Last year after the JEE or Joint Entrance Exams were over and I took admission in an engineering college, me and my parents went over to the hostel management desk to assign a jail cell, pardon me, a hostel room for the next one year. Now that wouldn’t exactly be a surprise because the place I’d come from wasn’t much different from a jail cell by a long shot if we’re being honest here.
So yeah, we paid the absolutely low hostel fees, with special emphasis on ‘low’, and then we, meaning me and my mother, moved with my cell room I-207. And so was to begin my journey of survival and minimalistic approach to every aspect of life.
Or so I thought.
Because after all my stuff was arranged and sorted after four hours of Hollywood and Bangla jam music and half the time of it spent in me moving and grooving and savouring the beauty of the oh so exotic taste of freedom, and the most important thing:
Some of you might be laughing because you know precisely what I’m talking about. Some of you might be giving a knowing smile because you know what I’m talking about AND there’s nothing you can do about it. And the rest of you, well… I pity you. You know why.
Now when I started off, the first few days were a bit hectic to be honest. Which includes waking up late for college at nine because the loud alarm isn’t as loud as mum’s loud Bengali call to wake up all the other kids in the building along with you. And running to the mess lest you might miss that one different hot and freshly prepared item which is the only edible thing in the entire menu.
Then standing in a line to get the plate and in an even longer line for the “egg etim” and milk (don’t look at me, that is precisely what used to be written on the menu). Then after breakfast run like Flash to the class because Sarkar sir won’t let you enter one second after 9. Then after class come back to the room at 7 and dump your butt on that thankfully soft bed, cursing all the teachers for giving the mountains worth of homework. Then suddenly realizing you’ve stopped considering it a jail.
Because now, mom won’t stop and scold you for not doing things right every single minute. Because now, dad won’t barge into your room and ask for your marks the day of result. Because now, bad news, or any news that could possibly get you into trouble, could be conveyed bit by bit without the danger of sudden explosion.
And most important of all, because now you won’t be beaten or scolded for crying when beaten. And you can hide yourself from the world by hiding in your safe space.