Just a harmless Intro...
Ragging is now officially banned in most educational institutions but it hasn't ever existed at AMU for ages. Though, a milder form, fondly known as “Intro” has been prevalent ever since AMU came into existence. The rules of “Intro” were quite clear: No physical assault, Abusive language prohibited, and Room-mates can’t ask you for an Intro. It used to be mostly around word play and sense of humour. A little bit of leg-pulling on etiquette (Aligarian Tradition) was sure to happen.
Even before I got an admission, my elder brother used to intimidate me of “Intro” stories, basically how a Lion could be turned into a Chicken by a mere command – Ban Murga... I would hilariously laugh at it and find it amusing, until I found myself within the boundaries of Allama Iqbal Hall. On a random night, when I felt an uncomfortably silent atmosphere in the corridors, I was reminded that it’s - The Saturday Night. Hurry up! Find a hiding place! Either go for All-Night study in the Central Library or get away with your fellow freshers for any damn movie where you wouldn’t even be spotted. Another resort could be to spend the night with the Local Guardians… Then someone told me – You can’t run away. If you are found absconding, you will be called for a Suppli (supplementary) Intro on Sunday afternoon. It is more dangerous because you are alone and there is pack of hungry ‘Seniors’ ready to feast on you. I got so petrified. Besides, for how many Saturdays, would I be able to beat the inevitable... I decided to face it. There I was, dressed in a kurta-pyjama, waiting in my lonely hostel room, awaiting the horror of my life. Knock-Knock.. Bang!! Opened the door... And, to my surprise, I found my saviours and not the predators! My brother and his gang had come to take me along in their shelter... Looking at me, he just had one question: Intro dena hai kya.. Why are you dressed in a night suit? :D
Well, Not everyone was lucky enough to have a brother like mine... I heard gory stories week after week and everyone prayed for the day when it would stop. Here is what people had to go through...
You would have to wear a kurta-pyjama unless you are hunted down while trying to run away
* All freshers lined up
* A pack of Khaiyyad seniors (5 years +) seated across on chairs, stairs etc
* A group of Not-so-seniors (3+) also present there
The first question: Introduce yourself (Name, Class, Father’s name, Place of origin, Hobbies)
The twisted part: Introduce yourself or describe a day’s life by including a prefix or suffix for each sentence like - Darwaza khol ke, Naada bandh ke, paijama utaar ke etc.
One should be able to use the right prefix and suffix for father’s name, for example Dr., Mr., Janab, saheb. If one fails, he must squat and become a “murga” when a senior shouts – Ban Murga...
Another question/task could be:
What was the recent movie that you watched? Narrate the story by addressing the lead actress as your “apa” (sister).
Questions/Tasks on hobbies:
* Singing: Sing a song in a female voice, sing one song on a different song’s tune
* Reading: Take a book and read it aloud until asked to stop
* Sports: Play the game using imaginary sports gear with other freshers as players
* Telling a joke: Asked to tell a joke and no one would laugh at your jokes. They would rather laugh out loud at the most unexpected places to embarrass you. I remember some seniors only by the pitch, tone, and variation in their animated laughter. I never dared look at them to recognize them. Well! That reminds me, all through the Intro sessions, you should only be looking at the third button of your shirt or kurta. If you would be wearing something didn't have buttons then look at the imaginary 3rd button. ;)
Give a pelvic thrust (thumka, of course) to your right when the senior says chawanni (25 paisa), to your left on Atthanni (50 p) and forward when he says – Rupaiyya. Every time, you are wrong, you know what you are supposed to do… Don’t you? Very simple! Right?
When you say Right, it’s wrong. It’s never wrong when the senior says the same thing.
What else you could become, apart from a “Murga”? The answer could have been: Go, stick to the wall, and be a Lizard.
Slowly, things became bold... In a Medical college intro, a fresher was asked to yell a movie dialogue from the cafeteria rooftop. In a separate session, a fresher was being asked to dance on the ground floor... The fresher at the terrace shouted – “Basanti, In #$%#@ ke saamne mat naachna...”
Sunday morning scene:
The scene at the wash basins would be like a typical jungle water-body scene, where the chickens would avoid a brush with the Lions and some of these chickens had been Lions a night earlier... ;-)
Hope this reminds you of something of your time... please share if it is worth sharing!
~ Qais (qaismujeeb at gmail dot com)