This incident is about those moments of pure magic that sometimes happen when two individuals have light bulbs go on in their head at the same instance based on a series of earlier shared experiences and context. No, not the soul mate sort. To convey the expression requires introducing you, the reader, to the back story. In essence this post is about me and Naman’s library adventures. It is a set of confessions which I hope will not get us kicked out of the library now that there is a change of guard.
Naman’s animosity with the library began sometime in the fourth year after Mr. K’s incompetency started getting on his nerves. Then, quite justifiably, he got banned from using the internet in the library for 5 days for stealing Mr K’s IP address for one full day and causing his work to stop. Although Naman claims he did not know whose IP it was he didn’t mind the happy co-incidence. That was the prick in the balloon! I have always been somewhat annoyed with the library’s arbitrary rules, how the staff is a stickler for them even under special circumstances and how easy it actually is to circumvent them. This was also, then, an experiment in how far we could go without being caught, although all these are just excuses to deny the fact that we wanted some childish fun and narcissistic attention. Our library violations begin with this SMS from Naman to me, dated August 31, 2011, 11am:
Who is the most fucking awesome? Bet #1. Who can get the most outrageous food items in library till they get caught. In other terms, who can smuggle food inside rc the longest before getting caught.
It didn’t take too long for Naman to start. He arrived a few days later into the library, all smiles, pockets bulging. Out of one packet same a sandwich. Mr. V. wandered in and set a crumpled plastic cup in front of Naman. I have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed yet. But then out of the second pocket came a plastic bag with tea, and he poured it into the cup and coolly had his breakfast in the library. In all his smugness he went and publicised his achievement :) Not to be outdone, I convinced certain people to go eat pizza with me that very night (this is a lie). When Naman wanted his delivered to him, I took it seriously and delivered it in the library. One Margherita eaten right under the watchful eyes of Dr. K.
Score TFA 1 - 0 library. (We are called Team Fucking Awesome because we were at that point inspired by Julien Smith’s The Short and Sweet Guide to Being Fucking Awesome and took it very seriously)
In time our food escapades fizzled out and we returned to the standard supply of biscuits, chocolates and chips to keep our hands busy while our minds (sometimes) churned over (a bit of) academic knowledge. Our dream still remains incomplete though: cook a packet of instant noodles in the library and consume it there.
Another day, a group of third year girls walked into the library after having celebrated someone’s birthday. They came armed with those annoying birthday trumpets (sometimes sweetly called a bhoppu). We had a hoot blowing raspberries loudly in the library, where silence is a law of nature. Hardly content with this, we stepped outside and (amongst raucous laughter) recorded this sample:
Then we went back to the library and forgot about it. While leaving we ensured this was played loudly and completely, but acted as if we didn’t know what was happening. Thus we left, taking a bit of everyone’s stress with us.
TFA 2 - 0 library.
Every one of these incidents have been during an exam, when the library is filled with students studying for their exams. I am not sure how it reflects on our character that we perform these acts when we should be hitting the books or letting others study in peace. We like to think we’re just injecting some fun into the otherwise serious atmosphere.
Towards the beginning of the final semester – Feb 7, 2012, 8:20pm to be precise – I had come for dinner and was going directly to the library. Naman had been playing table-tennis and directly arrived for dinner. He was using my rackets and ball, so he handed them over hoping I would lug them along everywhere I went. After a bit of discussion over who should keep them, he made the (rational) point that I should carry them and put them in my bag.
There was a flash moment, the kind of epiphany that was experienced by Einstein or Newton, when all their years of thinking collapsed into one beautiful result instantly. I had table-tennis rackets and a ball, I was going to the library… I had to just utter ‘Hey’ and it clicked instantly in Naman’s head too. We high five-d each other and let out a huge laugh, reveling in how the perfect next library prank had formed. The whole café was staring at us as we started in jubilation. The idea was set up, time for execution.
The equipment was rolled in, the surveillance was set up and the stunt done that very night. Too bad the library was filled mostly with geeks at that time. Hardly anyone raised their heads to pay us any attention.
TFA 3 - 0 library.