first computer in the entire hostel, so it deserved a fabulous welcome and it actually got the kind of welcome it deserved. On the inauguration day of my desktop, we bought 2 movie CD’s on rent, out of which one was those exotic kinds of movies. The system was up the entire night and it delivered countless number of shows. For the next few months there was tremendous load on the system and initially I was little possessive about my desktop. I strictly asked my friends to leave their shoes/sandals outside and not to smoke inside the room. But those 2 rules were followed only for the initial  few days. By the next semester, gradually many more guys started to keep their own computers, so the load was distributed and instead of having show in one particular room,  we used to have multiple shows in multiple rooms simultaneously,  just like a multiplex. 

In those days, one afternoon Mustaque bought a movie CD from somewhere and said to us "it’s a damn good movie, let’s watch it after lunch". Very soon, many of my friends came to our room to watch the movie. Everyone took their position  in the bed and literally each and every corner of the bed was utilized. We didn’t have enough space to sit comfortably, but Mustaque out of his usual habit, somehow managed enough space for him to lie down. The movie Mustaque recommended that afternoon was “A Beautiful Mind”. No doubt it’s a damn good movie and it even won a few Oscars, but such kind of movies could be boring as well, depending on individual’s mood.

As usual, after watching the movie for 10 to 15 minutes, Mustaque went to deep sleep with his mouth wide open and after few more minutes he started to snore piercingly. By that time, we were already aware of the fact that there’s no point to wake him up. Mustaque continued to snore all throughout the movie and came back to life, just few minutes before the movie was about to finish. Finally few of my friends felt happy, as ultimately the movie ended and at that moment, Mustaque became little serious and commented "Wow! Bohut accha movie tha yaar"    "Wow!  It was really a great movie to watch"

Saturday, 23 February 2013

My Friend Mustaque, Part-1

My good friend Mustaque, wow!  he was quite a character in hostel. He was very funny, but his funny character was little known to him, as he pretended to be serious most of the time. Mustaque was basically from Manipur and was quite religious kind of person, in his own ways though. He was an extremely good cook and we witnessed him creating some kind of a miracle, literally out of nothing, except those potato and tomatoes   He was quite well known for his horrible concepts in mathematics. Prior to engineering, he was a student of humanity and was very much interested in literature, politics and enjoyed reading magazines. He joined engineering as his father wanted him to become an engineer. Usually, religious people don’t like me much because of my atheist kind of attitude. In my life I encountered many such people, who used to influence me to go for the Friday afternoon prayer and every time, it was quite difficult for me to deal with such a situation. 

But Mustaque was little different, but even he also used to challenge my atheism and my distrust in religion sometimes, usually when he used to have few extra pegs. To be honest, I was actually delighted to encounter such kind of  a religious guy. Out of curiosity I asked him on one occasion "Dude, what kind of religious person are you? I mean you are totally drunk and you are giving me religious funda’s."

Mustaque smiled and responded with his usual list of slang "Dude, you should worship from your heart and religion has nothing to do with consuming alcohol"

Mustaque was also quite well known for his typical pronunciation. Most of my hostel friends would definitely remember one incident during our initial first semester days. Mustaque’s branch was Mechanical and we had a huge mechanical gang in hostel. Usually guys from same hostel used to sit together in class room. The professor wanted to note down each and every student’s roll number in his register.  Mustaque patiently waited for his turn, to speak loudly his roll number. When it was his turn, Mustaque murmured "Chabban Chabban Chabban"

The professor couldn’t understand him and said "Please speak clearly, what is your roll number?"

That time Mustaque responded "Tippne Chabban"

The professor made some weird kind of expression and said "what the hell are you saying?"

Nair seated beside Mustaque and he clarified "Sir, it’s actually 777"

Nair was my roommate and his roll number was 786 and Mustaque was extremely excited with Nair’s roll number. Mustaque used to say that Nair got God’s own number and nobody could stop him from becoming topper. He used to say Nair "You don’t have to study hard dude, you have God’s number with you and you would do well in all the exams"

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Couldn't do well in my 10th grade, but I always had an excuse, not only to convince my parents but also to console myself. I always had that positive kind of attitude all throughout my life and that time, I used to think and even used to say to my parents “who the hell would ask for my 10th grade marks? Its 12th grade exam that would decide our career and I would definitely do well in my 12th grade." Even though I couldn’t do well in any of the test exams in 12th grade but still it never bothered me and was damn confident that I would perform in the final exam. 

