TENTH BLOCK HOSTELS–LIFE IN HELL

FATE HAD BROUGHT ME TO THE 10TH BLOCK OF OUR MIT HOSTELS. THE VERY FIRST MENTION OF THE WORD “COMMON BATH” DID NOT GO DOWN WELL WITH ME. OF COURSE SOME OF YOU MIGHT SAY WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL IN HAVING A COMMON DORMITORY. BUT HAVING LIVED MOST YEARS OF MY LIFE IN THE COMFORT OF MY HOME AND SPENDING THE FIRST YEAR OF MY ENGINEERING LIFE IN A WELL-FURNISHED ATTACHED-BATHROOM HOSTEL, IT DIDN’T SEEM TO ME A HONEYMOON STAY FROM ANY ASPECT.
TO MY BAD LUCK IT TURNED OUT TO BE EXACTLY WHAT I HAD FEARED; THE SINGLE ROOM WAS MORE LIKE A PRISON CELL WITH A CONCRETE SLAB REPLACING A BED, RUSTED ALMIRA, AND AGAIN, CONCRETE SLABS AS BOOK-SHELVES. GUESS THE COST OF CONCRETE WAS QUITE LESS AT THE TIME OF BUILDING THIS BLOCK 😉
THE ‘BED’ IS A LITTLE BIGGER IN SIZE THAN A BUNK BED IN A TRAIN COMPARTMENT. I’M NOT A TALL GUY BUT STILL I HAD DIFFICULTY IN SLEEPING ON IT. I WONDER HOW THE TALL GUYS USED TO MANAGE IN HERE.
THE WINDOWS ARE JAMMED SHUT. THAT’S RIGHT YOU HEARD IT CORRECTLY. TOTALLY JAMMED WINDOWS, WITH A THICK NET WRAPPING ALL OVER IT. THIS VIRTUALLY RULES OUT PENETRATION OF ANY WHIFF OF FRESH AIR INTO THE ROOM. MAYBE THE NETS ARE THERE TO WARD OFF THE INSECTS; NEVERTHELESS THERE’S NOT A SINGLE VENTILATION SHAFT IN THE ROOM. THE RESULT IS THAT WHEN IT GETS WARMER, THE ROOM TURNS INTO A HEATER AND WHEN IT RAINS IT TURNS INTO A DAMP DUNGEON. STAYING HERE DURING THE RAINY SEASON, I GOT WELL ACQUAINTED WITH WHAT LIFE IN A DUNGEON MIGHT FEEL LIKE. YOU CAN ACTUALLY FEEL THE DAMPNESS AS YOU WALK IN THE ROOM. THE CLOTHES WILL ALWAYS REMAIN WET, EVEN IF THEY WEREN’T AT FIRST, AND WALKING ON THE FLOOR WILL ACTUALLY LEAVE FOOTPRINTS BECAUSE OF THE DAMPNESS!
THERE’S AN OLD WOODEN CHAIR IN THE ROOM. ALTHOUGH IT WAS VARNISHED AT SOME TIME, ON MY FIRST INSPECTION I SAW LAYERS OF DUST DEPOSITED OVER IT. I THOUGHT OF CLEANING IT WITH SOME SCRAP PAPER; BUT WHEN I RUBBED THE PAPER OVER THE WOOD, GREEN MOLD CAME OUT WITH IT. MORE GREEN MOLD WITH EACH SUCCESSIVE RUBBING. THE DAMPNESS EFFECT YOU SEE! SEEING THAT IT WAS FUTILE, I DECIDED TO STUDY ON MY BED. AT LEAST I HAD MY CLEAN BED-SHEET OVER IT.
