Still in Texas. Still not feeling like thinking up a post. So, in the name of preserving the planets scarce resources - I'm recycling.
Following is a piece that was published in the Presidency College magazine back in the days that I was a student there. It marks the beginning of my descent into silliness. Take a look.
Statutory Warning: Suitable but not appropriate for non-Presidencians
Statutory Declaration: This piece is copyrighted to me and the editors of the Presidency College Magazine. Neither of the two have any objection to its being reprinted (and the fact that the editor was my cousin has NOTHING to do with that). So much for legalese.
(A Perfunctory peek at the Presidencian of the present)
Over the years, many many literary pieces have been composed about the people who populate the institution that I, and 1,69,978 others, call The College (most of it hopelessly uninformed and utterly outrageous. So, deciding that enough is enough, I have put pen to paper and produced this piece for the benefit of outsiders, which should give them an insider's point of view about the kind of people they are likely to meet if they step into our hallowed portals. For the sake of convenience, I have divided them into twelve categories.
1) Pulchritudinous preener
Pseudonyms: Babe, WOW, The looker.
Peculiarities: Has the incredible ability to sit in one place and do nothing for hours on end. Extremely sharp and watchful, but tends to appear languidly bored, which encourages males (especially 3)’s) to approach. But be warned! She’s smarter than she looks. Displays strong repulsion for other members of the same species, but great affinity for 5)’s.
Plus Points: A sight for sore eyes (Especially in Presidency).
Potential Pitfalls: You seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all.
2) Powerful Politico·
Pseudonyms: The Boss, Neta, Sir·
Peculiarities: A firm stride and a head held high. Usually surrounded by members of subgroup 2a) – Not-so-powerful Politico. Will be at the forefront of every strike, gherao or rally. Has the innate ability to blame everything on the Government (State or Centre, depending on Party). Strong orator with ability to convince, confuse, or abuse depending on his audience.
Plus Points: Hang around him long enough, and you may become Secretary of something-or-the-other.
Potential Pitfalls: For every powerful politico in power there is an equally powerful politico in opposition.
3) Pathetic Pervert
Pseudonyms: Lech, Eeyuck, Sicko
Peculiarities: Tongue hangs out upon viewing members of 1). The degree of drool is found to be directly proportional to the physical distance from relevant 1). Has a perpetual leer on face. Known to dress in manner that would accentuate physical attributes in better species. A few tend to go over the top and become 6)’s.
Plus Points: Wherever you find him, there must be something worth looking at nearby.
Potential Pitfalls: That something worth watching may associate you with him, which could be fatal.
4) Poisonous Puffer
Pseudonyms: Chimney, Cough-Cough, Chainsmoker
Peculiarities: Generally masked by a smoky haze, which makes physical identification difficult. Is exclusively found in the habitat known as ‘Canteen’. They are sometimes 8)’s as well. A large number of their population is composed of frustrated ex-members of 1), 3), 6), 10) and 11). Usually found in large groups.
Plus Points: Smoke in the eyes is said to clear the head.
Potential Pitfalls: Passive smoking could lead to lung cancer
5) Ping-Pong player
Pseudonyms: Sportsman, Stud, Gambhat
Peculiarities: A very rare species. Is usually found hanging around the gym, the TT room or the Field. Comes out of hibernation a couple of times in a year to ‘Play’ and is not heard of for the rest of the year. In Presidency, this class of people are stymied due to lack of opponents in their sporting pursuits.
Plus Points: If he likes you, you could make the departmental cricket team.
Potential Pitfalls: If he doesn’t, you could make the ICU.
6) Poetic Piner
Pseudonyms: Bechara, Kabi Guru, Romantic
Peculiarities: Characterised by a lovelorn expression. Appears disinterested with life and is often found humming songs from movies by Guru Dutt. This class of Presidencian has a high output of Lyrics and Poetry, most of it grossly misunderstood by non-sufferers. Generally sympathised with. If not cured soon, may become an 8). Strong affinity for those of type 10)
Plus Points: Will convince the most hardened cynic that true love exists.
Potential Pitfalls: May recite his poems to you.
7) Peeking Pryer
Pseudonyms: The gossip, Blabbermouth, CNN
Peculiarities: An inquisitive look and a piercing stare. Rarely found in one place at one time. Degree of lack in its own life is directly proportional to interest shown in the private lives of others. Members of 1) and 5) are preferred topics of conversation. Is known to suffer terribly if unable to meet a member of its own species at least once every two hours.
Plus Points: You could become extremely knowledgeable about the secret rumours in college.
Potential Pitfalls: Those rumours might be about you!
8) Partaker of Potent Potions
Pseudonyms : Junkie, High there, Totally Haloo
Peculiarities: Is often mistaken for an alien creature from outer space. Speaks in a language that is understood only by members of own group. These people bond among themselves tightly but rarely with others. Are given to intense fits of emotion. Sometimes may also be a 4) or a 10).
Plus Points: From a high point, you can see a lot.
Potential Pitfalls: The higher you are, the further you fall.
9) Passionate pupil
Pseudonyms: Bookworm, Topper, Slogger
Peculiarities: Usually spotted in any of the libraries. Very rarely observed, if at all, in the canteen. Face is often obscured by a large book. Goal is an obscure ideal, generally referred to as 'First Class First'. Conversation limited to item known as 'Syllabus'
Plus Points: Some of their marks may rub off onto you.
Potential Pitfalls: Is it really worth it?
10) Pensive Ponderer
Pseudonyms: Vaguo, Deep Thought, Wierdo
Peculiarities: Greets you with questions like, “What is the meaning of life?” “Why am I on this Earth?” and, “Is there a God?” Has a vacant stare on his face. Often overcome by fits of depression, which may cause a mutation into item 4) or 8).
Plus Points: May change your perspectives for the better.
Potential Pitfalls: May change your perspectives for the worse.
11) Pretentious Pseudo
Pseudonyms: Antel, Intellectual, Know-it-all
Peculiarities: Has all the answers, even before you ask the question. Appears to be personally acquainted with gentlemen with unusual names such as Nietzche, Sartre and Trotsky. Has the incredible ability to explain every problem in terms of obscure philosophies. Usually found in pairs, or with members of 10).
Plus Points: If you have a question about life, the universe or anything, he will have the answer.
Potential Pitfalls: The answer will lead to a million other questions.
12) Perpetually perplexed person
Pseudonyms : The author of such ridiculous pieces
Peculiarities: Wanders around aimlessly, wondering how he gets himself into these messes.
Plus Points: Doesn’t have too many minus points.
Potential Pitfalls: Not likely to survive after publication of this piece.