Saturday, January 08, 2005

Of hostel times

A few days back, I met up with my old gang. A lazy Sunday afternoon as we sat eating and drinking in a brand new restaurant, with amazingly efficient waiters, serving the most delicious food.

We have been through a lot together. Since the time we were hungry hostelites. When we lived together, ate together, wore each other's clothes and partied together.

A lot of old stories were recounted. Most of them involved the hostel warden, a pious nun. I will name her Sr. Celina here.

Among the delightful stories were -

1) Sr. Celina, making rounds at night. It was criminal to be found in each other's rooms. Suspected lesbianism! AD, on being caught, tries to hide her huge bulk behind a bucket! Sr Celina not amused. "See me in the office tomorrow."

2) J, my roomie, parading in her new sexy lingerie and I, cheering. Sr Celina on her sneaky round, storms in, ignores J, and tells me "See me in the office tomorrow."

3) M, forever in her blue t-shirt, haunts the corridors at night. A sheaf of papers tucked under one arm, she goes around asking people "Can I have ONE potato chip?" or "Do you think there is a god?"

4) Almost caught in the afternoon watching TV, when we should have been at work, I sprinted away like Carl Lewis. R, slower, made it to N's room and banged desperately. N, just opened the door wide enough to let R in and slammed it shut on Sr. Celina's face (who was hot on her heels)! "Come and see me in the office IMMEDIATELY!"

5) D's 2nd day in hostel. Sneaks in gate past deadline with heavy mattress under one arm. Sr. Celina sermonising us, with back to D. Everybody gestures to D, to quietly dash to room before Sr Celina turns. D, totally ignorant, grins widely at all and steps forward and taps Sr Celina on shoulder! "Is this the time for respectable girls to come back? Leave the hostel immediately!!" (D was pardoned later and allowed to stay on.)

6) D, health conscious, makes her own cucumber salad, every day. One day, on account of pantry tap running dry, walks into bathroom to wash the cucumber. J and S, hostel bullies stand outside and sneer as she comes out, with cucumber in hand. "So what have you been upto?"
D retorts, "Hey, you girls better be careful! I am going to complain to Sr Celina!"
D, now happily married, still eats cucumber salads.

7) J, in a see-through little t-shirt, swigs peach snapps from her milk mug, as she watching 'Bold and the Beautiful', every night. A dying-to-get-her-cherry-picked virgin, she regales us with escapades and hot moments of her non existent love life. We listen. We never believe.

8) V, in the fashion business, earning handsomely and making frequent foreign trips, is regularly told to lead a more 'respectable' life by Sr. Celina. V, in between supplying us with packed 5 star food in the nights, threatens to leave the hostel, "next week". "I can't take it anymore. I am buying a flat this week and moving out of here next week. You girls can come whenever you want." Needless to say, V, outstayed her full term of 3 years!

9) CP (CrackPot) roamed everywhere with a pack of writing pad, letters and greeting cards. On an average she wrote 20 letters a day. CP comes down for breakfast, sits comfortably, eats well and leaves for work, barefoot. True to name, she forgets her sandals in the dining room and comes back after an hour wondering how she found herself on the street without her sandals.

10) A crank caller regularly making lewd calls on the public hostel phone. Hostel girl chats him up and finally gives her name as "Celina"! The next day he calls and asks for Celina. Sr. Celina takes the call and turns white as we watch her. "I EM NOT Celina! I EM Sr. Celina. I EM NOT 32 years old! I EM 60. This is a respectable place with high class girls! Fear God and do not call again!"

11) Sr Celina's favourites quotes (in singsong tone)-
"What education you girls got, I don't know!"
"What families you girls come from, I don't know!"
"What you girls want to do in life, I don't know!"
"Where you girls want to go at night, I don't know!"
"Who will marry you girls, I don't know!"
(Quite a few of us are now married to boys from 'respectable' families.)

Oh, and there's so much more. As we laughed till our sides were weak and painful, it was a beautiful afternoon, well spent. Among old friends and old memories.


Blogger Pallavi said...

yeah those were the days !! :)

5:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi anumita
i havent been gliding for a while. hope all is well from your side. take care =)


3:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HYSTERICAL with laffter!


4:38 pm  
Blogger Akruti said...

Wonderful moments they all must be,ya,golden days:)

9:42 pm  
Blogger poonam said...

hey saw this post now. been a bit busy, buying cheap glasses in bandra, you see :)
this post is wonderful! it's got lot of character but there is something missing - the alphabet A. didn't A do something that could be laughed about now? am sure she did :)

4:43 pm  
Blogger anumita said...

Pallavi, Anita, Neels: You bet, they were some of the best days of my life. And I made some of my best friends there.

Angel: I am good. You take care.

Poonam: Cheap glasses got a few chinks. But haven't taken off the sandals till today. And if you are looking for A, well, you will find her in the centre of all the trouble created and punishments meted out!

6:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is hysterical!! -- ph

12:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That hostel nun reminds me of my grandmother. :-)BTW I love your sense of humour. Have a nice day. Potencia
Stop by my site at

1:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for dropping by.

I think this is the same hostel I stayed at very briefly, some years ago!
I really enjoyed this post so am going to read some more. First time at your blog...

Gorgeous Diva

9:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for dropping by.

I think this is the same hostel I stayed at very briefly, some years ago!
I really enjoyed this post so am going to read some more. First time at your blog...

Gorgeous Diva

9:32 am  
Blogger anumita said...

Ph: Loved those days. Good memories.

Potencia: Thank you. Your grandmother must have been fun! Visited your site too.

Gorgeous: Thank you. If you stayed there (pedder rd, ring a bell?), you would know who I am talking about! Wasn't she great?

10:00 am  
Blogger shub said...

LOL!! :)

4:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup that's the one! Unfortunately, I was there very briefly so I vaguely remember the nuns. Sr. Celina does ring a bell though... and when I read yr post the place seemed so familiar so I knew it had to be the same place!

Gorgeous Diva

2:49 pm  
Blogger anumita said...

Shub: It all seems funny now.

Gorgeous: So we lived in the same place! Small world!

2:54 pm  
Blogger Ad astra per aspera said...

Hilarious!! Cannot stop laughing. First you cheer me up with your comment, now you have set me off on a 'side splitting laughter mode'. Great blog girl! and I sooooo mean that, cannot wait to read more.*grin

4:38 pm  
Blogger Ashish Gupta said...

Oh boy! u made me crack up badly ;) was not having a good laugh since quite sometime (i mean some hours :P).

hostel days are the golden ones in life- you are making me miss hostel already though its 6 more months remaining!!
huhh life *sigh*

8:12 pm  
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12:22 am  

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