Lest we forget #3: AG

This one’s just for you, Mungo Jerrie. 🙂

I should add, though, that the insect obsessed girl also knew AG, which is quite a co-incidence. Small world. We’ll leave it to her to tell about AG, if she wants to. Just for clarifications sake – the people I am blogging about are from a distant past, and almost all bridges have since been burnt. This is something like Shekhar telling me that a room-mate of his was in love with a girl called Roshni, and used to get up at 6AM and stare at the lightbulb; Main apni Roshni ko dekh raha houn, he would say. Hostels are crazy places, and the craziness is infectious. Enjoy, anyway.

AG, like JC, came across as a very intelligent person, another with perspective, and commanded a lot of respect in class for the things he said as well as the percentage he had achieved in ‘junior college’. He was rarely ever in class, though. The few times I did see him was at a private mess, one of many near my college: He was lanky, around 6’1″ tall and very thin. Sunken cheeks and eyes, and almost never cleanshaven. No one really seemed to have an opinion about him (except ‘Nice chap’), and hardly anyone knew where he was or what he did when he should have been in college. He spoke mostly about the weather, and expertly sidestepped any queries about his whereabouts.

We wondered if he would pass the practicals since he had not attended a single one, or even if he’d be allowed to sit for his exams since he was missing from classes for weeks at a stretch. He got a distinction in the first term and cleared all his practicals. In the second term, none of those who stayed at a hostel saw him, except a chance sighting while exiting a cybercafe. I heard that he even didn’t stay in the college hostel on most nights, which, given first year bonhomie, was scandalous.

Then one day, in the second year, someone told me about AG being beaten up in the hostel. Why? Because he was trying to pawn a fancy calculator to a first year guy. The calc was the only one of its kind in college – gifted to a friend by his uncle from the states: it was easily recognisable and had been missing for a month. NK came to AG’s rescue, and AG escaped with a few bruises, and no bones broken. The news spread, and how. Everytime I met AG after that, I became conscious of the wallet in my pocket.

A couple of years later, RSL told me that he’d lost 3k in the hostel, but was never able to find the culprit: It had been a long, noisy and chatty night and a group of seven was sleeping on mattresses spread across RSL’s room. RSL was leaving for home the next day, and had left his wallet on the desk. One of the seven left to catch a train home early, around 6AM, and the door was hence left unlatched. RSL woke up to find the wallet 3k lighter and the door open. The friend who had left was beyond any mistrust, and had confirmed that he’d met AG in the halls. This was a few months before the attempted calculator sale, and no one had suspected AG. RSL had no proof, though.

A few months into the third year, the sinister maid told me that a nice maharashtrian boy had spoken to the iron lady, err…landlady (another story, heh). Name? AG. We panicked. I shifted my godrej almirah, for which, until then there had been no space in my room. It became the ‘family locker’, where everyone kept their precious possessions. I kept the keys with me at all times. A few months after AG moved in, everyone decided to keep their things in their own bags and we shifted the almirah back down into the garage- AG must have been in the hostel for no more than 20 waking hours in three months.

Two months later, I was woken up by a loud sound one night. Someone was shouting at someone else, and I too groggy to care. I was later told that AG had come ‘home’ in the middle of the night, with some friends and several friendly bottles of alcohol. Somebody had brought a dholak and while a sozzled AG slept, his friends decided to bring the house down. Iron Lady sent sinister mausi up, alongwith her cranky brother-in-law. The Brother-in-law, who had only a couple of weeks ago ended (just) a shouting match between AS and PSV PSS with equally loud comments against ‘angry uncouth north indian bastards’, told them to get out, and told AG to leave the hostel the next day. AG was great during a crisis, though. For three years now he had feigned surgery and produced medical records to be allowed to give exams, and paid off lab assistants to pass practicals while us honest idiots had struggled. AG managed to stay. I don’t think I saw him for the rest of the year.

At the end of the third year, I heard that the Iron Lady had confiscated most of his belongings. Why? Sinister mausi had informed her, in time, that AG had taken all the chairs in the hostel and sold them. AG paid Iron Lady for the chairs and left the hostel. The replacement chairs, however, were never as good.

Last heard (two and a half years ago), AG was in an American University, and interning on campus as a lab assistant. I wonder how much of that lab was left by the time AG graduated.

The insect obsessed girl is hereby invited for a blog post on AG; a guest post on this blog, if she doesn’t want to post about another OT(Other Topics) on her (now) collablog on four insects. 🙂

Bye the bye, Acid Ditty, this beats flicking ‘Smoking Zone’ signs from TGIF. *grin*


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  1. odd… i just reskimmed it, and i realize you didnt really do a character sketch, you just narrated a series of incidents. yet it registered – albeit in tones of sepia – as the outline of a person…
    something to be said for implicit description through narration…

  2. Reads well? I was just typing. Thanks 🙂

    AG did and does exist. Those were strange years full of strange characters. I’ve just not written about them because I thought no one would believe me. And I haven’t even skimmed the surface.

    Was considering writing a novel about them, but how many quirky characters can a reader digest? I now find it hard to believe that I was one of them.

    I am of the opinon that everyone is born mad, and society conspires to instil sanity. Hostels allow individuals the freedom to be mad; there is no one whom one is answerable to.

    That almost sounds quotable. 🙂

  3. ROFL at “main apni roshni ko dekh raha hoon”


    😛 more! more! i love it when ppl make my quirkiness appear normal

  4. well my hostel’s relatively normal. the important word being, “relatively”.
    My fav stories have to do w this gardener’s ghost that was apparently haunting the hostel we lived in. We didnt really think abt him much in the daytime but at night the place used to get slightly spooky bc we live light years away from the city and the wind is a noisy wind and makes the doors bang and stuff. you get the picture. so well, one day (this was when the juniors had just come in and a gp of girls decided to stay up to ‘positively interact’ w them.. there were ppl patrolling in the morning and stuff) now at 2 in the night theyre all sitting in one room and start talking about the gardener ghost and manage to get themselves all psyched out.
    meanwhile on the other side of the quadrangle a classmate sees that its 2 (the decided time) and starts making her way towards The Room. Except that she’s carrying lots of books for some reason, and her hands are extended like a sleep walkers hands would be.
    Now when the women in the room find out that it’s 2, they open the door cautiously (theyve been talking abt the ghost remember) to find out if anyone’s awake. And the girl who happens to stick her head out, isn’t wearing her glasses. So she sees the supposed sleepwalker on the other side of the quadrangle, and bangs the door shut and says, “shut the door, shut the door!.. X is sleepwalking”. And they begin talking about why she’s sleepwalking. And someone brings up the fact that sleepwalkers can kill ppl in their sleep and never realise it. yada yada. So when X finally comes to the room, and knocks, and they say “who’s it (without opening), and she says, “X”, they refuse to open the door coz they believe they’re in great danger. And theyre so terrified she’ll bang the door down or something (sleepwalkers are very strong w/o realising it apparently) that they stay up till 5, forget all abt positive interactions, and only after the day breaks, do they go back to their rooms.
    a lot of these ppl (including the sleepwalker) are my friends and not weird/crazy ppl at all. but strange na, what a garderner ghost shadow hanging over a hostel can do to the minds of the ppl who live in it 😛

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