Friday, 12 June 2015

The Struggle to Adapt at Home After 4 Years of Hostel Life



Having lived in a carefree, responsibility free hostel life for 4 long, disappointing years, I’m learning to cope with the authority at home. I am not used to wake up early in the day. Okay maybe I am. I wake up at around 7 am but that’s mostly because of the obnoxious beds and slightly nauseous air of the hostel and even the slightest of noise, alarm in my case, is enough to force me out of the uncomfortable slumber.

However, my parents wake up at the dawn of the day – 5 am and by law of lineage I am supposed to inherit that property. My day usually begins at 8 or 9 am which is pretty damn late according to the Home Standard Time and pretty damn impressive by Hostel Standard Time. The usual taunts follow after my failure to break past the sweet lure of sleep – ‘Ghar pe itna late jaagta hai to hostel mein to sota rehta hoga. College to jaata nahi hoga nalayak.

Hostel has no one to comment on your physical appearances – the overgrowing hair, smelly clothes and whatnot. At best they’d just ‘Ugh’ and move along. Deep down we all know that we suck and accept others who really do. Home is a different place altogether. Your bath patterns are scrutinized and in spite of your willingness, you cannot miss a bath. On top of that, your hairstyles, beards, moustaches are under constant monitoring. Weekly reports are prepared and sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs which in return sets a strict deadline for the haircut.

Another aspect that hugely differentiates lives in a hostel and home is the food. Hostels are hated in unison the world over. Food there is awful. At home, everything is a delicacy. But there are complications as well. Every night I have to answer the routine question – ‘Kal kya khayega ?’ and the same question annoyingly comes across every day. 4 years of eating in the hostel mess has made me averse to half the food products. I haven’t had Rajma since I started living in the hostel. At home it reminds me of the tasteless Rajma of the hostel. With the preferences for food drastically reduced, I run out of answers for the above question. And one day I just have to blurt out, ‘Kuch bhi bana lo.’ But unfortunately this doesn’t free me from the responsibility. A specific answer is a must.

Also it’s forbidden to skip a meal. But is so happens that due to rising late and the delays in the usual morning chores, sometimes it becomes necessary to merge the breakfast and lunch. Lunch is followed by a lighter munching-session in such a case.

My parents are early sleepers as well. Myself being habitual late sleeper, I’m left alone to fend for myself past the 9 o’clock period. It mostly includes regular trips to the refrigerator and kitchen and scavenging for edible things. Some trips lead to disappointment but mostly I come back with something or other. I lay down and wonder about life and future plans and how I should start spending my time productively. Then I watch a movie or something before embracing sleep.

So far, life is good.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Stigma of Vegetarian Meal at KFC and Asking for Extra Ketchup

Quite a lot of my friends are non-vegetarians. So by unanimous polling, KFC is generally agreed upon as the mid-journey eating joint. Or in general whenever we feel like getting far away from the stinking mess food and we have adequate amount of coupons, KFC is the go-to place to hangout. I have no issues hanging out with friends who prefer the red packaging over the green one. But what sucks is being an out-of-place alien.

Let’s face it, us vegetarians are not supposed to frequent a restaurant named Kentucky Fried Chicken in the first place. But being with a group of friends, there aren’t really many alternatives when vegetarians are outnumbered. And there is nothing you can do about it. Instances when we vegetarians enjoy the majority come but rarely and those moments are cherished. So we are on the back foot the moment we enter that door.

It’s a sight worth something when the entire troupe places the order and there are a couple of veg burgers trying to discretely slip into the order receipt. The employees at the counter look up at us, silently confirming whether it was a mistake and if we’d like to reconsider our order. Then they scan through the group trying to figure out the odd ones. It must be a pretty neat game among themselves – guessing the number of vegetarian creeps each one of them comes across during the day. The loser gets to eat the veg meal.

Sometimes I could picture the employees handling the vegetarian meals the same way a stranger’s underwear is handled – with one hand covering the face, on the verge of throwing up. But that’s just my imagination. May be.

Anyway, once we get our order, the vegetarian meals stand out. The green packaging shining like a diamond in a mine of redness. It’s especially freaking in a crowded KFC when those forced to gobble their chicken wings and leg pieces and breasts and other body parts while uncomfortably standing up and one of them accidently looks at out green packaging while we cozy up at out tables. At least one of them must, MUST be cursing us,”BC ghaas khani hai to McD mein jaake mar na.” However, KFC has been gracious enough to accommodate vegetarian meals. There must be a sizeable populations of us that may have been too valuable to ignore.

Another practice that is looked down upon by employees regardless of your choice of packaging but especially if you happen to prefer the green one is asking for an extra pouch of ketchup. We should be gratified at being bestowed upon us that extra ketchup we asked for by the generous hosts, but instead we pile up our demands – certain flavor of ketchup, an extra straw, an extra napkin. And like crows, they hold a grudge against you if you dared to ask for one more sachet of that delicious ketchup.

It’s still kind of ironical – vegetarian meals at a restaurant named after a poultry bird. But as I mentioned before, on behalf of all vegetarians out there, I am grateful for KFC’s generosity to grant us some worthwhile options. I would normally prefer KFC burgers over the McD ones without having been paid a penny by KFC.

Friday, 22 May 2015

David Letterman Leaves His Late Night Legacy Behind




David Letterman signed off on a high. He didn’t choke up on his last day on the job. He didn’t make any teary eyed speech. He must be broken up inside - 33 years is long time for a job to become part of one’s existence. And to part away spreading laughter is testament to the legacy of Dave Letterman, a legacy 33 years and over 6000 shows old. He signed off the same way he started – with the elegant comedy late night viewers have accustomed to expecting from him for over three decades.

David Letterman started in show-business in 1978, impressing Johnny Carson and becoming a regular guest on The Tonight Show hosted by Carson, whom Letterman credits as being his mentor and earliest influence. Late Night with David Letterman debuted 33 years ago, in 1982 on NBC with Bill Murray as the first guest. A cake smeared Bill Murray appeared as a guest on the penultimate show and also in the Top-10 segment on the final episode. In 1992, Dave left NBC to host Late Night with David Letterman on CBS network after apparently, he was denied the The Tonight Show by NBC, a job which went to Jay Leno. He announced his retirement in April last year and Stephen Colbert was nominated as his worthy successor soon after.

Read the complete piece at Campusghanta :)
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