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Home Articles Features Hostel Hieroglyphics! By Karthik Shyam

Hostel Hieroglyphics! By Karthik Shyam

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In eager anticipation of the new batch of baby-juniors who are expected this year, our college has been on remake-mode to make the place more welcoming. As a part of this Project Runway, our hostels too have been given the good old scrubbing. Men with buckets of yellow paint marched in one fine day, and wielded their brushes on the walls here, giving them all a new sheen. For an average day-scholar who doesn't reside in the hostel, a sudden discovery of this paint job came rudely: a bittersweet reaction was in tow. Sweet, for the hostel walls look cleaner and more inviting now. Bitter, for most part of the hostel's history has now been buried under a coat of Asian Paints.

Sure, it's understandable that the new comers and their parents, as they scour the hostel, would like to see gleaming new walls. It makes sense to clean up the place just before guests come in. It's another matter that no thought was given to the numerous scribbling on the walls made by Johnites of yonder and past, words of wisdom that were passed down to generations of batches of our college. We remember, as baby-juniors ourselves, the great pleasure we took in reading the writings on the wall: quotes that were sensible, that were wacky, bordering on the verge of perversion, but still meaningful!

Nuggets of wisdom that our seniors had gathered were penned outside rooms; salient events in the course of the batch in John's, such as our own batch's performance in our very first year in the Inter Class Sports' football; an odd hierarchy that was drawn during the 2010 Football World Cup, predicting the winner; biochemical cycles and diseases penciled into immortality on walls as part of exam preps, random scratches and comments on guys from our own batch and other batches, a few of them even controversial. Juicy stuff that you wouldn't find elsewhere; our own heritage site! In the picture, you see the meticulous recording of the different inhabitants of different rooms of our batch.

As much as a clean façade is desired, thought must also have been given to the little pieces of history that would be wiped clean; graffiti gathered over years and years erased in one day!

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