Friday, October 19, 2007

Tea Time/ Visitor Time!

Yes! Tea time was also visitor time in the hostel.........looked forward to by many of us girls!

A visitor walks through the hostel gates manned by a "Chowkidar" (watchman in Hindi). He signs the visitor book - Name, address & the name of the person he is visiting and a second "Chowkidar" shows him to the visitor room/common room where he can sit & wait while the "Chowkidar" goes to inform the girl for whom the visitor had come. Yes, the "Chowkidars" are the only men allowed in the residential block!

The "Chowkidar" usually would shout from below, (if the girl lived on a first or second floor)... "Mary, D-14....Visitorrrrrrrrrrrrr". Other girls hearing it would in turn pass the message....from one girl to the other till it reaches Mary. At times, if we had a feeling that it is an unwanted visitor we would ask the "Chowkidar" whether he knew the name of the visitor or to describe the person. If it was the same, we would send him back to tell the Visitor that we were not in!

Apart from the common room, the visitors could also hang around just inside the gate where we had a "Dhaba" serving "parathas" or bread slice & omelet served with tea.

For girls who did not have any visitors coming in, it was equally interesting to see who came for whom and this "watching game" we could do sprawled on our lawns with cups of tea!

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