Saturday, February 18, 2012

Standing Inside a Broken Cupboard with a Math Book in my Hands

Way back in 1998.

In the true spirit of upholding the morality (ahem!) of female students, my residential college decided to hold a talk for all female students who lived there. Attendance was compulsory, they said. On top of that, to make matters even worse, there were rumours that the rooms would be checked during the talk to catch truants.

There were a few problems with this, seeing that we had a math test the next day. Being the kind of people who saved everything for the last minute, this talk just threw all the studying plans in a disarray. Secondly, the idea of some stranger trying to instill morality in us was just not my cup of tea. My mom did an extremely good job on that many years before. She still doesn't like it when I use unlady-like words even under extreme provocation, but at least I'm honest enough to use the words in front of her ;)

Being first year students then, we duly attended the talk and were bored to death, while attempting math questions in the hall. As we were sitting pretty near one of the exits, we hatched a plan where at certain intervals, one by one of us would get out and go back to the room to study.

Half an hour later saw us sitting at our respective desks in the room and doing math questions as if life depended on it. Though we were fully absorbed working out the questions my roomies and I heard the door across the corridor slam and a jingle of keys which at that moment sounded pretty ominous – WERE they checking the rooms for runaways?

Horrified, I turned to my roomies and we knew we had to get out from there immediately. Turning off the lights, we hopped out of the open window and I stood on the ledge of the building. I found myself  holding my breath (why?) as the horrible jingling sound came nearer and nearer, and doors being open and shut. There was a felo (lecturers who stay in campus to keep an eye on the students) downstairs who saw us on the ledge and he almost did a double take – most probably wondering about weird studying habits of young undergraduates.

After what felt like forever, the sounds ceased to exist and we went back in and continued our work (tried to -  actually) but the nervousness lingered. For some reason, we wanted to get downstairs to another friend's room. and we all quietly trooped  downstairs to their room, still with that horrible book in tow.

The room downstairs was a picture of serenity. While we all had our hearts beating wildly as we stood on the ledge, they had been studying without much trouble. We then proceeded to inform them about the happenings upstairs and managed to get them on the frightened students bandwagon in the process, as we soon began to hear the now familiar jingle of  keys and opening and closing of doors. Now there were 6 very frightened people in this room and they had no ledge to hide in, it being the ground floor and the windows had grilles on them.

Someone came up with the genius idea of hiding in the cupboards. Two of us got into one cupboard – in the dark, and with the math book, and another two got into another cupboard and two others – under the tables, behind some boxes. The cupboard began to creak – not meant for human weight I suppose ;-)

Credits and notes:
1. Title modified from “Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hands” by Primitive Radio Gods
2. Well, if you really must know what happened in the end, we were all safe. Turns out, no one bothered to look for runaways or truants, they were just other classmates returning from the talk at various times throughout the rest of the night! Any yes, we all did pretty OK in the test despite the circumstances. 


20 comments:

  1. LOL funny how our imaginations can run wild. All else fails hide in the cupboard with a math book, got it!

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    1. Looking back, I'd say my friends and I were mad :)

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  2. great story, I loved it. And the Primitive Radio Gods too, especially that song with the B B King sample.

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    1. Thanks. The you tube clip above is actually of that particular song- one of my favourites, I guess.

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  3. Well done on doing well on the test despite that. I'm glad you weren't caught either, and that you actually showed real morals by caring more about your education.

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    1. Well, when you put it that way, yeah - :)

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  4. it is stories like these that make our college / uni life interesting, isn't it ?
    good post :)

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    1. Ha ha... Oh yes. There's a lot where that came from. This is actually a very heavily edited repost from the past. Thanks

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  5. Wow, I am shocked at this, even though it is also funny :D fancy thinking they can impose morality on you like this. It's good you all got together to fight for common sense, your mathematics exam is far more important than some stranger's idea of how moral you should be!

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    1. Yes, we were actually rather horrified that they were imposing this talk on us. As for the test, only about 30 of us (out of around two hundred girls) were involved in it.

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  6. Ha ha! That's hysterical that you guys were so afraid of being caught that you escaped. What could they have done to you if they'd found you?

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    1. Well, the thing is, we wanted to stay on campus for the next semester, and some of the requirements include being active in the activities. Being caught means that we might have gotten ourselves kicked out, I guess. Maybe we were just paranoid. :)

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  7. All this hiding in cupboards with strangers sounds thorougly immoral.

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    1. Oh yes... not to mention property damage ;)

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  8. @ Vatinam +
    Wish you a good day and full of joy...

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  9. This is hilarious! Especially the ledge part - I can imagine the look on the felo's face when he spotted the lot of you!

    Then again, school/college memories are pretty scared as we'll never experience those moments again. Yes, even hiding on ledges and in cupboards from creepy jingles of keys :)

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    1. Oh yes... the memories are priceless.

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  10. Oh boy... Paranoia really messes with you doesn't it? :P

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