It Happened One Night

Ed: This incident was such a super hit at its time (1996) that not only Nilgirites but all hostels knew of it. It in fact became a featured article in one of the Campus Rumpus editions of that semester.

One fine evening, everything was going on smoothly everywhere else on earth. But not in Nil. The B-long wing of the hostel was rather chaotic to say the least. Apart from the noise that they were making there were volleys of abuses being let out. All of a sudden, almost out of nowhere, our Warden then, Dr. S. K. Gupta came into the corridor virtually out of nowhere and started shouting, “Yeh sab kya ho raha hai? Itna shor kyon macha rahe ho? Khud to padhte nahin ho … upar JEE-2 aur JEE-13 ko bhi padhne nahin dete!”

(Well, that was a reference to Kunal Talwar and Mohit Mittal respectively: the legend goes that when the hostels were allotted to students in 1996, Dr. S. K. Gupta was the happiest person on earth, because the top 2, in fact the top 3 IIT-JEE students joining IIT-D all landed in Nil. Little did our wardy know while making his statement that JEE-13 rarely studied and JEE-2 never needed to study).

Then Ajay Sinha shouted, “Abey Wardy aaya hai!”. There was an immediate pitter-patter of footsteps and doors banged shut and the whole corridor looked as though it would have put the dreary Sahara Desert to shame with its deserted looks. However, not all were so fortunate. Tharki and Joshi fled into the bathroom and so did Satta. But while the first two managed a close shave, the warden gave Satta a hard slap. Needless to say, Satta did not show his face in the hostel till late in the night.

After settling the affairs in the B-floor, the Warden went to the A-floor and started scolding everyone in general, saying, “Yeh bachchey kitne bigad gaye hain. Jise dekho woh B… C…, B… C… karte rahta hai.” As luck would have it, someone in the A-floor shouted, “Oh B… C…!” That did it! Wardy came back fuming and shouting “What is this? Yeh kya hai? Kaun B… C… chilla raha hai?”

Next day’s fine was a foregone conclusion. But the amount was stupendous : Rs. 1000 per head for all students from B1 to B16. In an unprecedented show of solidarity, the notice was burnt on the notice board before the 8:00 o’ clock class.

Something more interesting happened the next week. The first-yearites in D-floor put on a stereo on the loudest volume possible and started dancing in the corridor. Again our Wardy came up and caught hold of them. “Tum sab Nil ke goonde ho! Itna shor macha rahe ho ki Kailash … er… KLS tak sunayi de raha hai.” He confiscated the stereo and left the students dumbstruck.

However, the benevolence of our Wardy was seldom to be doubted. The huge fine on the students of B-floor was lifted and the stereo of the first-yearites returned the next day.

Quite interestingly, the first-yearites (Nil ke goonde) included JEE-2 and JEE-13.

PS: Dr. S. K. Gupta was one of the most well-loved wardens in Nil’s history. Incidents such as the one above endeared him to each of the students because at the end of it all, he always recognized that kids away from home were bound to get unruly once in a while and he never held it against them for long.