Friday, October 26, 2007

Miranda House?

I go home for the holidays......short Puja Break. I get to meet Mom & Dad's friends once again. They ask me where I am........what am I doing...translate studying...which College? The moment I say "I am studying in Miranda House College", I invariably get the raised eyebrows looks with..."Miranda House?" Actually, I love seeing that look. It amuses me to see them scandalized on hearing that a girl like me (I am suppose to be a prim & proper girl, minding my Ps & Qs!...having studied in convent schools where the Nuns have done a good job on me) has landed in that notorious College and secretly wondering if I am now Wild & Fast!

Miranda House.........I don't know exactly when and how it got this wild reputation......but no other Girls College can claim "Holier Than Thou" Title too!

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!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Miranda House Gardens

Miranda House has beautiful lawns. Come winter and there would be a whole lot of beautiful flowers adding color to the green-green lawns. It is simply a sight to behold. Many a picture has been taken in these lawns and amongst these flowers! Additonally there would be many potted plants/flowers lining up the college building and the inner structures too.

On the other side is the Hostel entrance. As one enters the hostel gate, we have "The Island".....a small patch of green surrounded by a paved structure. There's a pole right in the middle where on Republic Day or Independence Day the National Flag would be hoisted.

Entering further, we have the Porch..........beyond which we have huge lawns spread in front of the residential area. Paved pathways divides this into 4 units. The pathways are lined on either sides by Palm trees on which some of us girls have profusely scribbled.........leaving our names for posterity. Somewhere you would even find my name too!

During winter, these lawns look exceptionally beautiful as now the flower beds are filled with such gorgeous flowers. Many of us would be sprawled on these one time or the other.......doing any 1-2-3 of these activities or all....reading, knitting, gossiping, eating peanuts, having chai (tea)/coffee or simply soaking up the sun!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My First Social - IIT

We got an Invite from the IITians........for a Social!

We are allowed one social each year and for us Hostellers this was an event to look forward to. Had never attended such dos.........having studied in all girls convent schools. My friends and I decided to go. We were real excited. There was the usual flurry......what to wear....what to wear..........the perennial question for us girls! The makeup had to be right too!

Come the day....evening to be precise......the Boys came to pick us up........a couple of them on a hired bus to take us to their lair........hee-hee-hee........I mean, to their hostel! The rest of the girls who were not going, all came out to see us off.....wishing us luck & to enjoy ourselves while some to see what we were wearing!

Reaching IIT and the venue where the Party was.........I was pretty apprehensive....I guess the other girls must have been sailing in the same boat......maybe the Boys felt the same. The place was quite nicely decorated and there was music playing too. The girls & the boys eyed each other and sized one another up......the boys trying to muster up the courage to ask one of us to a dance and the girls hoping it would be a cute one who does!

A tall handsome guy came to ask me for a dance. He turned out to be the Cultural Secretary. He was a real decent guy and we stuck together for the rest of the evening. Every now and then he would go off to attend to something........but then he made sure I was comfortable. He was a thorough gentleman.

The dinner was wonderful..........the evening was a success........and before the clock struck 12.00pm.........we were dropped back to our hostel.

My First Social........was a wonderful experience!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Classification of a Mirandian

The classification of a Mirandian (or for that matter anyone outside too) into a Behenji or a Non-Behenji was purely economic I would say. Please refer to my earlier Post - Dress like a "Behenji" for the meaning of a Behenji.

The Behenjis would be the ones coming from a school with a name like Guru Nanak Public School or any other Municipality schools and would be dressed in those simple salwar suits and usually have long oily braided hair. I know I am being cliched.....but this is the image which would come up when one talks of a Behenji..........and usually would be the Hindi speaking type. Even if they could speak English, the schooling and the dressing would not qualify them to be slotted as a Non-Behenji.

The Non-Behenjis on the other hand would be the ones coming from some of the country's elite schools like Loreto, Welhams, MGD, Woodstock, Modern School, Convent of Jesus & Mary, etc. Their fathers would be either a highly placed Official or a Rich Businessman or a Top Business Executive. Their English would be impeccable. Even if one were to wear a salwar suit it would be stylish & trendy.

