Sunday, February 11, 2007


Did I tell you about IIT? Did I? I do not believe so.

Day Zero. January 25th. Somebody's birthday.
I went to Chennai for Saarang this year, much like last year. Went all alone, too. Had the father drop me off at Bangalore City Station at six in the a.m, and after depositing me in my seat, he went back home (probably to his warm bed)
I, in great excitement, activated my roaming, and then proceeded to call a person who had promised to call the previous day and then never had. He turned out to be in Chennai already, hurrah. Such a joy, and he'd never even bothered to tell me. So I hung up on him and ate a packet of Kurkure to relieve my feelings. I tried calling the person who was to meet me at the station, but all signs pointed to slumbering through ringing phones, and so I let it go.

Salient points of the train ride:
  • Discovering that the other person from my college travelling to Chennai that morning was not only in the same compartment, but also seated in the row in front of me. The cream of the jest lay in the messages sent:
    • she: yes, i'm in seat 61. you?
    • me: er... wouldn't it be better if you told me which compartment you're in before you tell me which seat you're in?
    • she: i know! only realized after sending the other message. i'm in s1. you?
    me: amazement. Coincidences are so pretty.
  • Being aware of the exact moment when I moved out of Karnataka limits into roaming regions, as evinced by the happy message that informed me that the last message had just cost me Rs. 3.45.

  • Assisting a guy with his bag. One of probably the only two northies in the entire compartment. Why did I do it? Why? Because naturally he felt this allowed him to not only attempt to engage me in conversation, but also to practically sleep on me the rest of the journey, in spite of elbows and bags and other preventive devices.

    When he leaned over to spit out of the window and practically fell on my chest, however, I yelled out as loudly as I could for him to keep his bloody hands to himself. Chastened, he stayed away from me for the remainder of the trip. Which was just twenty minutes, sigh.

Once we reached Chennai Central, I was tickled to see cartloads of geeky boys with placards welcoming us to Saarang 2007. How perfectly sweet of them, I thought.
I later discovered this was really nothing out of the ordinary, and if I had been sensible enough to come as an official member of my college, I would have had the same happy treatment meted out to me as well.
Found my escort, joked about the possibility of him being an undesirable element; complained about men in general and the man on the train in particular; and had a wonderfully comfortable ride to my aunt's house, where I proceeded to eat lunch, read a third of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, and waste potloads of money trying to figure out what I was supposed to do for the rest of the day.
The rest of the evening began with a lot of frantic telephoning and some unexpected plans; and ended with me stranded at a free show in Saarang with my phone's battery dying on me, and with no one I knew anywhere nearby. Hence I lost no time in making some new friends. Naturally, no sooner had I found a gaggle of girls to hang out with, than I promptly ran into a horde of young IITians I knew, and my peace of mind was assured. Also my enjoyment.
I was dropped back to my aunt's in a car filled with young alumni of my school, from colleges all over South India. More patterns, oh joy.
And so.
End of Day Zero.

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