Life, as it comes is pretty uncertain. Each moment is new. There are times, when things are chaotic and you need a shoulder to lean on, to keep you going. This strong pillar of support is essential in everyone’s life. In my case, way back, when I had joined a college and it’s hostel, for graduation, I had hit a rough patch. I needed some strong support to keep me from giving up. Here’s my story….
As fresher’s in a hostel, life is pretty scary. In our college hostel, ragging was quite rough and we were made to do strange things. The seniors had done it too, as fresher’s and this justified their action, or so, at least, they thought. The day began early, with fetching the bed coffee for them, getting their clothes sorted, copying notes and what not. The only relief was during the college hours, when they could not get to us. Coming from a protective parental shadow, this was horrifying to me. I would hide from the seniors on some or the other pretext, to escape ragging. The fear grew to such an extent that I wanted to quit this college, this being, one of the best women’s college in India.
Finally, I mustered up some courage and related the incidents to my father, who was the closest to me. He came down to the city where I was residing and then began my real education. He explained that, ragging unless physical and violent was not harmful. It was a means to get to know your seniors well. He narrated incidents from his own college life, having graduated from one of the prestigious engineering colleges in India. I actually smiled when he was busy narrating short stories on ragging in his college. The shift in my thinking was gradual and I began to see things as they were. My father and I had lots of fun during this time, we went for walks, visited libraries, movies, dinners and more. Then it was time for him to leave and he took a promise that I would not pass judgments at the drop of a hat.
The scene after my fathers visit was quite different. The fear was gone, the ragging went on for about three months, and then the seniors hosted a fresher’s party for us, which broke the ice for both parties. We joked about the things they made us do’. In one instance, we had to create a ruckus in the middle of a movie, causing us to be thrown out of the cinema hall. On top of that, the sisters from the convent were present there too, without our knowledge. Punishments followed amidst the chaos. These incidents have become sweet memories now. I often wonder, where the fear has gone. The talks with my father helped me understand life better and take on challenges with courage.
Wouldn’t you like to know what happened later? The subsequent year, saw me in the role of, one of the most feared seniors, for ragging. The three month mark, before the fresher’s party, became the most cherished time in our hostel.
Take life as it comes
Do not pluck a flower, till it blossoms
For life is to be lived fully
Do not judge, before you understand fully
Together we shall sail
Then, life, shall never fail
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© 2015 Kavita Panyam