Then, there were the girls who were termed as "Behenji turned Mod" meaning Behenjis who have now turned Modern........usually in their way of dressing. I guess its the result of the juxtaposition of the above two kinds for a period of time! The transformation of some of them were they were earlier and now how they had changed.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wardi's on her Round!

Using any electric appliances in the hostel was prohibited! Of course........we all used it..... illegally!

We had our electric iron.............cheaper than giving it to "Dhobs" (Dhobi or Washerman for the Non Mirandians or Hostellers!) & convenient!

Then there was the electric heater. How could we do without a heater? Our tea/coffee, Maggie, toast, & many more were made.......late into the night when the canteen or the Dhaba was closed. Not to mention, many a night in winter it kept our rooms cozy & warm.

As for music, we all had our Hi-Fi system. We were to have used only battery operated ones. Now tell me, who is going to buy batteries for these systems when we could just plug it in?! Saved our money on buying batteries!

Some of us even had hair dryers & the curling tongs! I rarely used hair dries off pretty fast!

Now....the Wardi (Warden) would come for a surprise check occasionally. If anybody spied her coming towards the Girl's residential side............word would travel before one could say Jack Robinson! Even if she did manage to come without having been seen by anyone and some unfortunate girls were caught with various appliances in the room............but then that would be the only haul for the day/night as by that time ......"Wardi's on round"......would have passed around from one room to another.....from one floor to the other.

There were girls who quickly had to switch off their heaters and hide it wherever possible. Some found its way in a bucket and the heat of it would cause the bucket to warp a bit! It was funny! Even if the heaters were confiscated..........the next day, these would have been replaced by a new one!

In all the 3 years...........I was never caught........yes! I had a heater, iron, music system & my hair dryer!

PS:- I even had a friend who had a small TV in her was a cute one by SONY!

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Midnight Feast

Our conversations never seemed to finish...........we had loads to talk. I had loads of friends in the hostel...........and when we all gathered it was but to talk on everything else but all of us were studying different subjects.........most of us at least! Astrology & Palmistry was quite popular and many a times we tried to find out where our future was heading.

All these were accompanied with the tuck got from home, at least as soon as we came back after the holidays.......and for some of my friends, these were frequently replenished through indulgent relatives & local guardians. At other times, we had Maggie Noodles. We would cook these on the heater which was illegal.....but all of us used it anyway. Baked beans on toast or on crackers.......yummy! At times, as snacks, we would crunch a packet of Maggie Noodles, pour the masala, shake it and eat it........raw! Hostellers!

Coffee was our standard midnight drink. One of us would religiously beat the coffee till all the sugar melted and the coffee from dark brown color turned into a lighter color and when milk was poured we would get such frothy beautiful not to mention delicious coffee!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Travelling in Delhi

For the first time, I am away from home.......and so were many of my friends in the Hostel. While at home, I was ferried to and fro from the school in the Air Force Bus & then for an outing to Town it was to be with my family in the car. Inside the Air Force Camp, I would use my bicycle if need be or I would just walk.

Now here in the Hostel, we had to depend on public transportation and I was quite bewildered as to how to go about it initially. For the life of me I didn't know which bus to catch and where I should get off but I learnt quickly! Being in the North Campus, a trip to CP or to South Ex. or to GK or to.... was once in a while. We would usually be in a large group though as time passed by the size of the group diminished. Amongst us, there were girls who had done their schooling in Delhi Schools, Boarders they were and so knew Delhi quite a bit! Getting on DTC Buses was quite an adventure!

With time, we got bolder.......the Mirandian spirit I guessed had seeped into us.......instead of travelling in rickety, dirty & crowded DTC Buses.....we travelled in sweet comfort & style! Yes! We took lifts from passing cars.........but of course we tried to be careful.....we only asked from lone drivers so we could overpower in any.....eventuality and we made sure the doors could be opened from the inside!

Of course, we did use the 3 wheelers too, the Auto times 3-4 of us tightly packed in it! What a racket it makes especially when it speeds up!

While moving in and around the Campus, it was always the Cycle Rickshaw! Sitting on it made me at least, feel quite grand! I loved the ride on a nice cool day! Three of us girls could fit in....the one in the middle would sit on the backrest!

It was fun.......those carefree college I wish I could travel back in time!