“Abey, ditch yaar” muttered a languid Mukund. Despite his nonchalant expressions, I tried hard to convince him. We desperately needed one more team member. Mukund Mehta was three rooms away from me, and his roommate Sameer and I were pretty excited about this treasure hunt. Sounded fun, amidst all of the chemistry and maths and mugging. Mukund had ditched us because we couldn’t find a fourth member.
But now we had found someone special. Anna was the most erratic guy in our whole wing and probably in the entire universe. He NEVER got things right. Never at all. And watching him screw up was one of the biggest delights mankind would ever know. So once we managed to trick him into joining us, Mukund decided to give it a shot too.
In the evening, we had seniors coming over to give us “tips”. Nothing interesting, they just kept asking us not to help people from other hostels, or even better, misguide them. We were repeatedly explained why it was important for H-3 to win it, and how crucial it was to bring glory to the Vitruvians. Some even blabbered about their heroics in the previous years, which were made up of course.
At 8.30 pm, we finally reached the SAC – Students’ Activity Center. This is the place where all the fun stuff at IIT happened. The four of us anxiously stood outside the gates, up for the challenge and praying for our brains to work like they had during JEE. At this point, for the first time, we learnt the timing convention at IITB. 8.30 pm actually meant 10 pm. Till then, 500 freshies simply kept shouting at the top of their lungs. I joined in at intervals but stopped and wondered how it just didn’t make sense.
In the evening, we had seniors coming over to give us “tips”. Nothing interesting, they just kept asking us not to help people from other hostels, or even better, misguide them.
The hunt commenced shortly. As soon as we got the clues, we realised how dumb we were. Time seemed to flow faster than it did in exams as I relentlessly struggled with the most onerous clue of the lot. We were one of the lucky teams to have a cycle at our disposal. Before I could demur, Anna said that he wanted me to ride pillion. To this day, I feel sorry for my butt.
Our first task was to name 5 porn stars. Apparently the senior was trying to troll us as he had been asking names of Hollywood actors to the other teams. I made my team proud by naming 10 in a jiffy. Astonished, he then asked me to name a male porn star. Amidst intense cheering and hooting, I blurted out two names. I had never felt more confident in life. Even though my moment of glory didn’t last long, I fondly remember those stupefied expressions. We proudly marched away with the next clue as he whispered away to another senior “Abe isko to mere se bhi zyada pata hai”. We left the lecture hall, and BOOM. Within 10 seconds it was raining. It took the campus a few minutes to turn into a storm zone. Everyone was drenched, confused, and in a race against time. And Anna’s cycling was something extra that only I had to deal with. As the dilapidated cycle plunged downhill, I could envision both of us getting into a brutal accident very soon. I took control of the situation and jumped off, managing to avoid a very bad fall. Recovering from the shock, I gasped heavily and looked up, only to be greeted with Anna’s mindless gawking and road safety tips.
The four of us anxiously stood outside the gates, up for the challenge and praying for our brains to work like they had during JEE.
Somehow we assembled at Hostel 6 and went in for our next task. With an evil gleam in his eye, a burly senior asked us to eat some chillies. We just threw them away when he was busy deriving sadistic pleasure from watching others burn and run around for water. The next task involved climbing Hostel 11’s wall, doing some push-ups and climbing back to the other side. While coming back, I happened to ignore a huge gutter. It was HUGE – more than my height in depth, and five of me in width. Jumping off the wall, I wondered why it was taking so long for my feet to touch the ground. In a fraction of a second I fell head first into it as others watched water splash in all directions.
We were one of the lucky teams to have a cycle at our disposal. Before I could demur, Anna said that he wanted me to ride pillion. To this day, I feel sorry for my butt.
If it hadn’t rained, I wouldn’t have been here writing this stupid diary. People stared blankly as I got up and tried to stand straight. Crawling out of the gutter, I felt dizzy and collapsed. But my teammates didn’t run away. They helped me get back on my feet and carried me for some distance. As they say, the “enthu” was still there and I managed to run till SAC in order to finish the wretched hunt. So in the end, we won nothing, got injured, drenched and I lost my phone. But for some weird reason, I kept feeling that I took away something from the whole expedition. Got to know how a team works. And that watching porn helps. At least sometimes.