PERHAPS THE MOST HILARIOUS AND OUTRAGEOUS ASPECT OF THE ROOM IS THAT IT HAS ONLY 1 PLUG POINT! YES, JUST ONE. SO I’M SUPPOSED TO CHARGE MY LAPTOP, MY CELL PHONE, MY TABLE LAMP ALL IN ONE DAMN PORT. WONDER HOW WILL I MANAGE IF I NEED TO USE THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
THEN COMES THE DORMITORY!THERE’S NO WASH BASIN THERE. JUST ROWS OF TAPS AND A DRAIN BELOW TO TAKE AWAY THE WATER. WORSE, THE TAPS AREN’T EVEN AT THE SHOULDER LEVEL. SO YOU HAVE TO BEND REAL LOW TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH, WASH YOUR FACE AND STUFF. I WOULD NOT COMMENT MUCH ON THE TOILETS. THERE WERE JUST ABOUT SUFFICIENT FOR A QUICK VISIT IN THE MORNING AND THAT’S THAT. NO MORE LOOKING AT IT FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.
I WONDER IF THE BLOCK MADE THEM LIKE THIS OR ITS JUST A CO-INCIDENCE, BUT EVEN THE OTHER INMATES ARE LIKE THE HOSTEL ITSELF– TASTELESS AND RUSTIC.I MEAN, YOU CAN’T GENERALIZE ALL, BUT MOST OF THEM WERE. AT NIGHT THEY SING OLD CRAPPY SONGS, SONGS WHICH WE WOULD USUALLY HEAR IN SOME LOW-END MARKET AREA. SMOKING WAS AS COMMON AS DRINKING WATER FROM THE FAUCET. THIS WAS A RUDE SHOCKER TO ME, CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT IN MY EARLIER BLOCK PEOPLE USED TO BE SUSPENDED WHEN CAUGHT SMOKING.
YOU CANNOT SLEEP AT NIGHT. FIRSTLY BECAUSE THE INTENSITY OF HOWLING BY THESE HOOLIGANS IS INDIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE TIME OF THE NIGHT.
AND SECONDLY, THE BLOOD-SUCKING MOSQUITOES. IN SPITE OF ALL THE NETS FOR STOPPING THE INSECTS THUS VIRTUALLY BLOCKING OUT THE VENTILATION, THESE PESTS STILL MANAGE TO INFILTRATE AND LAY SEIZE IN MY ROOM. ONE NIGHT I HAD TO GET UP THREE TIMES DURING MY SLEEP TO TURN ON THE LIGHT AND HUNT DOWN THESE CREATURES. QUITE EXPECTEDLY, THE ACTUAL ACT OF SLEEPING TAKES A BACKSEAT DURING ALL THESE COUNTER-INSURGENCY OPERATIONS! FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS IT HAS BECOME USUAL FOR ME TO SEE RED RASHES ON MY LEG CAUSED BY THE MOSQUITO BITES.

BUT NO MORE!! THERE IS A LIMIT TO ALL SUFFERINGS AND OPPRESSIONS INFLICTED UPON HUMANITY, AND I’M ALSO NOT AN EXCEPTION. TODAY I WENT AND MET THE CHIEF WARDEN, CLEARED THE DUES AND NOW I’M READY TO SHIFT INTO THE MORE HOMELY AND CIVILIZED HOSTEL BLOCK 17. TOMORROW AFTER LUNCH I’M PACKING UP MY BELONGINGS AND LEAVING THIS PLACE FOR GOOD. GOD BLESS THE PERSON WHO WILL TAKE UP THIS SHIT-HOLE, AND I PRAY THAT HE DOESN’T HAVE TO SUFFER THE WAY I DID. OR MAYBE HE WILL QUITE LIKE IT IN HERE, IF HE BELONGS TO THE ABOVE-MENTIONED CATEGORY OF HUMAN BEINGS 😉

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EQUALITY IN DEATH ?

THE PHILOSOPHERS SAY THAT IN DEATH ALL ARE EQUAL. “WE ARE BORN FROM THE DUST AND MIX WITH THE DUST AFTER DEATH”. QUITE ABSTRACT DON’T YOU THINK SO?
I MEAN, LIFE & DEATH ITSELF CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A BIG MOVING MASS, A SYSTEM OF DIVERSE CHARACTERISTICS. CAN WE SIMPLY EQUAL IT TO SOME ABSTRACT PHILOSOPHIES? WELL, I DON’T THINK SO.
THE VERY ‘AXIOM’ THAT ALL ARE EQUAL IN DEATH IS A BIG MISNOMER. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS LIVING MASS CALLED LIFE OF WHICH WE PEOPLE CAN BE REGARDED AS THE CONSTITUENTS HAVE THE INFAMOUS “HERD MENTALITY”. JUST BECAUSE SOME BIG SHOT PHILO GUY HAS PROPHESIED, PEOPLE TAKE IT TO BE THE ETERNAL TRUTH!
TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOU. EVERY DAY, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DIE. SOMETIMES SOMEONE WE KNEW, VERY DEAR TO US; SOMETIMES JUST A NEWSPAPER CLIP OF SOME UNKNOWN PERSON. DEATH IS SOMETHING WHICH , NO MATTER HOW MUCH SOME PEOPLE TRY TO ACT COOL ABOUT IT, ALWAYS BOTHERS US. THERE IS A LINGERING DREAD INSIDE US THAT SOMEDAY WE’LL DEFINITELY DIE, BUT VERY FEW OF US KNOW WHEN AND HOW.
THE FIRST REACTION TO MOST OBITUARIES WILL BE GRIEF AND SORROW. NOW I’M NOT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION MEN LIKE OSAMA AND ET AL.. BUT NO MATTER HOW LOOSELY ARE WE CONNECTED TO THAT PERSON, WE’LL SHARE A THOUGHT OR TWO FOR THE DEPARTED SOUL.
I THINK PAULO HAD SAID THAT ACTUALLY WE DERIVE AN INNATE SENSE OF RELIEF FROM THE NEWS THAT WE ARE NOT THE ONE AT THE RECEIVING END OF DEATH! MAYBE THAT’S SELFISHNESS AT ITS MOST SUBLIME FORM 😉
COMING BACK, HAVE YOU ALL NOTICED ONE COMMON STRAIN IN ALL OBITUARIES? “A VERY GOOD PERSON”, “KIND HEARTED” ,”SOCIABLE”, “AN IDEAL FOR ALL” AND WHAT NOT!
WELL I’M NOT SAYING THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE BAD. BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHOM WE KNOW? ARE THEY ALL “GOOD AND NOBLE”.
I HAD A FRIEND WHOSE FATHER CAME DRUNK EVERY NIGHT AND USED TO BEAT HER UP. WE ALL SAW HER BURN WOUNDS AND BELT WHIPS. THEN ONE NIGHT HE DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT, APPARENTLY IN AN INEBRIATED STATE. FOLLOWING THE HERD MENTALITY, WE ALL GRIEVED AT HIS DEMISE. A LONG AND SOULFUL OBITUARY WAS ALSO WRITTEN, EXTOLLING HIM AS YOU-KNOW-WHAT. ALTHOUGH AT THAT TIME IT DIDN’T OCCUR TO ME, ON HINDSIGHT WASN’T THIS HYPOCRISY TOTALLY UNJUSTIFIED?

WHY DO PEOPLE ASSOCIATE GRIEF WITH DEATH? CAN GRIEF ALSO BE ASSOCIATED WITH PERSONS SUCH AS THE ABOVE MENTIONED? OKAY, SOME PEOPLE MAY SAY THAT IN DEATH ALL BECOME EQUAL. BUT TAKING THAT VIEWPOINT, WE CAN CONCLUDE THAT NO MATTER HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES,IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER! SO WE CAN WANTONLY KILL PEOPLE, BE CORRUPT, ABUSE OUR FAMILY! AFTER ALL, WE WILL BECOME “EQUAL” IN DEATH EH? TIME FOR SOME INTROSPECTION ON THE PART OF THE SOCIETY I SUPPOSE.