2006/11/14

Freshers' t-RAG-edies


Weighing by the tales I hear from the coterie around me of their PDP (Personality Development Programme) or CBS (Character Building Sessions) -- euphemistic terms in the institute for ragging -- my experiences are relatively mundane and few. Nonetheless, I'll disclose a handful of them here for the sake of record.


Receiving end.


I badger a flock of Tamil seniors to rag me, since every freshman around me had had a taste of it while I had been neglected. One of the sophomores obliges and gives me an appointment in his chamber at nine pm.
It was quite later that I learnt that he was an amateur in the line and was learning the ropes himself. Take, for instance, the time he asked me to amplify on whatever I knew about pornography. Believing I was talking to a seasoned maven, I poured forth my modest knowledge on the topic. He soon put up his hand and checked my flow. He was apparently unable to assimilate my points on the issue. Oof! I merely described, without mincing my words, the procedures followed by porno performers, perhaps in some good graphic detail.
And at one juncture in the sitting he asks me, 'Do you like girls?'
'Of course!' is all over my tongue, but I find myself asking back, 'In what way?'
'YOU say in what way'.
'In a psychological way.'
He eyeballs me a few ticks.
And, 'Your name is Logical Psycho', he declares.


A lighter occasion...a nice Tamil second year chap with no hair on his face asks me, after surveying my rather luxurious moustache, 'Have you seen the movie Thillumullu?'
'Yes, twice or thrice.'
'Remember Theynga Seenivasan says The larger your moustache, the purer your mind?'
'Yes.'
'What do you think of it? True or false?'
'Hmmm... false'
'Oh, so you don't have a pure mind, is it?'
'Okay, true.'
'Oh, so I don't have a pure mind, is it?'


The first time I was 'oriented', I was unaware that only your hostel-mates can do that to you. This was during one of the three days we got to stay in the campus even before our first official day in IITM.
I spotted Radha and Anushya Akkas walking towards Sharavati on the road lining OAT. It was the first time I saw them in the insti, so I was excited, sent my co-cyclist -- my ex-room-partner -- away, and braked my bike grandly in front of them. A long-haired male was with them too, but who cared? The Dean had guaranteed us and our parents that the word 'ragging' was unknown to our seniors.
'Hi, Akka! Eppadi irukkeenga? When are classes starting for you?', I quizzed R.
She responded in the queerest spirit. Stuffing all the ice she could into her voice, she said 'Don't -- call -- me -- Akka'.
This wasn't the Radha Akka I'd known! Something was wrong... And she was trying to communicate something to me with her eyes. Like she was warning me or something, a hint of plea in it. I didn't follow her gesture at all, but soon I was to discover that the densest of schmucks would have interpreted her cue as 'F, L, E, E.'
The guy, heretofore merged in the background, took over. He dismissed the ladies and asked me to come along with him.
I asked him jocundly which hostel he came from.
In reply, he asked me to dismount from my bicycle. I complied.
But I still did not have the blurriest inkling that he was actually ragging me. I was softly laughing too.
Things dawned upon my head only when he steelishly informed me, 'You are not supposed to show your teeth to your seniors.'
My lips reflexively met.
'You are not supposed to smile too.'
That put me completely at unease, but I just somehow couldn't disobey him. He held an invisible whip, and I hated it.
He ran through my 'intro', briefing me on the format in which it ought to be recited. And he asked me if I was a pet in school. And the conventional 'How many girls do you know in the insti?'
We were nearing Sharavati side-gate. Poornima was in sight, a good shouting radius away. I tried not to look in her direction, fearing she might catch my eyes and call me out.
He said, 'Do you talk with girls? Do you feel comfortable with them?'
'No,' I lied.
The next second Poornima cooed from the distance, 'HIII, NIRMAAAL!!!' with all the might in her throat.

That was the first time in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras that I was, to borrow an expression from engineering parlance, "royally screwed".


Delivering end.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Confucius.

In the library, Srinand catches hold of a juicy temptingly raggable fresher and agonizes him.
After going through the motions of introduction, Srinand asks,'Why did the chicken cross the road?'
'Because it has legs,' comes the grinning reply.
I learn that the gentleman is a Malayali. Immediately I write 'Oil wells soil the office!' in my notebook and ask him to say it aloud.
He reads, 'Oh-yil wells soh-yil the oh-ffice!'


Five sophomores including myself take two freshmen to task in my room, namely, 136, Saraswathi. We toss them routine questions, test their know-how on sex and the opposite sex , excavate their past affairs and adventures with the latter, discover their innate talents, assign them to play the proposer and the proposed, and all that jazz. And one of us asks a particularly geeky looking guy, 'What's your room number?'
'267 B'.
I get interested. That was MY place last year.
I ask him, 'Who's your room father?'
In all innocence he replies, 'Someone called Psycho. His nick is Nirmal Raj, I think.'
'And what is his room number now?'
Answers the unobservant kid, '136.'

10 Obiter dicta:

Anonymous lavanya couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

so you ragged huh? i dont know, this seems a bit oht(over head transmission).

12:04 PM  
Blogger Chinnu couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Oh, yes, I did rag. I msg'ed you as much too. Marandhuttiya?
Electrical Engineering courses panravankittayae OHT patthi paesariya?

12:07 PM  
Blogger Poornima couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

HIIIIIIIIII NIRMAL :D
I had forgotten all about this incident :)

11:32 AM  
Blogger juju couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

ur first dayin iit incident is too good.......

6:45 PM  
Blogger A songbird couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:32 PM  
Blogger A songbird couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Mr Nirmal Raj! I seriously can't deny that you have a vry interesting style of writing ..it keeps you intact till the end..though the details may be gory awry or anything on those lines ..but i appreciate your work and its always fun to read !! :P

8:32 PM

8:33 PM  
Blogger Chinnu couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

M'pleasure, m'lady.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Durga couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

good account on what happened.. that day at the lib was too good.. 'oh-yil...'

4:53 PM  
Blogger Vettri couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

I feel bad for missing the peak of ragging session. But I cant forget this one.
Two sophomores asked me to choose one of those two, for a night.
'Who has a HIv negative certificate?' was how i wanted to reply them, unfortunately i didn't do so, and i became one of those least popular faces in the hostel.
If i find time i will try to write a fictitious post on my ragging session.

6:44 PM  
Blogger unni krishnan couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

i aint bragging, but, there isnt any ragging in my college.

and..who was it who said, not confucius...no Al pacino, in Godfather-3
" just when i thought i was out..they pull me back in!.."

4:12 PM  

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