But unfortunately couldn’t do well in my 12th grade final exams either. Even that time, I had a very logical excuse “Once I get admission in a good engineering college, who would ask for my 12th grade marks? I would definitely perform in the upcoming engineering entrance exams" Those excuses always made me feel good, as well as relaxed and I also was able to convince my parents to some extent. That time I and some of my friends couldn’t think beyond an engineering career, may be our thinking and knowledge was very limited. We believed that the engineering entrance exams were the real exams for us, which would decide our career. But it was a kind of nightmare, when I didn’t perform in the entrance exams as well. Forget about reputed engineering colleges, I couldn’t manage a seat even in our state engineering colleges. 

That was the time when I and some of my friends came back to the real world from our fantasy world. The kind of marks we obtained in the final exam, we couldn't have got admission in some of the well known general colleges in our state. In fact, we never tried anywhere and we took admission in the one and only degree Science College in our hometown, where the door was open for everyone, irrespective of whatever percentage he/she scored in the 12th grade. That was some kind of depression phase for us, but since we always had a very positive attitude, we thought "Perhaps, we are fortunate enough not to get admission in any damn engineering college this time. We have enough time to prepare and next year we would definitely get admission in top engineering colleges"

We stopped attending lectures after a couple of months and decided to prepare for our entrance exams. We tried to work hard but it was quite painful and boring to study the same thing again and again. That was the time when I had the opportunity to make new local friends, other than my old KV (Kendriya Vidyalaya) friends.  We used to meet in the evening in some well know and slightly isolated hangout places, where we could spend a couple of hours freely. We used to gossip and had tea, along with those cigarette puffs. One day, one of my friend’s father saw our gang together and he even noticed us smoking. The next day, my friend said to us that his father was quite upset after he saw us the previous evening. He heard his father, when he narrated the incident to his mom. His father said “these kids have spoiled themselves. They never study and every now and then used to smoke cigarettes. Very soon, they would start to drink."

I seriously thought "are we really spoiled?"

Time passed by and in the "Durga Puja" vacation, most of my friends who got admission in different engineering colleges, as well as some other colleges, were in town. We had a great time and we used to meet daily.  My friends used to discuss about their new colleges, the ragging stories, hostel incidents and of course about their college babes. We usually used to gather in the evening, in those little isolated kind of hangout places. We used to have tea and cigarettes and used to gossip for hours. Unfortunately one of my friend’s father saw us in that condition and the next day, my friend narrated us, how his father told his mom about the incident. 

His father said "today, while coming from office, I saw Baba and his friends. Those guys have really become smart after joining engineering college"

His mom replied "why, what happened?"

His father said "Nothing, their attitude have changed, they looked different and I noticed them smoking cigarettes"

Initially, it was little difficult for me to digest those words. But later I thought “what else the uncle could have said? He couldn't have said that the guys are spoiled, as they already got admission in reputed engineering colleges. I was little happy that time and wondered “we are not actually spoiled, it's just a matter of time."

Friday, 15 February 2013

Team Outing in House Boat

Few years back we had a memorable team outing. Some colleagues planned to enjoy the weekend in house boats in Kerala and our good friend, Abdul Raniz really worked hard for that trip. We had a pretty huge team that time and it was quite a difficult job to decide for a travel destination for such a large team. In almost every team outing we had issues with the destination. Some guys would always be interested for hill stations, while few other guys wouldn't bother to listen anything other than beaches but some cool guys usually don't bother much about the destination, as long as they have arrangement for booze.  

So finally it was all set and we looked forward to spend the weekend in the exotic backwaters of Kerala, in a place named Alleppey. Raniz is from Kerala and he did the necessary prior arrangements. As usual, all our female colleagues already backed themselves away from the idea. Well, most of the time they would only be interested for a picnic kind of day trip. We boarded the bus in the evening and all of us were damn excited. While we waited for the bus, most of us enjoyed few sips  to spice up our enjoyment and prepared ourselves to experience the wonderful  night journey. Well for our stay in the house boat, we already over packed our kind of stuffs. Almost half of the bus was occupied by us and as one can understand, we all just felt and behaved like college going guys. At night, one of the bus staff's turned on the TV and played some Tamil movie and that too in load volume. Few of our colleagues requested them to better play some Hindi stuffs but unfortunately they didn’t have any Hindi CD's.  After some initial irritation, most of us actually enjoyed the movie that night. I don’t exactly remember the name of the movie, but it was big Tamil blockbuster. It was quite a long journey and took us almost 12 hours to reach Alleppey. Now a days one can easily enjoy such trips with Cheap Air Tickets from JetLite and Indian Airlines.

