Hesitantly I moved towards the hostel. It was an old maisonette with hoary gates and doors. Most of the doors were grilles with wooden frames. I took a look on the doors and came to know that it had been polished ages ago. Most of the hasps were out of place making it unable to lock and it opened and closed with a grating sound. I walked past many worn chairs which happened to be strewn haphazardly. I entered the dark hall and bumped on to the lousy tables. The wall was utmost flaky. I felt dejected with the sight. The so called warden ushered me to my room. I entered the room with high desperation. The room was all the darker but for the streak of light which penetrated through the half opened window. It was a small room in which 5 cots were laid in succession. They were arranged in two rows, three cots on one side and two on the other. It formed a narrow pathway in between and one can hardly walk with ease across it. Towards the corner was the bookshelf which lay slanted on the wall due to improper fixation. I scanned the room for the study table I had in my mind. But I could only find a broken wooden table which can be called a study table because it didn’t serve any other purpose. It was highly dirty with names and holes digged out all over the surface. It was such a haunted and wretched place that all my excitement found its way to grave.
It was noon and I went out with Dad to get my beddings and other necessary things to keep me going. We hardly took an hour and a half to buy all my stuff and found our way back to hostel.
“Okay. We will make a move, Dear” Dad suggested.
I wanted to run towards him like a child and plead to take me back. There I had a well kept room of my own which would rather smell of fresh air than this awfully stale aura. But my pride held me back. I had a lump in my throat when they waved me goodbye. I could see my Mom’s wet eyes and the pain in my Dad’s heart. The lump grew even bigger as they drove away from me. Slowly tears dripped down onto my cheeks.
I turned completely gobsmacked when I heard a loud hoot from my back. Not a very different story. The same scene of separation and leave- taking. Giggles rose inside me when she cried out even more louder as if she had been sentenced to death by the court of law. I was amazed when I saw her face. It was the very same girl I met at the college. I felt like she was following me too closely. I shrugged my shoulders and walked past her to enter the hostel. My hands slightly touched hers. She looked up at me. I smiled warmly as if like to reassure and let her understand that she is not the only one in the boat.
I skipped down on the flight of stairs and found my way to the room. Three of the denizens had already fallen in. They were engaged in deep discussion paying little attention to me. I alighted onto my bed timidly. The bed welcomed me with a creak. I felt left out. I was bored to death. The room was dull and lifeless. I realized one bed was still empty, but I could see lot of things were dumped on to the bed. I knew someone was going to take up the bed without any delay. I went over the hostel looking for a new entry. To my amazement I saw the same girl whom I met at the college and then at the hostel corridor. She rushed inside and fell on to the bed with a heavy sigh. The gang discontinued the discussion. Everyone’s eyes fell on her. We were all eager to know what she was upto. Atleast I was. Her heavy sobs kept our hearts thudding. We were at sea, not knowing what to do. Moments later she woke up and rushed into the bathroom, which was outside our room. We all shadowed her one after the other like little children being queued up for an assembly.
She washed her face and flung open the door to see us standing outside the bathroom bewildered. She burst into a loud guffaw. We looked at each other puzzled.
“Hey, Hi. I’m Rose. May I know your names?” She said.
“Are you ok?” I asked doubtfully.
“Oh. Yeah. I’m perfectly fine. Sorry to bother you guys. It was very painful to leave my parents. Now I’m alright. Don’t you worry.”She replied timorously.
Three of them just vanished as soon as they heard her story and I was left alone with her.
“Shall we go back to our room?” I asked.
“Of course! I am happy I have you . You are lovely, but I didn’t get your name!” she exclaimed.
“Oh! I’m Diana. Nice meeting you”
“Nice meeting you too!” she replied immediately.
She quickly grabbed my hand for a handshake and gave me a warm hug. It was abrupt and unexpected and by the time I could realize what had happened, she put her arms around my shoulder and smiled sweetly. The door was stretched out wide waiting to take us on for a new interesting ride.
We slowly glided into our room which was now fully awake and full of life