P for Panic
One fine day, shortly after our Fresher’s had been announced (“please don’t have any expectations for it at all!” our seniors had insisted, much to my apprehension), our WhatsApp class groups exploded. My phone hung no less than three times in protest of the sudden influx of messages. When I finally coaxed it into functionality, I saw the email that was the source of all this commotion—apparently, the Fresher’s party was now also an alphabet costume party?
It’s hard enough trying to work out what to wear to a normal party, and now I needed to find something starting with the letter “P” and dress up like it?
When I related my dilemma to my parents, they suggested a trip to “Sunny ki dukaan”, the little costume rental shack in the Sushant Lok market. My brother had called upon their unwashed, mysteriously stained nylon costumes when he had to dress up as Shri Krishna for a fourth grade school play.
I politely declined.
P for Planning
I thought about it a lot. I came up with a whole host of ideas, all of which I rejected for some reason or the other. Psychic! No, I had no crystal ball. Perry the Platypus! No, how would I dress up as a platypus? Pirate! But that was so clichéd….
Nothing seemed to fit, and I decided to stop brainstorming, hoping that insight learning would perform its magic later tomorrow…. Or the next day…. Or the day after that….
Then it hit me. The perfect costume.
P for Performances
When I stepped inside the college at 10:35 am, I was wondering if I could get away with calling myself phashionably late. To my immense relief, though, the program hadn’t started.
The auditorium seemed to dwarf our department, but I liked it; it felt very cosy, very close-knit. A couple of seniors greeted us when we entered, and gave us a scare by telling us that we had to speak for a minute about what we’ve come as. Fortunately, they reduced our sentence down to one introductory line. (Did the horror on my face have anything to do with it?)
After finally settling our talkative selves down (sorry, seniors), our department welcomed us with a classical dance. I have no knowledge about dance so I didn’t know which style it was, but I don’t need any knowledge about dance to know that it was fantastic.
After that, we had students from the first year itself putting up a classical dance of their own—and then there was a sudden transition to Uptown Funk! Half my class was performing and the other half (including me) was cheering themselves hoarse.
Then our seniors put on a musical skit—a teaser trailer of our next three years at LSR. Their depictions elicited howls of laughter as they chronicled college life. I don’t know how accurate it was, but I’m eager to spend my next three years at LSR finding out for myself.
P for Party Games
A lemon race, a book balancing act, a sari draping contest—what better way to start of adult life than by playing childish games? I had so much fun! (The fact that I won my book balancing race is probably making me biased, but I stand by my statement.)
With the ice broken (and quite a few lemons squashed), we were asked to introduce ourselves and our costumes. The hand with which I clutched the mic was clammy, and I introduced myself, hoping I didn’t sound as nervous as I felt:
“I’m a procrastinator; I put off finding a costume till tomorrow.”
And I when was met with no sneers and no snickers, only encouraging smiles and good-natured laughter, I realised—I had no reason to be nervous. I was among friends.
I walked off that stage with a light heart and a huge grin.
P for Pretty People
There were a handful of rebels who had come as themselves, but (as our seniors pointed out) “pretty” starts with P, and everyone certainly looked amazing. By and large, though, people had planned something or the other—prisoners and princesses, pandas and peacocks, and a few more unconventional ones…
“Hi, I’m pregnant,” one girl began, toting a huge belly with baby feet sticking out of the shirt. Needless to say, we were in splits. She clarified: “I’m giving birth to a new life here at LSR.”
Well, can’t argue with that!
There was a Pearl who recited a beautiful self composed poem, and then to demonstrate that she was a Painter as well; she completed a portrait in under 3 minutes!
I had barely managed to re-hinge my jaw when we had the Paper Girl step up—wearing a stunning skirt she had made out of chart and newspapers! The bottom of the skirt had rumpled, shapeless newspapers, but as you moved up, you found colourful ones in precise, beautiful designs. This, she explained, was us and the magic of LSR, transforming us from uncertain, confused souls to confident, well-rounded individuals.
The applause was thunderous, and I was filled with pride at being able to call this college mine.
P for Props and Photos
Parents lament about how “aaj kal ke bacche” are obsessed with taking selfies; college seniors provide us with a table full of props to fulfil our silliest selfie dreams.
We clicked photos, laughed ourselves hoarse, chattered the whole time—and outstayed our welcome. We simply refused to leave. Nearly an hour after the assembly was over, we had teachers begging us to go (we eventually did, but not before getting them to promise that they’d click pictures with us come Monday!)
.P for Perfect
Before the assembly had concluded, our president had asked, “It was a bit messy, but did you guys enjoy it?”
I think I speak for everyone when I say: “enjoy” is a bit of an understatement, but yes, we did!