For me, and many others, this was the first time we’re living in a hostel. Now, one is sufficiently educated about the etiquette one is expected to follow while at a hostel. Rules handed down from elder brothers which if not followed, can result in a fairly unpleasant time.
Before I continue, I need to step back in time and give a small history lesson from the great generation of rock and roll. The Andaz West Hollywood is a 257-room Hyatt hotel located at West Hollywood, California. In the late 1960s and 1970s the hotel became the preferred accommodation in Los Angeles for traveling rock bands, due largely to its close proximity to popular clubs such as the Whisky a Go Go. It was during this time that it was given the nickname Riot House on account of the wild antics carried out by band members there, most notably those of English rock groups such as Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones. The hotel was known to be the types that had madness and activity round the clock.
Back to Kannathur village (that’s where the new campus is located). The boy’s hostel is no different from the Riot House. And we do have actual riots. Just last night, after a grueling week of exam after exam, most of the boys were deep in slumber; having dreams of chi-square tests, hypothesis tests, GDP, fiscal deficit and all the data that we had stuffed into our craniums over the week. One would expect the hostel to be as silent as a tomb owing to all the lack of sleep during the week. But then, we’re all rockstars….in the sense, we’re living the rockstar life style. Sleeping was a big mistake.
At 2 in the morning, we have this parade of guys making rounds in all the floors and blocks banging on the doors and waking people up. They were especially merciful to those who had the audacity to shut their lights out and actually sleep. In every hostel, sleep is a blasphemous concept which finds no mercy. Thou shall be woken up at odd hours with regard to mundane things. For me, it is normally a wake up call to ask for my guitar. To top it all, once the parade has passed by your door, a bunch of guys begin playing volleyball. This is at nearly 3 in the morning. Round about the same time, not wanting to feel left out of all the pandemonium and chaos, I turn on ‘Lamb of God’ at full volume, but to no avail. My speakers are not meant for competing with natural noise.
Jam sessions go on late into the night. If that fails, we have Counter strike matches over the LAN which normally begins around midnight. You always have the sincere bunch of future CEO’s and CFO’s with their noses buried in their books and similar paraphernalia. There is always a decent contingent of coffee drinkers. The canteen for quick snacks such as bhel puri and ice cream is almost always occupied by some one or the other. The hostel almost never ever sleeps. And a golden rule, as explained to me was it is futile to resist and oppose change and the natural greater order of hostel etiquette.
Hostel life is nothing but a learning to exist and co-exist in chaos. I remember seeing a description of how the Riot House looked, back in the day on television. We’re almost there. We ought to break-even as far as chaos goes by the end of this term. I guess, we are our own riot house. And the inmates..sorry….students are nothing less than loud, unconcerned rockstars looking to rule the world. Welcome to the Riot house….hope you have a nice day.
– Nikhilesh Murthy