Engineering college saw me earn a certified gold star in drinking capacity. By the end of the fourth year, I was notorious for being a heavy drinker and feats far beyond my human capabilities were being attributed to me. They said that I never went 'out', which was a mostly true assertion because my sozzled state was notably different from anyone else's. While for others, shirts would come off, words would become incoherent and they'd have to literally mopped off the floor, I'd withdraw into my shell, just sit in a corner of the mayhem and watch others fall to pieces. My 'out' state was thus often misconstrued as the much desired stability by most of my drunk-beyond-repair partymates and you can't blame me for not being forthright. The 'tank' reputation was an honour given to only a handful and I wasn't going to be the one who'd surrender it unchallenged.
There were times however when I'd behave too much like the conventional drunk but somehow it always escaped attracting attention. The worst of these incidents was on the night of Raveesh's job treat. I had fallen asleep early that night but my pal Raveesh nearly took my door down and dragged me to his party a couple of rooms away. The customary protestations and claims of "not being in the mood" were done away with rapidly post the first few beers. It was an especially big night for the hostel party circuit with every floor on every block sustaining at least one party. The hours zoomed by like seconds and the alcohol claimed each and every one slowly but surely. I was definitely not in tip-top condition but owing to my past reputation was assigned the painful duty of delivering the host back to the safety of his room. Raveesh was a heavy guy (Imagine Rafael Nadal without the tennis skills) and my spindly structure would've been in serious trouble even on an ordinary day. Tonight the torture was quadrupled, as I coaxed and cursed my slippery stone of a friend to his room. That he lived on the top floor of one block and I lived on the top floor of another block didn't help matters.
Dumping him into his room and securing his room, I took a deep breath in the corridor just outside his room. And all the alcohol of the night swooped into my head in a final decisive strike. The GPS inside my head went haywire and I decided with iron conviction that I was back on the top floor of my block. I stomped with certainty to 'my' room right in front of the stairs and was shocked to find it locked from the inside! I hammered like crazy on the locked door and shouted out in defiance that I wasn't going to let any random drunk from the party steal my bed. They'd have to get back to their own room and sleep, I claimed.
Bleary eyed and confused, the real resident of the room Devender opened the door. There was a PC inside the room and I thought to myself that I surely didn't have a PC in my room. Then another cranky bit of me decided that not only had Devender stolen my room in the space of the 5 minutes that had elapsed but that he had also set-up his PC inside in that brief interval. I must admit that Devender was much much more patient in the circumstances than I would have been. To be woken at 3:45 AM and be asked to vacate your own room alongwith his PC by a smashed-beyond-words drunk cannot be the best of experiences. Thank God that he was my classmate and I had developed a more cordial relationship with him when I was in a sober state. In vain, did he try to explain that my room was in a different block altogether. For I was rock-solid in my belief that I'd claim what was rightfully mine. I do not have the faintest memories of how I got back to my room but considering that I had no aches or pains to tend to the following morning, the parting must have been amicable. Next day of course was another party (I forget for what reason) where I was hailed as the great survivor of the previous night's party as always. Now Devender was the early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of person so thankfully he wasn't ever going to tell on me leaving my reputation as the rock sacrosanct.