As August of ’13 flew by, phone calls from Missy became frequent.
Actually, ‘rampant’ is the appropriate word.
And soon, I found myself avoiding her calls a number of times, making the pretext that I had gone out leaving my phone in the room. Well, a number of times it would be true. But, a number of times, leaving the phone wouldn’t be purely unintentional.
But as Missy’s bedtime grew close, we’d have one last call. When she’d talk about her day, and then I’d talk about mine. And while listening to my voice, her replies would fade away, gradually. It was like putting a baby to sleep by telling a bedtime story. Every night, she used to fall asleep in middle of that last call. And then I’d hang up, and return to my room.
And there in my room, would be Brian, with a grin.
‘Done with your girlfriend ?‘ he would say, smiling at me.
But he did pay for all his smiles, in a single go. Here’s how..
August was over, and September set in. For the rest of the college, September means mid-term exams, turning the pages of some books.
But for me and my roomies, onset of September meant a bit more.
Brian’s birthday was on 8th of September. And he was terrified of it.
Yes.. You read it right ! Terrified !
If you’re a hostelite of an Indian engineering college, you would probably know why.
Here, being a birthday boy is a ‘pain in the ass’. Literally !
We have a special Birthday ‘tradition’ called GPL, that translates to ‘Kick in the Butt’. Its our version of the tradition of ‘birthday bumps’.
As the date closed in, the guys of our wing repeatedly assured Brian of some heavy ass-kicking action on his birthday.
Brian was a pretty popular guy among his classmates, both from first year and his own department. Consequently, he had loads of friends and even more wanna-be-friends. Plus, he was
among the best in academics in his class. As he would be proving, later on, at the end of second year.
GPL was the time, when he was gonna be sorry for having so many acquaintances.
As the day of 7th September began to wane, Brian began to brace himself for his imminent fate. As midnight closed in, he went almost mad.
An hour before midnight, we bolted the room from inside, to prepare Brian with his protective gear, namely ‘GPL pants’. Outside, our wingmates prepared with shoes and other ‘accessories’.
We helped Brian wear a pant of cardboard, made from cartons that were lying within the room. He fixed it with a belt. Then he tied a couple of towels over those. The toughest part was to wear a jeans with all those on. By the time we could accomplish that, it was about midni8.
“C’mon out, Brian !!“, shouted our wing-mates from outside. They had already gathered a pretty large mob.
“Is this really necessary? I never kicked you guys on your birthdays !!” Brian cried back. Quite true. Brian wouldn’t even hurt a fly.
“Oh come on out ! Its gonna be fun !!“
“Depends on which side of the door you are on“, Brian said, in a grumbling tone.
Then he handed me his phone, left his glasses on his table, and with a deep breath, unbolted the door.
There was pretty large crowd waiting for outside. And the look on many of their faces wasn’t very friendly. Soon he was dragged to an open well-lit space, the general venue of all GPLs. Ted Bush, a guy who lives in the next room, was assigned the responsibility for videotaping the proceedings.
Soon, kicks were raining on Brian’s butt.
That was about when Brian’s phone began ringing. It was Mia.
I picked it up and said, “Hi ! Brian is kind of busy at the moment“
“Ohh.. I expected it though. How’s it going ?“
“Pretty bad for Brian, pretty good for almost everybody else“
“Soo.. You’re not kicking ?“
“Nah.. Seeing everybody else, I think I’d give it a pass“
“Such a good friend huh ? Anyway, tell him I called“
“Yeah, sure.. Bye“
“Bye“, Mia hung up.
While I was on the phone, the GPL session had advanced a lot. Soon people were bored with the kicks and out came the ‘accesories‘.
Belts, boots, LAN wires, wooden clubs. One of them even found a steel rod from somewhere, but luckily for Brian, he was stopped by others.
I just hoped that Brian’s GPL pants don’t slip off after taking so many hits.
Then there was the dual beat. Two guys, for two butt cheeks, raining chappal hits alternatively.
When the GPL ceremony rolled towards the end, one of the guys brought a bucket full of ice-cold water and drenched Brian, and everybody too close to him.
After a few minutes, the feral instincts in their bloods lowered, and the GPL session was declared over.
Brian was brought back to our room, and everybody left to make preparations for the party.
The GPL pants looked as if it was recently raped. As did Brian look. He lay on his bed, completely still. For, any movement he did, it made him scream.
“Soo.. I see your birthday has been very ‘happy’ already. Happy Birthday, nevertheless 🙂 “, I said with a grin.
It was my turn to smile. 😉
Ted Bush had his camera phone screwed up during the GPL ceremony. So, we don’t have a single photo/video of Brian’s first GPL.
But there were even more events that took place on Brian’s Birthday. Some, which we bear a bit happier memory of.
Coming up next, Brian goes to Prom.