I spent the first week of my life at IMT leading the life of a hunted animal. I wasn’t alone in my misery; every first year student at IMT will have the memory seared in his brain forever.
Every morning we would be woken up at 6 to attend yoga. We would bend, stretch and groan until 7:30. After which we’d be given an hour to bathe, have breakfast and attend class. For the first time in my life, I faced the problem of sharing a bathroom with 16 individuals fighting a frantic battle against time. I bathed in the loo for the first 3 days.
Breakfast would be eaten in a daze. It was the best meal of the day but we were too bombed to notice.
The first week was supposed to have introductory classes. I say supposed to because none of us were actually conscious to notice. Classes were followed by lunch followed by an alumni lecture. We’d be left alone for a couple of hours and then dinner. Dinner was followed by presentations made by the various committees in college. It would be 1 in the morning by the time it got over. That when the horror started.
We would assemble at the amphitheatre and the seniors would come roaring out of their rooms, fresh and charged up at the time half the world was in bed. We must salute them, they said, wish them, respect them, a senior was always right, don’t you dare forget that. And remember, it is not morning until the classes have started. Nobody cares if its 5 in the morning, you still say Good evening sir, all right?
We saluted, we roared Good evening sir over and over again but they were never satisfied. You can’t say Good evening, at least sing for us, cant sing? Dance then. Stop stop! You call that dancing? Run around the ground, waving your arms shouting, “ It’s raining, it’s raining! Oh I love the rain!”
A senior would come, scan the group and pick the guys and girls he wanted. We’d be led to different corners of the ground and made to do his bidding. We’d start of by introducing ourselves. In the first week, I introduced myself about a thousand times.
For my first PDP (they never called it ragging, it was a personality development programme), I was asked to market ‘Grassy Swipes’, nature’s all natural toilet paper.
When the senior finally got bored of us, he’d send us of to another eager senior and the whole thing would start again. I was asked to enact Rakhi Sawant yelling at Mika Singh, Kareena Kapoor caught by the press kissing Shahid Kapoor. After which I was supposed to throw myself at the feet of some unsuspecting senior and weep “ Don’t leave me, don’t leave me, what will become of our unborn child?” I don’t know why, but I always got the female roles.
Sometimes the senior would take pity on us and send us back to the room. The sympathy was wasted because just after we went back to bed, another senior would bang on the door and take us out.
The ragging would go on till 5 in the morning after which we would be bid good night. We’d stagger back and collapse on the bed. At 6 it was time for yoga. Another day had begun.
I went an entire week without sleep, bombed out my senses, not hungry, not thirsty, totally immune to the fact that the campus was actually filled with lovely women. The 7 days went by like a horror movie played in slow motion.
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