Cotton Ball and Match sticks!!!
The previous post by the author talked about the cover story in the first edition of PAASHAANAM. But what it tactfully failed to mention was that it also included a matrimonial section. Rather than calling it a section, it was a single ad titled "Bride wanted". Outrageously hilarious to everyone other than yours truly (in whose name the ad went out), reflections on the same provided the creative spark for this first post. The touchy subject of Campus romance. For readers who are wondering how the title fits in, please convert the title into mallu speak and introspect.
Romances among batch mates that were "hot" and "happening" in college started soon after ragging officially came to a close. The ragging period was officially earmarked for the seniors (who had lost chances within their batches) to court belles in the junior ranks. The innocent guys from the Mens Hostel (the author and the chief editor included) were happless intermediaries. The ladies would accept the messages and would add it to the long pile that they already had. The intermediaries also had to be tactful at playing a double game with the seniors, in trying to pit guys out to court the same ladies, against one another. Mind you, this was at a significant risk of being beaten up by both parties if the cat ever came out of the bag. (if not beaten up, atleast being pulled up by the scruff of the neck...OUCH...). But at the end of it all, the intermediaries sometimes can rest easy at having done something good for someone. In the author's case, the senior and the junior are enjoying life in a port city on the west coast of India. This was one of the more understated and dignified of the budding stories that blossomed during the four years.
This phenomenon can better be understood when you put into perspective a repressive society, unilmited access to titillation, pheromones in the campus air and peer pressure. An explosive mix that is waiting to be set off (reflect on title). Speaking on peer pressure, at the end of the first year, a bunch of sane guys, who never stood a chance against the well heeled and the TDH (Tall dark handsome types), called it quits and formed the "DESP-erate" gang- who took a vow to celibacy (atleast until they found the right "one").
The Biomedical batch at MEC was a very closely knit one and romances rarely spilled out. But, as avid gossip trackers would like to recall some did emerge. These again being dignified and understated, stayed out of the public eye for most. This long drawn out introduction brings us now to the subject of the ones that stayed in the public eye for long "The cotton ball and match stick" types.
Take one gud looking PYT (pretty young thing)...You have the cotton ball
Take one handsome hunk(The TDH type - tall dark handsome) ....you have the match stick.
Put them togethor and all u need is a "spark". The spark can be anything ranging from a common friend or a dance togethor during the arts. And if all else fails, the College tour. (Please wipe out the mishcievous smiles from your faces).
The end result is a glorious ball of flame, that burns quickly in a big flash. But all that remains at the end of 4 years is a puff of dark black smoke.
One of the first stories that broke through, was one of a city bred lass, falling for a jock (or was it the other way round...mmmm). It had everyone contemplating on the future of the couple as the slightly touchy subject of religion came in. The end of college, the girl gets promptly married. Although to some other guy. Last heard, the hapless chap is now vowing revenge by reaching for the stars. Love can be so motivating...
Next to break out was a fairy tale romance where nothing came in between not even religion. The families approved and the speculators and the bystanders were sure that it will result in holy matrimony, if not, atleast a baby. The chemistry was simply electrifying and the odds were heavy. Last heard it is no more "Happening". Distance and the munitae of a daily routine can take its toll on any relationship you know. And yes there is no baby still.
It is also prudent to mention the case of the extremly cute cotton balls, who seem to be in a fire fighting mode right through the four years. Judging from the haste in which they get married after leaving college, one cannot help but draw the conclusion that all the firefighting has left them exhausted after all....
The 2000 batch of MEC was comparatively less endowed with such stories. The 2001 batch was way ahead in the game. DISCREET was something that was missing from the dictionary of the juniors. There were numerous sightings of "cosy" couples over the years. But what leaves a bitter taste is this case of a Romeo getting a Juliet married off to someone else. The movies are spoiling the kids I tell you. Maybe it is a case of "we were just friends" syndrome. Or maybe the guy is suffering from Blood cancer and he wants the girl to be happy for the rest of her life....one never knows.
The advent of the internet into the Mens hostel saw guys who were sidelined getting some of the action. A budding romance that was founded in the hallowed rooms of Yahoo! chat with a lil expert help from one Mr.GSP, is still seemingly growing strong. The hero has been spotted in and around bangalore, a gud 400 kilomteres away from his home, evading friends and claiming to be 400kms away even when caught red handed.
Upon further introspection of all such gossip and hearsay, and the marriage invitations doing the rounds of the XMEC bullettin board, it emerged that "Campus romance" per se is not doomed as popular opinion is wont to believe. The readers might be delighted to note that a story that developed in the back benches of the EA 2000 batch, is reportedly going strong. Despite being seperated by continents and the atlantic ocean. (keep watching this space for updates)
But from the thick smoke that seems to be coming out of the rumour mills, it can only be inferred that the cotton balls and the match sticks are doomed to end in a blaze of glory....
Exhausted and signing off