Once we got down from the bus in the morning, we had to struggle for quite some time before we could get to our actual destination “The house boats”.  Actually Raniz kept the entire headache to himself, as he was the only local guy, we had out there. Finally we reached our destination and every one had a big smile, as we could see the famous house boats, which we quite often used to see in TV, in those travel channels. The houseboats were quite big and almost like normal houses. Raniz had already booked 2 big houseboats for our entire team. The boats had all the facilities which one could avail in any normal hotel.

The initial few hours were so mesmerizing, as it started to drizzle and we felt the refreshing sprinkles up from the heaven. The cool river breeze, the exotic view and the glass in hand. Wow..  it was some kind of an experience and it was very fascinating. But after sometime it got little monotonous for me, maybe I was a bit sick of water all around us and it reminded me of flood kind of situation in my state, Assam. We traveled through the back waters all day long and just before evening, it stopped near some sort of market, where we bought fresh fish, prawns and few CD's for the night.

Finally in the evening the boat stopped at some remote location and the boat men fixed the boat out there, for our safe night shelter. After dark, we prepared and arranged for the evening blast. The food we had that night in the boat was one of the best I ever had and the entire food was prepared in the boat kitchen itself, right in front of our eyes. 

Overall it was a memorable trip and everyone enjoyed like hell. I personally feel that such kind of house boat trip is more ideal for honeymoon couples, as it's damn exotic and one would have enough time and privacy for romance. Next day, we spent the whole day in a nearby beach. We played volleyball, little bit of cricket, football and some flying disc as well, in the beach.

                                    Some breathtaking bird's eye view of Kerala backwaters.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Memorable Earthquake

I was born and brought up in Bongaigaon, a town in Assam. Our house was located at a distance of 1 KM from the town’s main road, a place named Dolaigaon. I still cherish those golden days, when everyone seemed to be so simple and approachable. Despite the frequent minor differences among some of the matured ladies, the entire neighborhood was like a big family. I remember the usual evening power cuts during my childhood days. Whenever there was a power cut in the evening, we used to come outside our house. Pretty soon, most of the people in the locality would gather out there and everyone used to stroll in the nearby lane. It was definitely the best time of the day, as so many people strolled together and everyone used to gossip. I immensely enjoyed those power cuts, as we had the opportunity to take a long break from our boring study. 

Those days, it was quite difficult for anyone to maintain any kind of privacy for too long, as most of the people had a pretty good social network. The social networking that time was very much similar to today’s kind of social networking. The only difference is that, instead of the "calling bell" sounds at the front door, now a days we used to hear some beep kind of sound or some pop ups or some red color notification on our mobiles/computers. During my childhood days, there was literally no chance for any of the families in the neighborhood to avoid any of their festivals and not throwing a party.

I remember the Bihu and Mahashivratri celebration at my childhood friend, Bhupen’s house. Bhupen’s father was a true follower of Lord Shiva, so he celebrated Mahashivratri a little graciously. Oh! The Poori Sabzi, was so delicious and on every occasion, I used to have countless number of poori’s.  On one such occasions,  I think I was in my 8th or 9th grade that time. I and my elder brother, who is 3 years elder to me, went to Bhupen’s house. My father was not in the house that time and my mom decided to stay back along with my sister.

As soon as I entered Bhupen’s house, I was totally enchanted with the mesmerizing  smell of the Poori Sabzi. To be honest, that was the best Poori Sabzi, I ever had in my entire life. That evening also I had countless number of Poori's and we returned home with our overloaded stomach. I and my elder brother used to share the same room and once he left for the engineering college, the room was entirely mine. After we came back to our room, my brother got busy with his studies and I just lied down on the bed. All of a sudden I felt a minor earthquake and out of panic, I immediately got up and shouted “earthquake, earthquake, everyone come out of the house”

Within no time, my mom, brother and my sister were outside the house. I expected most of the neighbors  to be outside their respective houses, that was the usual scene whenever any  earthquake used to occur. But I was very much surprised not to notice anyone there. My mom said it must be a very minor earthquake and even she couldn't feel it properly. So, we all came inside the house and I, along with my brother entered our room. After a few minutes, again I felt the tremor and that time it was quite bigger, as the floor and the walls of our room started to shake.

I was so horrified and screamed "earthquake, earthquake, everyone quickly come out of the house" That time also, in no time, everyone was out of the house. I said to them "Have you guys felt the earthquake this time? This time it’s much bigger than the previous one" 

Everyone looked very confused and even I was also surprised, as apart from us, the entire neighborhood were inside their houses. 

