The opening notes of Nuvole Bianche wafted gently towards him. He sat bolt upright. Damn! His roommate, whose sleeping patterns were beginning to resemble that of a bat in captivity (he had googled it, the wee fuckers can sleep for 344 days at a stretch), had an 8 am class. Again. And he had overslept. Again. ‘Probably after a wild night of dissecting Proust’, he thought to himself.
He was growing increasingly tired of this trite. Without even attempting to awaken the mighty Snorlax, he jumped to it, grabbing the (seemingly) cleanest clothes he could find, threw on chappals that were way past their prime and dashed out the door. Amidst meandering his way through the sleepy flurry of 20-somethings trying to make it to college on time, he briefly glanced at his reflection in the nearest reflective surface. His douchebag buzz cut-on-the-sides-‘fro-on-top was growing out and boy, was it hideous! ‘Fuck man! It’ll be quite the challenge to top the douche scale this time.’ His train of thought was disrupted by the prick down the hall that ran into him mid-rant. Mr. Prick was your average jhola-toting, kurta-wearing, mason jar-carrying asshole that believed in quoting Kafka all day long. This time, he was going on about Petrarch’s perspective of the Renaissance. Our ishtud here didn’t have the energy to disillusion Mr. Prick and tell him that no one gave a flying fuck about his rant.
His sole focus at this point of time was making it to the abyss of all happiness that was The Gender Studies lecture, because let’s face it, that crazy girl with the insane body was up for presentation. Of course he needed the best seats in the house! As she got up on the podium to begin, all he could think was “Brown Brown skin vaali let me tell you one thing, Rabb di sahun you’re so sexy”. Kind of ironic that she was droning on about the blatant and grotesque objectification of women in popular culture.
Mid Karan Johar-esque daydream, he was yet again rudely awakened. This time, by the Economics freaks rallying people to protest against something banal. Again. ‘Don’t they ever get tired of their own bullshit?’ he thought. “Arre! Dean se kuch jugaad karke bhaad mein jaa saale!” The words shot out of him faster than he could comprehend. Needless to say, it generated quite an uproar with “Conformist”, “Stick it to The Man”, “Students Solidarity” and “Fascist Sellout” being thrown at him as he zoned out. ‘Fuck! These assholes are so full of shit, what change do they think they can bring?’ The only way to survive in this country was jugaad and a chalta-hai state of mind. Both of which he had plenty of experience with.
Basking in his own mediocrity took up the larger part of his day. That, coupled with hiding from the KKK that was the Eco department, was more than he could handle for one day. “Ek peg toh banta hai!” he rationalised with the usual suspects that was his “crew”. Loitering on campus, they were conflicted between an open mic night of slam poetry at the coffee shop or an art appreciation discourse. Another thing to piss him off further. What he really needed was some Monk, lights and mainstream Bollywood to unwind. He settled with following the herd to the discourse. The only saving grace of the entire night was the copious amounts of over-priced foul wine and the cheese platter that he gracefully wolfed down.
The Merlot coursed through his veins. He could feel his insides get all warm and fuzzy. The giddiness peaked as he body-slammed into his skinny dorm mattress. This was quite literally the high point of his entire day. He was surrounded by these self-righteous fucks who thought no end of their intellect. His only option was to stick it out through his final year, get his bullshit philosophy degree, then head straight to the States to do his MBA. The freedom was so close, he could taste it. Perhaps that was the cheese platter making its way back up. Perhaps not. He didn’t care. He was one with another dimension all together.
In this parallel’s parallel, our closet philosopher was awakened by the din of his asshole roommate’s alarm. Yet another morning began with “Aaj Blue hain pan paani paani paani paani paani”. 8 am ‘Soil Mechanics’ lectures beckoned.
Photography By: Sahil Verma