Hostel on fire !

I was tired, to say the least. It had been a busy day with assignments, classes and a little of CAT preparation. As the clock struck 00:00 at night, I realized I couldn’t keep my eyelids open for another second. In a room lighted with a 60 Watt tubelight, and some amount of noise, I fell asleep as soon as I laid myself on the bed. The mosquitoes did seem to vex me for a few seconds, after that, I remember nothing. I am a compulsive dreamer. Even if a take a catnap, the probability that I would dream something is 1. Having watched insidious a night before, I thought I was experiencing a nightmare again. The previous night, I had started to watch Insidious with my roommate at around 12 and ended up sleeping at about 2:30 AM. Although, I agree that the movie wasn’t the least bit scary, but I still visualized a monster lizard- as big as my arm slowly crawling all over my body. I could feel it’s rubbery and fragmented touch over my skin. I was so petrified at the thought, that I woke up screaming. My rommate tried to allay my fears and somehow, I really have no clue how, the next morning I woke up in her bed. She was so sleepy last night that it was hard for her to recall what happened. My location on waking up still stupefies me.

Well, that was last night.

This night, it was all calm and pleasant. I hadn’t watched anything which could trigger my brain to give me nightmares of strange creatures. I was fast asleep. In the middle of darkness, I heard screams and yepls of women. It felt as if there were ghost spirits screeching at a high frequency. I wasn’t scared because I could just hear- I hadn’t visualized anything. My eyes opened and I saw someone sitting on the front bed with her legs dangling and hair open and long till her waist. I could have cried out in fear but I realized it was my room-mate. As my eyes opened, I heard similar voices again. I was so freaking scared. I wasn’t dreaming after all.

There was noises of someone running in the corridor and shouting, “Sab log uth jao! Hostel main aag lag gayi hai!” That was enough to make us run out of our beds. In the hurry, my feet fell upon the floor and it occurred to me that I was barefoot. I ran back to get my flip-flops. All this at 02:30 AM. As went outside, there were scores of girls scurrying to be in open air. So far, I hadn’t seen a single spark of fire. I could just smell burnt plastic. We reached the groundfloor. It came to be known that there was a short circuit and nobody had gotten hurt. The fire had been extinguished but there was a possibility of another short-circuit- not severe though. A sigh of relief.

Everything had happened so quickly that it was hard to recollect the happenings of the past few minutes. Down on the ground floor, I saw my good friend and hostel neighbour, all dressed to attend a party. We couldn’t help but laugh. She was dressed in a jeans and a shirt, with hair perfectly straight and guess what? Her wrist was adorned by a wrist watch! It was hilarious! There we were, in our night dresses, shabby as a ragdoll- running to save our lives and there’s this friend- ready to attend a wedding dinner. Some people manage to look so good even at times as precarious as these. She later told me that she didn’t change after college and hence woke up perfectly dressed.

Before I could stop my laughter, I saw a senior carrying a laptop bag. A LAPTOP BAG. What the fuck is happening here? While everyone is worried to save their lives from fire, this chick wants to protect her laptop! I just. Couldn’t. Stop laughing. Just imagine, this 5’6” chick is running amidst fire, with her LAPTOP BAG to a safer place. Funny as fuck.

It looked as if someone had set fire at 02:30 AM for setting up a laugh riot.

I regained my senses and tried to control my laughter. I then called up a friend, who’s a senior to wake her up- worried that she might have not woken up. This friend of mine, stays in Indore. It’s placement season for seniors and everyone stays worried. I called her and frantically shrieked into the phone, “Sanjanaaaaa! Utho! Hostel main aag lag gayi hai!” She took a few seconds to respond and I heard a calm voice saying, “Umm.. Dania, Main Indore main hoon.” Another blooper. I hung up and started laughing again.

What is happening?

Just after all this, a friend wanted to pee. Perfect. Now beat that. The rooms in D-block have toliets of their own. That’s right. Every room has one. We were downstairs in the senior wing. I suggested that she go to one of the many rooms to carry out her business. My friend defied that saying she doesn’t want to go to anyone’s room. So for that, we went to the junior block- C-block. That’s where the first year students live. This block has common toilets.

Now that I think of it, the short-circuit had occurred so that all of us could accompany a friend to the juniors’ block to pee. All this at 02:30 AM.

Everything was fine in a few minutes and we were asked to go back to sleep. Amazing. They had woken me up from the middle of a slumber to make me laugh for 20 minutes and escorting a friend to pee. My room-mate called her friend who lives in Hostel-5 to inform him of what had just happened. She was just scared and she thought talking to a friend might help. Now what’s funny? The guy over the phone got scared. He was worried that his hostel will catch fire next and nobody will wake him up and he will burn to death. My friend, who had called to be allayed of fears, had to pacify the guy she had called for sympathy.

Just couldn’t stop laughing. I had a morning class of 06:30 for C.A.T. at TIME and I thought it’s better to fall asleep, again.

A midnight I will never forget –“Hostel on fire!”

Dania Faruqui
Dania Faruqui

Dreamer. Reader. Perpetually confused. NIT Bhopal - IIM Indore.