Monday, April 24, 2006

Sardar Vallabhai Patel Hostel

Also known as SVP Boys Hostel.

It is located 10 minutes off the main road. During our days, the nearest landmark was one of the three dumpyards of Bombay (I can not get myself comfy to call it Mumbai).

The first time I went there with my grandfather, we instantly got hit by the enormous stench coming from the dumpyard.

But for Rs. 1200/- for a year, it was dirt dirt cheap in a place like Bombay. Add another Rs. 500/- for each month if you wanted breakfast and dinner.

The building was diapalated and in a horrible condition. In fact, the owners of the hostel had recieved a notice from the municipal authority to empty the building in eight months as it was hazardous for living and could collapse any time. And that was a notice that they had received one year before I came there.

We had water coming down from the ceilings when it rained. Rooms got clogged with water. If someone sneezed hard enough, the plaster would fall off the ceiling. If someone burped or farted loud enough, the ground would shake (just kidding).

But the building was in a bad condition.

But after staying there for nearly over a year, I still loved it. I never saw the condition of the building. I just saw it in a different way. They guys in the hostel were simply wonderfull. Even as I walked back to see my hostel now (five years after leaving it), I just saw the old wonderful memories.

My favourite place in the hostel was our terrace. I would just sit there and listen to the wind and bask in the sun - peace. The surroundings were very serene (if you could develop an ability to ignore the smell emanating from the dumpyard).

The hostel tought me many things - I learnt how to wash my clothes, also learnt that it is better to outsource the laundry work especially if you are fond of wearing jeans. Many more lessons learnt that I fail to recollect.

But it was just like a family.

Even today, when I look at it, my solid friends are first from school, then from my hostel, then from my graduation college. And none from my post grad college (that is saved for another long post).

Well, life goes on.

PS: If anyone wants to know the directions to the hostel or how to get there, then I am not going to provide you any directions. But I just like 'The Beach' a lot. Happy hunting.


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