Tuesday, May 01, 2007

MEI underground - Satyajit

(for todays article I have given my space to our guest blogger as he reports on happenings in MEI– May the truth prevail!)

From our special correspondent – Satyajit.

Late into the night when the whole world sleeps, My Esteemed Insitite(MEI) awakes. The MEI underground emerges in its full dark glory.

The corridors come alive with sounds of screaming as someone is being strangled (for the record that was the frustrated fifth year was mortally wounding a innocent first year because he asked her how many publications she has) . This is followed by the sound of the piercing laughter of the resident siren (who with her laugh lures many an unsuspecting person into the quicksand of desire from wherein no one has escaped)

From another lab comes the sound of someone yapping nineteen to the dozen telling the world that he will do for [INSERT RANDOM SUBJECT] what Einstein did for physics. You actually pay attention till you realize he is just back from Gokul(local pub) therefore should not be trifled with. You try to shrug him off but he follows like a faithful dog.

There are reagents smuggled from one lab to another, which in broad daylight would have caused more than one P.I. to have a heart attack and would have made the P.I. realize the importance of the saying that no man is an island. Truly some men are not islands but are the Eurasian continent unto themselves. They have been known not to start an experiment until they know that all the reagents they need have been made by someone already. "Why bother making something when you can just beg, borrow or steal it? It is also much faster besides. " says the drunk as he quietly 'borrows' the 2 dimensional electrophoresis apparatus.

Whispers in a small corridor catch your attention. Clandestine hard discs and flash drives are passed around, information too sensitive to be transmitted across the networks, bits and bytes of precious data that entertains, that enthralls, that mesmerizes and that ruins. The digital apple in the silicon Garden of Eden. "Have you seen ********?" A soft voice who in the day you would have never even known existed is suddenly the complete center of your attention. "Later!" says the drunk to the soft voice and drags you away before you can succumb to the temptation. The first sensible thing he has done this evening. You go outside to clear your head.

Strange combinations of people which are not fashionable in the broad daylight of the midday sun can be seen scattered around the campus. The mathematicians politely but guardedly socialize with the experimentalists and biologists consent to talk to the theorists. Class distinctions fall and presence of juniors is actually acknowledged.

Over endless cups of tea and soggy parathas of the open canteen, the days events are mocked, analyzed, exaggerated, re-examined and remade,. New stories emerge out of this. Fodder for another night perhaps.

Subtle nuances gain importance. Whey did the third year girl call her room mate ‘darling’ in that lilting tone? Is there more to it than meets the non-pink eye? "Yes, we get our cheap thrills like this only." says the drunk.

On the sofas outside the canteen various secret societies meet with secret handshakes and even more secret agendas. You hang around and try to listen –certcon certcon certcon - is all you hear so you give up when you notice them giving you strange looks.

where is the science in all this? you wonder. The drunk from Gokul says “This is what science is actually all about”. You ignore him and move on. Time to go home.

Even at the hostel the MEI underground does not let go of you. They take the hostel cat and treat her like a goddess, take snaps of her, cuddle her and feed her, insist that you appreciate it. And the cat she has the attitude of a diva. "I love her, "says the drunk, "I will make a video of her. I will market the video. I will make her a superstar. The world should know my diva for what she is." You suspect this is no longer about the cat so you ignore it.

As the morning hour nears, the players of the MEI underground flock to the beds to sleep till the wee hours of the day like bats. You do too, knowing that tomorrow is another day, another challenge and the MEI underground rests too knowing the same. If they did not get you today, tomorrow they will. You switch off the light in your room and try to sleep.

"Good night" whispers the drunk. You start and then you realize the drunk was always inside your head. The talons of the MEI underground reach farther than you had fanthomed. You have no choice but to surrender.

Current obsession – Comfortably numb by Pink Floyd

No comments: