Girls’ Day Out: College Memories

Four of us girls hung out together in college. We were sort of invisible, not at the top of class but not at the bottom either. So we could get away with a lot of things, including mischief in class as the lecturers could never believe that we would have done it.

One of the things we loved doing was to discuss our futures. It was pure fantasy of course, because coming from conservative middle-class families, we each knew our immediate futures at least – marriage!

Fortunately, we all had diverse dreams that sort of fulfilled the others’. For starters, we would all be living together. One was a lovely homemaker. No, she didn’t want to get married, but loved everything that went into making a home – cooking, organizing, needlepoint and knitting, handicrafts – the works. Then we had a Career Woman, who wanted to become a successful banker and reach the top. The third one didn’t have any particular dream. She didn’t say it, but we knew that she wanted to marry and settle down. So we kept ribbing her about her snotty nosed kids. She laughed out and protested saying that they would be clean as buttons and not snotty-nosed, but took the teasing good naturedly.

I wanted to study as much as I could. I simply loved learning and though the other three couldn’t understand, they respected my dream. I felt troubled (as if all the things were really going to transpire!) about sponging off the others to pursue my dream, but was reassured by my friends saying that they would be proud to have a famous intellectual for a friend, bless their loving hearts!

Between doing quiet mischief and discussing our fantastic dreams, we also ate. The college canteen was our eating joint, but we also ate some fantastic chat outside the college gate. It was perhaps the only place where I have eaten bhelpuri with spring onion greens. Try it sometime, it is awesome!

On the last day of the first college year, we decided to go to a restaurant. We tried to look sophisticated while ordering our food. Chole bhature, masala dosa and huge Punjabi samosas came to our table and we ate, talked and laughed.

Suddenly the Homemaker looked at the table across the aisle and saw something – tall glasses with layers of some chocolatey concoction and foamy white stuff, with a straw and long spoon sticking out of it. ‘What is that thing?’ she asked sotto voce, nudging me.

‘Looks like ice cream,’ I said. The other two turned to look and suddenly we were very conscious of staring and quickly turned back to our bhature.

‘Shall I ask the waiter?’ asked the Mother-of-snotty-nosed-kids and we shook our heads. We didn’t want to look gauche, did we?

We went off on a guessing spree, the guesses getting wilder by the minute. Finally we got tired and decided to order the dessert. The Career Woman chose coffee (naturally!), the Mother-of-snotty-nosed-kids and I chose ice cream and the Homemaker asked for cold coffee.

When we saw the waiter bearing the tray with our orders, our hearts leaped to see that mysterious glass among them! He set them down one by one and we finally knew what it was – cold coffee topped with ice cream! We burst out laughing and laughed uncontrollably for a while as heads turned to look at us, some shaking their heads disapprovingly at the loud ‘modern’ college girls!

As for the waiter, he was perplexed to say the least! We left a big tip for him.

The author is your regular neighborhood granny. Loves cooking, feeding her friends and family, telling tales and reading children’s books among others — on her Kindle. She is comfortable with people her age, older than her and of course all youngsters right down to infants. And oh, she is in tune with the times too. She has seen the telegram transform into Twitter and telephone into WhatsApp. You could call her Gadget Granny Seeta, if you like. She loves saying that the tip of her tongue is in the fingers on her keyboard! 

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