The coterie of friends in the house only increased every weekend. House no 297-Indra Vihar, North Campus, Delhi University was a haven (can be read as heaven) for a many motley lot of Assamese boys that immigrated to Delhi for their 'higher' education. My first visit to the house was a pretense and also my initiation into the lives of many people who would go down the memory lane as great friends. Sajid, a friend, occupied the first room with another great guy- Som Pal. Bipin Gogoi occupied the room in the middle and Pemba occupied the the innermost room (I would like to refer to this room as the most interesting room and also the common room for all guys who visited with their girl-friends). The house would confirm itself to all expectations of the typical bachelor suite. The first time I entered, I was greeted by an intolerable stench from the bathroom. On a more intrusive inspection and query I learnt that Bipin had left some of his clothes in a bucket to be washed for a week.
"So?" I quizzed.
"No, he has left it to be washed and the maid who washes our clothes has quit," Sajid informed me.
"And we perhaps forgot to tell him about it," Sajid continued seeing the "So?" look on my face yet again.
"Perhaps!" I shuddered. The stench and the nonchalance with which, Sajid told me the reason mixed into a terrible cocktail in my head.
"How can Bipin be so callous about his clothes and how can these guys roll around on their beds without winching their nose in the stench which was only getting stronger," I thought to myself.
I restrained myself from probing further thinking it would be uncouth to do so.
Etiquette is a funny learning imbibed into us through our upbringing. While we swear by it when we age and climb into the more sophisticated layers of society, it certainly is a deterrent to friendship during your college years. This exactly was my case then, as I watched Sajid roll into the corner of the bed letting out a yawn. Cropped hair, Oval face, average height, charming smile (the kind which will allow you to be comfortable) Sajid is someone I knew through my earlier set of roomies- Allan Saugat and Asif.
At this moment, clad only in undies, Sajid was not the attractive self as described. I thought it was blasphemous to sleep in your undies alone. And here I am, seated next to someone who with his complete nonchalance to my thoughts was puncturing my paradigms of etiquette.
"Are you comfortable?" Sajid quizzes me, wondering where was I lost.
"Yeah, am fine," I replied snapping out of my philosophical reverie.
(So folks that is it for today. Next: "Bipin Gogoi"