Soon we came inside and out of confusion my mom asked my brother "what happened to him?"

My brother replied “nothing, I noticed him, when he was secretly having those white fluids at Bhupen’s house."

My mother again got confused and asked "what white fluids?"

"BHANG BHANG ..." he screamed.

(Some form of marijuana, prepared with milk )

My mom was so shocked to hear that and without saying anything, I immediately went to sleep. I was so horrified and wondered how my father would react, the next morning. My father is a very religious person and to my surprise, he didn’t say a word to me that morning. In fact, he didn’t speak to me for the next 2 weeks.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

First Night In Hostel

Except for the few 8th semester guys, the entire hostel was empty. There were totally 4 blocks in the hostel and the seniors accommodated us in a room in the 3rd block. The room was actually allotted to me, Mehboob and Surajit. We waited for Nair, as he had to visit one of his relatives and was supposed to come to the hostel by evening. When Nair came that evening, the seniors arranged a room for him in the 2nd block. We settled our luggage’s and went to explore the college campus a bit.We were pretty much aware of the kind of ragging that used to happen in various engineering colleges. My elder brother was in his final year in one of the regional engineering colleges, that time and I heard so many ragging stuffs from him. Some of my friends had already completed one year in different engineering colleges and all of them used to discuss their ragging experiences during the vacations. So, basically we were,  kind of prepared for the big battle. We expected some hard core mental, as well as physical torture. But the few seniors we encountered, seemed to be so decent. Also we expected the hostel food to be very horrible but we were so much delighted to have some very delicious chicken meal, in the hostel mess that night. Everything seemed to happen quite contrary to our expectation. One of the senior asked us “how is the hostel food?”

We said “wow! it’s really delicious. Actually we had a very different impression regarding hostel food and it was a nice surprise to have such a great food out here” 

The senior laughed and said “just wait for few more days and you guys will understand things much better”

We had a good time with the seniors in the mess that night and all of a sudden Surajit asked them “It would be really great if we could know all your names”

One of the seniors replied with a slightly harsh tone “you ass holes, how dare you ask for your papa’s name?”

We remained silent for a while and I wondered that things wouldn't be very pleasant in the coming days. After dinner we went to our room and as we all were very tired, so after sometime Nair also went to his room. We expected few more fresher’s in our first day at hostel, but unfortunately we four were the only guys. Nair had to sleep alone in his room in the 2nd block, as there was only one bed in his room and the size of the bed was not big enough to be shared. We were just about to sleep and all of a sudden Nair knocked our door. He sounded quite frightened and said that one 5th semester senior came to his room and created some kind of scene out there. Nair said to us that the senior shouted at him and broke his mosquito net stand and even took away his mosquito net. In Assam and especially in our hostel, one couldn’t imagine to survive without the mosquito net. 

We asked Nair to explain in detail, what exactly happened?

Nair said that in the evening after the seniors allotted the room to him, the same 5th semester senior was inside his room and they chatted for a while. Suddenly the hostel warden came to his room, just to check everything was fine. Nair said to the warden that everything was just fine, but there was a small problem. There was only one mosquito net stand in his room and Nair said to the warden that it would be really great, if he could get one more stand. The warden asked the 5th semester senior to arrange one more stand for him. That moment the senior seemed to be so polite and replied to the warden “don’t worry Sir, I would make sure that this guy get one more stand tonight” I wondered “so, gradually things are turning out the way we expected.” We discussed that as soon as the rest of seniors start to come back after their vacation, we would definitely face some real kind of music out there. Nair was very disturbed and he slept the night in our room. 

Friday, 1 February 2013

How I met Anjali - 4

Even though I was quite happy, but was also little confused. Since it would have been a disaster for me, if I would have met Anjali within the college campus, so we decided to meet near the University post office, far enough from the college premises. The previous night I thought to discuss with someone, who was little experienced with girls. My intention was just to get some tips out of him. The immediate name that came to my head was Sabine, who was actually a veteran in the concerned field. By that time, Sabine already knew about my secret phone calls and I said to him casually that the next day I would meet her. Like some of my other friends who knew about that, Sabine was not very excited to hear that. It seemed, it was kind of normal thing for him and he said to me "Oh! that’s great, all the best and have fun dude"

I said to him "actually I am telling you so that you could give me some tips"

Sabine smiled and said “You don’t need any tips dude and on the contrary, you should give us some tips”

But I still remember, Sabine advised me on one thing and said "Since you are going to meet her for the first time, you shouldn't take any risk and be little cautious"

"What kind of risk are you talking about?"

