Normality is an endangered concept which traditionally defined one who lacked unique characteristics or beliefs that made him blend in with peer environs. Now, in an effort to breach the social boundaries of normality, a breed of mortals priding in oddities, quirks and weirdness tread on our comfort zone. Consciously or otherwise, they refrain from conforming to societal, unspoken and implied rules and distinguish themselves as behaviorally distinct. In this slice of my four-year long IIT chronicle, I parade my strange encounters with this weird kind.
Despite the reality that English seems to have metamorphosed as the medium of communication in the higher echelons of Gujju-ben kitty-party culture, it is most disagreeable and weird to witness it being butchered by inapposite and incorrect usage. It is not that I belong to the progeny of the East-India Company who drink tea with their pinkies raised to the sky, despise all things Himmesh-esque and animatedly discuss the literary brilliance of a random, vagabond 18th century Polish author. I simply state that one must choose a communication medium based on comfort level more than anything else. Rakhi Sawant, the pouting, stripping, thrusting and twisting item-girl, does not concur. When I had sent the icon of Indian womanhood an SMS to confirm her participation in a celebrity debate on campus, the weird reply (quoted verbatim) I received was - “I am in the midst of somebody momentarily. Please you do me your massage later.” Euphemism or an elegant display of Rakhi’s SMSing dexterity?
While we’re hovering around social faux pas and tactlessness, weird pet-names bestowed upon a few hapless souls on campus desperately warrant revision. A Himendra is conveniently called Hymen, Saxena becomes Sex, S. Hiten creatively transforms into Shittu and Charchit is christened Chameli. The irony with pet-names is that, over time they unabashedly replace one’s forename and are begun to be used in everyday parlance. Consequently they stick on forever and no longer remain pet. A ludicrous incident that played out before Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy (SEL) in the backstage of a campus concert stands testimony. The trio, already discontent at the Security arrangements, was flabbergasted to hear a frustrated concert in-charge holler the following orders into the walky-talky – “Come in Hymen. Come in Hymen. I haven’t been able to find Sex for the last three hours. Chameli has gone to find Sex at the Security Gate. Also, Chameli’ll drop Shittu at the gate to help you out. Come what may, Hymen, don’t let any pointed objects through.” Not particularly music to SEL’s ears I presume.
Spare time breeds incredible weirdness and my four year long mis-adventure is a sufficient testament. In a sea of curios, there are a few encounters that merit more than a passing mention like the Malay tour guide who incessantly insisted that her name was Violet and she was not to be called toilet, a male classmate who chose to use “you smell nice today” as a befitting compliment to my choice in perfumes, the lady who was armed with nine pencils, five sharpeners and four erasers for her CAT exam and looked at my lone three inch pencil with murderous disdain or the guy who casually enquired about a lady’s bra size within five minutes of being introduced to her. As I unwind in the summer before I transform into corporate schmuck, I shall elaborate.