Wow, seriously? Never thought college stuff would be this popular. Whatever happened to growing up…

Well, I can tell you another little college story I suppose… but this is going to be the last one in a while, so remember every sip when you drink it all in this time.

This happened in the first few months of my first year at graduate school.

*

It was three in the morning, and I was just about to go to bed when Rahul woke me up and whispered like a condemned man:

“Bro… they asked me to call you. Just go.”

They were animals. They knew no mercy. They were engineers by day but bullies and oppressors by night.

The foreboding look on Rahul’s face did its job too. My roly-poly roommate had a look of pure terror on his face.

So, at three in the morning I “had” to walk six flights of stairs. They used to power-down the elevators after nine at night, because of course, who in humanity would walk around in a paid-for living quarters after nine at night…

The sounds of drunk laughter and catcalls were getting louder with every passed floor. I must confess, I felt a little apprehensive as I approached.

They never used the dirty word – “ragging” – around the campus, that would be stupid, and a non-bail-able offence. They called it interaction, or ice-breaking.  Of course, the only ‘breaking’ would be boys in their late-teens ‘breaking’ into tears, and men in their early-twenties ‘breaking’ into splits of mirth.

There were three boys of my year, surrounded by these idiots. I must insert a little side-bar here, of what they were doing, because it is my duty to give you your money’s worth.

There was this bearded chap who looked tough, at first glance, but then I glanced again, and then I kept looking: he was miming cutting off his lips so that they fell to the ground, after which he mimicked picking them up and shoving them up his backside, repeatedly, in some absurd time warp by the looks of it.

There were a few more idiots in the distance in the middle of a very disturbing ramp walk. Admittedly, they had gone full method with their performance – I could see more shoulder than necessary, there were the good old-fashioned these-look-like-breasts-but-aren’t props under most shirts.

How could there be a dominant show of strength amongst big, sweaty men without a little homo-erotic pole dancing? Oh no, there wasn’t an actual pole. I could see my dear friend Akash (though I didn’t know him back then), role-playing as the pole while some Mizo dude was gyrating around him with all the grace of a dry heave.

I snorted in laughter, and everything just… stopped. Mr. Mime forgot his Lips, the Human Pole and his consort broke character, the models froze mid-stride.

I walked to them, grinning broadly.

They stood gaping in confusion, wondering what had gone wrong. After all, they were the alpha dogs, the titans, the big dicks. (I’m sorry, I cringed a little when I said that, as well.)

Who was this chubby, bucktoothed man-child who had walked in with such an insolent smirk on his face?

“You’re smiling.”

“You’re smart”, said I.

These boys were livid, these boys were baying for blood. My fellow juniors watched silently.

“Talk back again, and we will break your face,” they threatened.

“Yeah, we will literally fuck you”. I think he was Punjabi or something.

“Literally?”

“What?”

“If I talk again, you’re going to get me to bend over, bring out some lube and make sweet love to me?”

The chimps grunted, scratching their heads.

“Sister-fucker…”

“Um, sorry, I guess…”

“Sorry, sir.”

I swear I said this before that Potter.

“You don’t have to call me sir.

And then he grabbed me by the collar. I could smell the mess dinner in his mouth, the same food that made me hurl into my front teeth a few hours ago. I tried backing away, but then my shirt began to protest. (It was an old soldier. My older brothers had already had a turn on it before it was “gifted” to me.)

“Listen, you little – ”

“No, you listen, sir. I’m going to bed, and if you even consider trying to stop me, I’m going to rat you sons-of-bitches out. No compromise, no fuck-ery, I will make this the last time you ever haul your ass into this hostel.”

I did think of taking a swing, or at least pushing back a little, but I thought against it. I was better than that. Also, they were a lot bigger than I was and they would beat the yellow off my skin. But damn it, I had to win the fight, and I always fought dirty.

I walked back to my room that night feeling so accomplished.

But not the other rape victims who had followed me all the way, and if you are wondering, no, they weren’t literally raped.

“Dude.”

“Ha.”

“How did… you do that?”

“Hey, I had three older brothers, and Mom and Dad were always my friends.”

“But they aren’t going to like you, they’re going to start excluding you…”

“So?”

“You can’t be friends now, not after that…”

His eyes were red from nearly crying, his knees were shaking, and here he was, trying to understand my lack of conformity.

Arun was looking at me like I’d literally molested him after being figurative about it.

“This is going to backfire on you so hard. We NEED seniors. They’re the only ones who help out in college.”

He believed in what he said so much, bless him. Faith is dangerous, I must say.

“This is all done to keep the status quo, its so that there is order, and there is a structure in the dynamics of the relationships in this ho – “, Raj began.

“I’m going to bed. Wake me up, you know, never.”

*

Will you look at the time! I’m sorry, but we’ll have to finish up some other time. You see, I have a prior appointment that I must honor. Thank you so much for understanding.

So, this works, yes? Good! My, I think this is going to be a fantastic- me, little old me, my exploits all over the silver screens! I can hardly wait.

Bhushan Baba’s Ticket to Fame- Chapter 2, by P. Shenvi

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