Oct 2. 0100 hours.
A pack of Britannia 50-50 is half down the belly. I light a smoke. A backbreaking day indeed! Time for a post on the blog. Here’s today’s diary entry:
The hostel’s lifeless. People are off to their places in the Puja vacations. There is a de facto mass bunk irrespective of the seemingly evil designs of the new director of our institute. Ten days back there was a notice on the mess notice board. It warned us of the dire consequences of not being able to manage a 75% attendance till the semester exams. A hefty fine coupled with a semester-exams-debarring was the heaviest penalty. Unperturbed, the guys head to their cribs. This is NIT Jamshedpur for chrissake!! Reasons are manifold: parents, maa ke haath ka khana, girlfriend(s), CAT…or a mere itchiness for change.
I had slept late the last night. Hardly did I know what the morning had in store for me.
There’s a knock on the door. Again. Some more times.
Frozen, I look out of the windowpane. It’s pleasantly cool out there. Birds are chirping as they head out for the day’s ration.
Naseer’s hard-bitten icy face surfaces in my mind. He had planted a bomb in the door of my room which would be triggered on opening it. It was no prank. I recollect everything so accurately. The bag with J&K emblazoned on I has 6 kilograms of RDX. I look for my cell near the pillow. It’s off. I have to call someone up. I try to switch it on but in vain. Naseer has hacked into my cell phone! He’s out there on the terrace of some under-construction building, sipping coffee stored in his thermos and monitoring my activities on a 7” B&W television. I try to scream Husain’s name - his is the room next to me – but I can’t. The bastard has hacked into my vocal cords as well!! I’m gasping and gulping and sweating.
Rubbing my eyes, I get off the bed to find my cell phone with its back cover open and the battery lieing by its side. Raka had borrowed my sim card the last night! Phew!!! I didn’t know I liked Neeraj Pandey’s Naseer starrer A Wednesday this much!
I go to sleep again only to be woken up by Jishnu around 10. Amused by the Freudian experience, I have my breakfast. I get a Jim Carrey 4-in-1 DVD in Jai’s room. Ace Ventura – The Pet detective was the first on the list. The master comedian is at his goofy best. Fun With Dick And Jane is the next. Two movies at a stretch. Lunch. Newspaper. The customary yet heavenly nap o’the noon.
I wake up around six and head straight to the mess. Snacks. Smoke. Tea. Stroll.
Why not just run through the credits of the next flick? It happens to be The Cable Guy. Directed by Ben Stiller! Well, that’s interesting. I didn’t know he dons this cap as well.
CAT’08 is 45 days down the line. Ummmm…just one more movie and that’s it. 45 days is a lot for preparations.
Interesting movie, to say the least. Yet another masterstroke from Carrey.
Husain’s going home for Eid. We go to the Tatanagar Junction to see him off. On our way back, I remember something. Sai had handed me a medical prescription back at the hostel. His eyes have swollen thanks to an amazingly amorous insect. No further delay could be afforded. He urgently needs some antibiotics and disinfectants. I get into a drugstore only to find that I have left the prescription on my table at my room! This isn’t uncommon. Heaving a sigh of disbelief, I wonder at the people who still trust me with such crucial things. I try to imagine how would Sai look with double the swelling the next day. The image isn’t that cute.
Jishnu is successfully manipulated to treat us with Cappucino.
Café Coffee Day. Punit’s cell rings. Its Manish. He happens to miss the train at Adityapur railway station and needs someone to take him and his baggage back to the hostels. I slide the untorn sugar sachet into my pocket and we leave the café.
Punit and I go to the railway station. There’s not a bird in there. We search for Manish, everywhere. He’s nowhere to be found. He isn’t even attending the calls. We search the nearby roads as well.
My cellphone rings. Jishnu happens to be betrayed by his bike. Punctures have become a daily phenomenon. We’re stuck. On one hand we can’t find Manish whose phone is ringing continuously without being picked up. I conjure up all sorts of things that shouldn’t but could have happened to Manish. And on the other, Jishnu is somewhere all alone in the dead of the night. The roads are not that safe. There have been instances of mugging by unsocial elements. Damn!
We roam around looking for Manish. 5 minutes up. Jishnu’s still all alone. A predicament indeed!
Manish finally picks the damn phone up. He has already reached the hostels. Annoyed, I hang up and we make a U-turn to find Jishnu walking along with his bike with punctured tyres. Still around 2.5 kilometres from the hostel, we decide to take turns and walk along with the bikes. Periodically, each one of us gets to walk the punctured bike, walk the unpunctured one and walk all alone – the last being the best of the lot.
This is one of the rarest occasions when a comparatively feather-weight Hero Honda Splendor scores heavily against heavy power bikes. Nevertheless, 2.5 kilometres is a long distance. Halfway through the bike march, I take off my t-shirt. The stupid duo makes some wisecracks on my stripping act that I don’t get.
Punit announces it’s October 2 - Gandhi Jayanti. What a tribute to Bapu! The Dandi march wouldn’t have been much worse. At least the Sabarmati guys didn’t have these two-wheeler monsters to carry along.
Burnt Out, I come back to my room and flake out on my bed. A catnap and it feels better. I rush to BholaJi’s 24X7 and get some biscuits and a smoke. This calls for a post on the blog…