The toughest series of posts I will ever write
I spent 4 wonderful, memorable n fun filled years in Central Tool Room. The years that taught me how to earn my bread, shaped my views n personality and gave stories and memories that I cherish. Here, I would share some of the events, mostly fun and mostly in the same language they were originally in. These are the memories that have remained with me from my time in ctr. I also welcome other stories that my fellow CTRians can share. I for sure had fun n I hope you enjoy reading n my college mates share more incidents .
Since CTR is the hogwarts of our story, i would let it introduce itself,
CTR Ludhiana is an Indo-German project setup under bilateral agreement on technical cooperation between Government of India & Government of Germany in 1980. It is working under administrative control of Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India. Our core service areas are Tooling development, Rapid prototyping, Heat treatment and Training. We are ISO-9001:2008 certified organization.
Yup thats my College !!!
CTR is far from a normal college. Its strictly a boys only, merit based entrance, training facility where classes are few but emphasis is laid on hands on training for budding engineers through a state of the art training workshop. To get into the college you have crack the JET exam and get pretty decent ranks to be honest. Mine was 6230. And needless to say it was the worst entrance rank in the college’s history according to some of my teachers. It should have served as either a motivation for me to do good academically or should have lead to some sort of inferiority complex, if not depression, but it did not. Maybe i was built that way.
Since the college had merit students from all the north indian states, We had a huge hostel in the compound of CTR. Out of 35, i guess around 25-27 of us were hostlers so we had a pretty big family and many many incidents worth remembering … Lets begin with Day 1.
So all the newbies entered the premises with their parents, starry eyed, not knowing about how difficult or easy this place was going to be. We all gathered in a class room. for about half an hour we were just sitting there and occasionally our seniors would come and have a sheepish look at us, mumble something to themselves and walk away. It was quite intimidating, since we had all heard stories about ragging, about how seniors would make our lives hell. We werent prepared, and we were very vulnerable. So, someone walked into the room, addressed us for a while, i guess it was Mr Joshi, the de facto principal, and brought along Sardar Mal Singh, our instructor for first year.
We all introduced ourselves and were literally forming friendships and searching for room mates based on the introductions, people from Chandigarh were friends, from Punjab formed their alliances, Himachalis in one corner and so on. We were also setting the pecking order in the class, counting how many ppl came in after 12th n how many after 10th. Akashbir, though came in after graduation and screwed up all our calculations.
From there we were lead for a quick tour of the college and all along we had seniors just measuring us up. we were lambs heading for a slaughter and they made sure we felt that way. After the tour we were taken to the hostel to fill up some forms and get our rooms allocated. As was the rule, the ground floor of Block A was reserved for 1st year on the pretext that since the floor had the attendants’ room, it was the safest place for newbies. There were 15 rooms to be distributed and we all paired with our new friends to get the rooms. I paired with Mandi and we got room 12. Once the rooms were settled, we shifted in, bid goodbyes to our parents and thought lets get to know each other better.
The college timings were 9-5 and around 5:30 or 6 we were all in our rooms chatting with new friends. I must must account for our roll No 2101 here. Ajaypal Singh from Batala. We were all visibly scared of the impending ragging but this guy was as assured as a steal cage. according to him, we couldnt and wouldnt be ragged. The first day passed by without ragging. what a relief.
Second day, after being introduced to our teachers, we come to hostel for Lunch, lead by our attendants Sohan Lal and Daya Ram. The stares from the seniors followed us all through the way. We knew deep inside that it was only a matter of time. Kuchh to hoga. That evening we were more scared and Ajaypal was more sure. Well, 2 more days went by with the staring game and we hadnt been ragged yet. So on the first thursday, our seniors got through to the attendants and wanted some introduction with us. To be honest we were also looking forward to this interaction. Meanwhile, Akashbir was unanimously chosen as our Class representative, Kohli had established himself as the fun guy and we had all shared some jokes and got to remembering few names.
We were all in our respective rooms, 5-6 guys in one room when we heard the knock on the door and some seniors came. In my room were Ankit, Kulwinder, Vinod, Kapahi n me. We were to address our seniors as “paaji” for all our years in CTR, which we had no problems with. In addition, till the time we werent told otherwise, we had to give them the salute, something like “tohfa qubool karo” in 3 Idiots. We were all asked about our girlfriends and if any of us had one, we had to call her up or tell stories about how we wooed her. We had to recite the thirsty crow story with the line aa meri $#$# wich aah.. that was pretty funny . plus there was a brian wash ritual. Downright disgusting. We were saved since the seniors who came to our room were from himachal n were friendly enuff to let s off the hook on the brain was. But i think Ajaypal wasnt that lucky. After the seniors went back all of us gathered again and Ajaypal wanted to make a phone call to his dad. He called him up, told about the ragging, went home and never returned.
Our first day of ragging was by and large peaceful, fun even and we were far less terrified. Next day was friday, when most of the people were heading home…. the seniors from 2nd year knew all the ways out of college and were on every route. They rounded us up and to the park we went. There we were introduced to the punjabi version of namaz, it was full of abuses but a laugh riot nonetheless. My good seniors chose me to lead the namaaz and all the batch had to do was recite it after me, without laughing. If anyone laughed, i would be slapped and the whole exercise would be repeated. Sounds simple, right? i was slapped 9 times!!! and before the 9th slap, i got up, excused myself, slapped the guy who was laughing, then went back, got my slap and continued.
Not just the ragging, our seniors were generous enough to accompany us to our destinations since they also had to board the buses to chandigarh, bathinda, amritsar. They were generous, yeah, they paid for our tickets.