Sabine said "Nothing yaar. You don't know, girls are really smart these days. You never know, she might come along with her gang and it could be a kind of enjoyment for them, as you would be waiting like a cow out there. They could even plan something more mischievous."

Sabine suggested me not to wait exactly at the same place, instead he advised me to wait somewhere nearby, so that I could watch her their moves. I was totally confused and wondered “Aisa bhi hota hai?" as such things were beyond my imagination, but considering his experience, I couldn't have completely neglected Sabine's advice.

I and Anjali, planned to meet in the afternoon and I went to that place a bit earlier. She was supposed to wear a blue shirt and as already discussed, I was wearing a black T-shirt with a big dragon printed on it. I didn't have lunch yet, as it was quite early for me to have lunch that time. I took Sabine's advice a little seriously and waited at a different place but close to the post office. I was on the other side of the main road and constantly looked for her. I was little nervous and already finished a couple of cigarettes. Finally the clock ticked but she was still not anywhere within my visibility range. I waited for another 10-15 minutes but I couldn't see any girl with a blue shirt, near the post office. I thought, she must be somewhere nearby and constantly starring at the post office gate, in the same way I was doing. I was so much thankful to Sabine that moment and wondered about the consequences, if  I wouldn't have discussed with him, the previous night.

I felt so bad but was little happy too and thought "at least I didn't fall into her trick" All that was going through my head and then all of a sudden I saw a girl with a blue shirt, in a rickshaw. The rickshaw stopped near the post office and the girl got down there. She waited there and I constantly watched her moves. After a few minutes, I crossed the main road and approached towards her. She was wearing specs, with a chain attached to it and she had braces fixed to her teeth. She looked pretty cute in her typical specs chain and I could breathe a little easily, as she didn't look taller than me.

I asked her "Anjali?"

She replied "Yes, you are Jahid?" 

I smiled and said "yes" She started to laugh and  screamed "where the hell were you?"

We talked for a while and I just wanted to disappear from that place, as I had noticed  few familiar faces out there. I asked her if we could go to the city, may be to a restaurant. She was OK with the idea and we entered inside a bus. Here I would like to write the Anjali's version of the incident and she narrated this to many of her, as well as my friends. She used to say that as soon as I entered that bus, I looked for a seat and when I noticed a window seat, I pushed her a bit to take the window seat for myself and then asked her to sit beside me. Even though, I always enjoyed window seat but I seriously doubt that I did something like that.

We headed towards the city , but unfortunately we entered the wrong kind of bus. It was the kind of bus where there was separate seating arrangement for ladies. Very soon the bus got crowded and the conductor asked Anjali to better occupy a lady's seat and all of a sudden, she changed her seat and was no longer seated beside me. After almost an hour, we reached Silpukhuri and we got down there. We went to a restaurant, but she said that she already had her lunch. Actually they used to have early lunch at their hostel. I ordered some food for me and a juice for her.She said to me "You talk so much over the phone, but now you seem to be little different" After food, we came out of the restaurant and I lighted a cigarette. Even now a days, Anjali used to say to my friends that I intentionally passed my cigarette smoke towards her, that moment. Now, why the hell I would do that? Poor smoke, would simply go wherever the mighty wind would take her to.

She said she is tired and would like to go back to her hostel. We took a bus from there and on the way we didn't talk much. After an hour, the bus stopped near her hostel and she got down. We didn't say anything special that moment, except for the usual goodbye.After sometime, I reached my hostel and went inside my room. I lied down in my bed and was very restless and kind of confused. I was happy and also quite upset, may be I had too much expectation for the day. I thought, she must have found me quite boring and would never meet me again. First time, she met me only because I wanted to meet her once. Why the hell she would meet me again? All that was going through my head and I had no idea when I went to sleep. In the evening when I woke up, I was not in a very good mood and was quite upset.

I called Anjali in the evening and said "It must be a real boring day for You?"

She said "No. In fact, it was quite interesting"

I said "You don't have to lie to me. It's OK"

She said "It's not like that, I am quite open and always speak the truth. You are a very interesting person"

Immediately I replied "OK, if I am so interesting, then definitely we can meet again"

She laughed on that and asked me not to play with her words, but some how she couldn't deny our next encounter. Everyone remember their first date or whatever we name it, but my second experience with Anjali is much more memorable.

Next Part
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