A rookie’s perspective of the life in a girls' hostel
Life in a hostel
With the electrifying stimulus of realizing it’s already 7 in the morning, the time when you’ll be standing 7th in the queue to the bathroom is how you will be on your toes in a morning as bright as the sun. Everyone walking with the same expression: clouded by their thoughts, machined in a routine. But glancing at them with a smile calms a thousand nerves down and spreads like, well, the disease that must not be named, but in a positive sense.
The bathroom singers, the chirpers, the rappers conflicting and jamming in a melody that makes your heart go hmmm. The loudspeakers making their presence felt, the perfect alarms for the sleeping beauties, and the silent stones camouflaging in their surroundings presumably to survive a possible attack (a good morning greeting, perhaps XD).
But there is that one person who’s got a lot of names; partner in crime, soul-sibling, caretaker, the secret keeper, or as all others know them, “The Roommate”. The one person who knows you inside out. From who got you smiling today to the cause of your irritation pangs, from your fake agreement nod to your genuine tears. The inside jokes and the codenames only you two can laugh on. It’s like you are on one team, facing daily challenges (grand mouse entry counts!), panicking, and enjoying it all at once. Whether it be sneaking mischief or hailing justice, everything is part of the plan ;)
And then there is the rush to that one place that can make or break your life at a hostel, “The Dining Hall”. The gates open with an appetizing aroma (appearances can be deceptive), waiting for you to be seated with a plate full of, well, ENERGY that you NEED no matter what the menu is. All you can do is take it in, imagining it as a dish coming straight from Sanjeev Kapoor’s kitchen. Although this is not the case each day, there are times when it’s a feast, everyone eating and chatting away, discussing the best and worst of their day. Gossips and giggles hurl past your ears like a cool breeze on a summer night. And then the long walks and even longer life-changing talks with the gang after dinner under the starlight for hours and hours.
You will find three kinds of people in a hostel given any particular situation. Like during times of fight (The talk of the hostel), there will be those hot-blooded, fighting, screaming, and screeching group, and there will be those cold-blooded, intense, “looks will kill you” kinds of people. Of course, the third group is the spectators, watching the complete show and returning to their original life. But apart from these three, there is this one other person whose footsteps, hauling voice, and sharp eyes are enough to…wait…I guess you got it, The guardian, the detective, the mother, the spy, you say it, you have it. I guess that’s enough build-up; it is “The WARDEN”. With the rule book learned by heart and armed with her brahmastra (“Degree Cancellation”) her mere words “Go to your rooms now” is enough to sustain the eternal peace of the hostel for now and forever. But one can’t deny, in the absence of one’s family, with such protection and care, the warden gives you that motherly instinctive nod of validation that everything will be fine.
Then there are those chaotic days, “The Great water cut festival” and “The Water cooler broke down festival”, saving every ounce of water left, finally realizing what Greta Thunberg has been shouting about! You can witness patience breaking down and bursting anger bombs in every corner of the hostel, with people whining and complaining about authorities, government, and, of course, God. Ahnn..then “The blackouts” well, these are kind of fun given the electricity comes back soon. You can hear hoots and screams all over the hostel, walking amongst the many shining flashlights as if dancing among stars. Everyone is gathering, singing, dancing, making the best use of time and foreshadowing what’s left of humankind once we run out of energy sources!
This is what life in a hostel is like but with many more nuances, flavors, and colors. It is like a family you never knew existed; people you never knew coming in from different places and becoming part of your everyday life, laughing, crying, giving, and sharing with them. It is a family you knocked upon with all types of characters playing their part and making this chapter of your life an incredible one!