Golden days of hostel life- होस्टल के दिनों के सुनहरे पल

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“छोड़ आये हम वो गलियाँ”- इस गाने के ये opening words उस दुनिया में ले जाते हैं जहाँ से बहुत लोग दूर नहीं होना चाहते | एक अलग ही दुनिया होती है होस्टल लाइफ में | Living in a hostel teaches you a lot. ख़ास तौर पर परिवार की एहमियत और उससे भी बढ़कर जॉइंट फैमिली यानी शामिल परिवार की एहमियत समझ में आती है हॉस्टल में रहने के बाद |
Eating from the same plate is one act that inculcates feelings of togetherness among people. No matter what class or creed you belong to, when you relish even the blandest food served, you enjoy it with friends over the discussion. Those small loving tiffs over the last bite and who will pick the plate for washing, waiting for the people to finish the last spoon of vegetable while still thinking of the emptiness in the stomach…these beautiful moments can be enjoyed and loved only during hostel life.
Hostel life teaches you a lot. You learn to adjust with a variety of temperaments and a big fact is that you learn a lot about yourself. There were times at home when your mom or your dad assigned you an important task and you always thought (literally cursing under your breath) “what is this, no peace anywhere…as if I am the only one who has to do everything”. But during your term at the hostel, you learned that carrying out those minor tasks at home made you learn to handle situations on your own and being in a hostel there are certain things that you need to manage alone. Life as a hosteller teaches you to love and respect family ties and bonding because here, no matter what, certain feelings are missed and then you long for that place called home. Hostel life teaches you to love home. You would never ever think of running away from the boundaries of a home once you live in a hostel. It teaches you what life actually means and how important it is.
From friendly tiffs to those secret love affairs and crushes and hiding love letters before slipping them into a novel…trying to fix updates for friends and moving out for late night movies on the pretext of staying with local guardians…what a fun it used to be. Shopping for clothes at a grand clearance sale only to have the latest fashion in the wardrobe at the cheapest of cost and then displaying a royal attitude to signify yourself as a person of great taste were some of the items on the fun list that will never come back.
Staying awake to read a not-so-erotic novel between the course books and fooling the wardens as if preparing for exams or simply studying and creating an image of a good student is something that sends a tickle up the spine now as it makes us think of the time we almost wasted, though if we think in the deeper sense…we learnt to stick to each other and had all the gala time side by side.
Sometimes a fight for cleanliness would spring up between students as none wanted to take up the task instead blame it on others. Usage of abuses and foul language was considered to be a sign of leadership then.

ऐसा नहीं है कि हॉस्टल में रहकर सिर्फ लड़कियां कुछ सीखती हैं, लड़के भी बहुत कुछ सीखते और समझते हैं | अपने कपड़े धोना, अपना सामान खुद जमाकर रखना और खुद को व्यवस्थित करना भी सीख जाते हैं | इस समय उन्हें बहन का प्यार और माँ की झिड़की बहुत याद आती है | उनके लिए प्यार और बढ़ जाता है | यह भी समझ आता है कि पिता की मेहनत की कमाई का मान रखना है | घर में रहकर हर वक़्त पॉकेट मनी के डिमांड करने वाले लड़के अब एक एक पाई ध्यान से खर्च करना सीख जाते हैं |
“किसी दोस्त को जब छुट्टी पर घर जाना हो तो उसके लिए दौड़ भाग करना अलग मज़ा देता था | उसके जाने के बाद उसके नखरे और अंदाजों की नक़ल करके उसकी कमी महसूस होते ही अपनेपन का असली भाव समझ आता था |” ये सब बातें परिवार की आपसी भावनाओं को और गहरा करती हैं | हॉस्टल की ज़िंदगी हर एक इंसान की ज़िंदगी में वो शिक्षा लेकर आती है जो कई बार घर की डांट-डपट भी नहीं सिखा पाती | हर व्यक्ति अपने नखरे भूल जाता है और जो है उसमें एडजस्ट करके जीना सीख लेता है | कुछ लोगों ने तो यहां तक कहा है कि यदि हॉस्टल नहीं गए होते तो समझ में नहीं आता घर कितना ख़ास होता है, माँ के हाथ की बनी लौकी टमाटर की सब्जी और करेले की सब्जी में कितना स्वाद होता है | हॉस्टल के मेस का बना बेस्वाद खाना माँ के हाथ की बनी बिना नमक की सब्जी को भी ख़ास बना देता है |
“I learnt that my maid at home was much good at washing clothes, I simply used to shout at her for leaving my clothes out in the sun spoiling their colours…but when I washed my clothes myself I learnt that she used to get tired after working in a number of homes, whereas I used to get tired only by playing football for half an hour. I couldn’t wash my clothes better than her.” Hostel life teaches you to respect everyone. You learn that no work is big or small, good or bad. You learn to become your own alarm clock. You become your own servant.
Staying by a sick mate’s side and taking turns to keep a check on him or her at night developed the feelings of humanity for one and all. It also taught us that mental support, caring, and understanding of situations is a very important tool in maintaining a healthy society.
Cultural events brought forward a number of “chupa rustoms” of the class. We learned that a silent person is not a dumb, in fact he is full of hidden talents.
What to say and what not to say, life as a hosteller is a turning point for a youngster as it teaches you to deal with a lot of situations…in fact making you independent. It makes you strong enough to deal with a variety of hardships and even makes you a better person with a much better understanding of life.

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