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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