When I woke up this morning, I was browsing through the messages in my phone and I had a message from a friend of mine from my school hostel. On seeing that holi wish, I wondered how he and his friends were playing holi in the hostel this time. A streak of smile crossed my face when I remembered how I and my batch-mates had celebrated the ‘Holi’ Day last year.
It was the 1st of March, 2010. We were just 8 people in the hostel: Siddharth, Venky, Amrit, Love, Mangu, Maddy, Atul and I. Just two-three days back we had been prohibited to play Holi by our warden who had cited some reasonable restrictions (not under Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India). But we were adamant and we did get the colours and under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, we expressed our freedom by playing holi in the corridor of the second floor of the Boys’ Hostel. One packet gulaal and a bottle of foam had our excitements touching the horizon and our noise-level increased and increased and increased until the time we were frozen to standstill by the sudden entry of our warden!
You can predict what happened next. The eight of us stood in a queue and listened to the we-don’t-know-how-long lecture that was delivered to us. Well, we were even made to realize that the house-keeping staff was on a leave that day and so as a punishment, we had to clean the whole floor there and then. We didn’t think it was a joke. My batch of just 6 people had already done enough drama in the past months and had seen situations much more badly than this.
Our house-keeping duties started with our warden instructing us exactly how to do what! We might have been termed ‘besharam’ if someone had seen us at that moment, but frankly speaking, we enjoyed the hour long cleaning drive to the full. We got some wonderful compliments (and instructions) from our warden: “Zindagi mein kabhi sweeper banne ka sapna mat dekhna”, “Jhaadu ko aise nahi, aise pakadte hain” and more like that.
Now we needed a bath. The amount of water that had been ‘wasted’ by us (amateurs) in ‘cleaning’ the ‘difficultly-stained’ floor had been too much. Well, now we faced a water shortage problem. The eight of us lined up in the six bathrooms (out of which some had the problem of electric shocks due to the geyser that kept us away from them) and waited for enough water to come by so that we could have a proper bath.
This was the situation just two days before our Physics Board Exam. So we didn’t call it a day yet. After all this drama, none of us was in a good mood to study and so we spent some more time in discussing the days events and abusing people due to the injustices that we were facing due to them.
When we recall that time, and discuss what had happened, a big grin crosses our faces even now after more than a year of all that happening.