I was going through blogging prompts (I use two on a regular basis; MindBump & Plinky) and found this blog that posts blog prompts on a daily basis called The One Minute Writer. I was clicking through the various prompts and selected this one. There are many things that I have never forgot and several that I have forgotten, I’m sure, over the 37th years that I lived on planet earth but I am going to write the one that clicked in my mind immediately on reading the prompt.
When I was 19 I joined a poly-technique in Bangalore (I refuse to call it Bengaluru) to enroll in a Computer Science course. I ended up dropping out after the first year as my scores were very bad and I gave up on Math & Physics. However the story I want to share happened in our hostel. The poly-technique had an official hostel each for the boys & a separate one for the girls and ofcourse there wer several options if you wanted more freedom & privacy. Indians tend to have a lot of ragging / hazing in the hostels and this one was no different. While some of the things were of an embarrassing and stupid nature, I shall share another one. A senior student, a sardar, had initially befriended me but was heading the ragging that evening. A bunch of us were at the receiving end but most of it was just harmless funny stuff (although we freshers were forbidden to laugh out loud during the ragging). 30 minutes into the ragging session the sardar senior started a quiz contest. Most of the answers which we already knew.
Then he asked me the question “Who is the prime minister of India?” I answered PV Narasimha Rao (this was 1995) which was the answer. Next he asked what does PV stand for. I didn’t know. None of the other freshers knew. The senior said it was a shame that none of us knew the initials of the PM of India. So he made each of us write the expansion of Mr. Rao’s initials on our respective left arms with a ball pen – and made us each rub it off with our own spit. As we did it we were to repeat the expansion of the initials PV continously.
And that’s why 18 years later I still remember it and haven’t forgotten it – Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao!