In a fit of nostalgia I remember the year I spent in Bangalore while I attempted to get a diploma in computer science from a polytechnic institute. I ended up dropping out of the course after a year and not completing it as I hated the college and the marks that I got after my first year convinced me that going for a hardware course just wasn’t my cup of tea. I just didn’t have the aptitude for it. But something made me think about the people I met there and by people I mean my roommates and other hostel mates.
I stayed in a room with 3 others for a while and then moved with 2 of them into a smaller 3 person room. We each had a bed and a desk, in which I kept my books, music cassettes & some other stuff. We shared the built in cupboards for our clothes. Tharun was a former priest wannabe and had spent 3 years in a seminary studying & preparing to become a priest but something (a family thing which I do not remember) made him leave it and join the polytechnic. My other roommate was Saji – I remember that he had a heart problem and he had lost his father barely a year before he had joined the course. They were the weirdest roommates as they both had their own ideas about how a person should be and tried to enforce it on me and some others and although we clashed a lot on such things, we were pretty good friends. It was a about a year later that I found out that Tharun had some issues with people being happy and would spread rumours and say bad things about you and generally try to bring you down in other people’s eyes. I avoided keeping in touch with him after I learned that. About Saji, the only thing I remember about him after I left there was that he got married really early, like immediately after turning 21.
Other people I remember during my year there was a dude called Rifay and his roommate Renjith – fast friends and I think they maintained that for a long time. Renjith was pretty normal and I even met him a few times after I left – he lived near my cousin and so I saw him whenever I went to visit my cousin. Rifay was one of the craziest person’s I have ever met. He had a huge Elvis music collection. In fact, he only listened to Elvis songs and this was 1995-96! Not a single other artist in his collection. He even liked to be called Elvis! And we did cause there were times that he would not respond to his given name but he would if we called him Elvis. He was a hoot to be around. Renjith and he would make all these crazy bets and see who won – like eat a huge big spoonful of salt and not drink water until it was all down for an ice cream cone! Rifay actually did it and won. The expression on his face was worth a year’s supply of ice cream cones.
These are the 4 most memorable people from my time in that hostel.