The guy remembers.
There’s a day in everyone’s life that changes everything. Or may I call it a night? There are several nights, in fact, that have such impact. Be it the first night that you stay awake to pass that difficult exam. Be it the La Liga time zone troubles that make you lose your first football night’s sleep. And did you remember the first time you played FIFA overnight? The first long drive that made you take selfies on the highway isn’t something you might forget, is it? And also the first night you thought about when I first used the word first night. All these are very special.
I today shall give you one more to add to the list, only if you are an NITWian and if you are from a state group. The name is as special as the night is. The GOLDEN NIGHT they call it.
Being from a family who use ‘not speaking to each other’ as the biggest form of punishment, I grew up in a surrounding where we treated fathers beating their children as extreme and husbands doing it to their wives as criminal. Such school of thought inculcated in me at a very early age, made me someone who couldn’t commit violence. My father kept telling me, “As a co-human, I have no right to cause you physical pain. For the matter of fact, no one has the right. So stand up to someone who tries to violate your right. And remember, using it as a defense is fine. Try it on someone who is physically more powerful, but never on someone who is weak.”
Enter NITW, and there were recruitment. Yeah! The first year has placement sessions. You are placed into state groups based on first come first serve basis. It is a means to showcase political power. Greater the number of recruits, greater the legacy is. But make sure, too many recruits and you may be called a herd. And the formed group hence exhibits power by strengthening their group in terms of number of coordinators of fests, number of them in the Student Council and the number of them as Secretaries of the clubs. Recruitment is done by luring newcomers showing them strength in the above-mentioned departments. And there remain certain sections factionless and they form the section that is responsible for blaming the state groups for the ill functioning of the college even if it is regarding their bathrooms not being hygienic.
Once in, you may be asked to do anything, from cleaning a senior’s room to buying him Dosas whenever he is in the mood. And trust me, by the time you finish your first year, you would have written assignments and lab records of at least 3 branches. Get lucky and ECE won’t be one of them. You’ll be called to attend sessions once in a while. You’ll be shown signs of violence once in a while. All that will be fine to the recruits, for they float in a sense of false prestige the brain washing causes in them. NITW is a representation of the country. It’ll show you mobs showcasing power just like the RSS, Shivasena and the Bajrang Dal (I have party relations so spare me if I’ve missed some).
As you near the end of the semester, talks about the Fresher welcoming party start. Recruits are so happy to learn that get to spend a day in resorts. Mind you, for someone hailing from a middle-class family, resorts is a BIG thing. A very big thing indeed. That is also the time when the recruits start getting hints that they’d have a night which they would prefer wiping out of their memory. By the time they get to know this, they get so deep into the system that they cannot get out of it. Rather, they do not want to come out. Seeing their seniors showing blunt authority and dictatorship gives them a sense of what they get to do in the future. They start enjoying the company and thus they get institutionalised.
One day, all of a sudden, just like any other day; they call you for a “session”. There’s nothing out of the routine to sense that the session is anything out of the ordinary. But the sixth sense is what comes into play and some of the recruits get a Unagi that the night has come. Not a sixth sense to be frank. Other state groups start having their nights and thus you sense it coming.
And then comes the night that. The recruits are now exhibits. They are boxing bag variants. The seniors get to try them out. THRASH! THRASH! THRASH! BANG! BANG! BANG! WHIP! WHIP! WHIP! WHUSH! WHUSH! WHUSH!
You may be expecting the description of the night. Believe me, even writing about me makes me feel a criminal. I’ll spare you the reading woes.
There ends 6 hours of agony. And then all of a sudden, like someone with a controller have a lever that turns from the evil mode to the Angel mode, the bastards are your best friends. You are now one of them. They hug you, give you chocolates and invite to the Freshers Party that they so luxuriously host. They ask you to frequent to their rooms, spending time with them and being one among them.
The thing that pains me most is that people forget. They forget the thrashings. They get convinced by the pretexts that it is for their own good. But there is one guy, one among thousands, that remembers. The one guy will never respect you. Yeah! You! The one reading this one and recollecting the people you thrashed. The one will never give you the respect you expect. The one will celebrate when he learns that you remain jobless. The one will celebrate you getting a year back. The one will hate you no matter what.
The one will remain anonymous, not because he fears you all, but because by remaining anonymous, he gets to represent every one of those victims. Uncertainty has some evilness in it. Anonymous represents every one of those victims.