In the august of 2014, I went to Gwalior for joining my college (undergrad). I was totally new in the city. I did not know much about the city.
I was informed by many people about different ragging stories that would happen in colleges in Gwalior. My Brother-In-Law (who is a localite),told me not to disclose my actual place of origin to everyone. He rather suggested me to tell everyone that ‘ I am from Bhind’(nearby district).
On the first day of my college, I boarded the college bus and sat adjacent to a boy. We started talking and after sometime came the question “where are you from?”. I said “Bhind”, he got excited and said “me too”. “Where in Bhind?” , I felt I am trapped now. I told name of a village suggested by my Brother-In-Law and quickly changed the topic.
The day went fine in the college. When I came back to my room, my landlord was sitting outside the house reading newspaper. As I was about to enter the house, my Landlord stopped me and asked me to sit on a chair nearby. He said “Read the headline” (while showing me the newspaper).
The headline was about a case that happened in ‘Scindia School Gwalior’. A 14 year old boy ‘ADARSH SINGH’ (same as my name) attempted a suicide by hanging himself from ceiling fan. He did so, as he was frustrated from ragging by his seniors. He was allegedly forced to do menial jobs by his seniors.
This was in national news. All the students involved were from politically influential families. Adarsh himself was son of then a minister in Bihar. Coincidently his father’s name also matched with my father’s name. Adarsh was saved by his friends, as fan got unstuck from ceiling and his friends reached there on time.
My landlord warned me “ Be careful”. I was shook by this incident, but more so because of matching names.
Fortunately, in my college, Professors and Administration took special care of 1st year students and made sure we do not get ragged. I didn’t go through any ragging in my college days.
When I think of this incident, I thank God 100 times for keeping me safe. Otherwise, one bad incident would have made my perspective very negative about the world around me.
JAI MAA SHARDA.