"Mystery for first years,
Tashan for second years,
Relaxation for third years,
Realization for final years."
- Shashank Venkat Raman, NITR Alumni
I recently saw this lovely YouTube video of REC (now NIT) Rourkela's tryst with the famed "Back Post".
What can you say about Back Post that has not already been said in words and moving pictures?
In reality, it was all of four kutcha bunk shops and a set of moth-eaten wooden benches, that passed off as seats. That's it. So what was the big deal? What sends the alumni, till this date, into a state of frenzy, and makes them horripilate at the very mention of those two words?
Well, the chai and alu chop at Panda babu's was, arguably, the best in town; Mahesh ji with his Maggi noodles and lucrative borrowing schemes and Gupta ji with his delectable home-cooked (but stingily served) food, helped us survive through four years of pathetic mess food.
And then there were the shops that sold Handia (country liquor), laundry services, groceries, and other accouterments.
But were these reasons enough to make Back Post the King of all hangout places?
It was the adda where people licked their wounds after a tough day at office; where love affairs, strategies for elections, and preparations for vacations, pungas, and campus interviews, were designed and consummated. It was where the very mission of REC - to bring peoples from all over India together - was realized, perhaps, more than at college itself.
Maybe that's why the alumni think back to it, so fondly. Back Post was akin to the attractive courtesan that we had our secret rendezvous with - some torrid affairs and others more platonic ones - while we cheated on the straight-jacket spouse, that the college had become. The library, classrooms, and labs didn't stand a chance, against her vivacity and compassion.
Watch this beautiful video (courtesy: Mahesh Nagwan), relive your Back Post days, and share your experiences on Back Post or whatever was your best hangout at college.