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They say that a man is best known by the company he keeps. Much as I want to believe in this golden age-old maxim, the wise seer who first pronounced these words surely has not been through IITB and (this one I am pretty sure) has not been blessed with roommates. For roommates are those people whose company we never ever choose but is a combo package with the IIT admission, like as not 😛


However, this way or that, these automatically gifted-to-us friends of ours, roommates, or roomies as I shall call them here on, are almost as inalienable part of our lives in hostel. They may become our soulmates or merely professional acquaintances, but there they are, like a presence looming upon us, like those ghouls from Conjuring 2. Based on my healthy interaction with people in IITB, here’s a succinct list of the myriad types of roommates you’ll find at IITB:


The Creepy Poltergeist


This kind of roomie is the most intriguing one. They shall always be there in the room, but not a word is exchanged between the two inmates. With their ghostly heads buried into their laptops, and headphones jammed tight into ears, they are oblivious to your presence in the room. They are more social with the protagonists of the newest TV show rather than person sittiing merely five feet across the room. They barely remember your name and hardly care if you do theirs or not. Uneasy though sometimes situations can be, a roomie of this sort can turn out to be a boon in disguise. How? you ask. Read on to know why this species is much less harmful than…


The Surveillance Camera


From knowing your ATM pin to wishing your twice removed aunt her birthday, which you yourself would have forgotten if not for those blessed Facebook notifications, these kinds of roommates know you more than you do yourself. They shall forever be on the lookout for some small talk and you can never leave the room quietly without having to tell them the smallest of details of why you are going outside and where. They will even volunteer to drop you somewhere if need be. Beware, none of those tiny secrets of yours are safe anymore with this albatross of a roomie around your neck. However, these guys atleast make a move ( too many? :P) towards being the ideal roomies, much better than the…


The OCD Maniacs


“Your book is lying in my half of the room!”,”Lights off and doors close by 11 pm.” and “Go out of the room while I am changing clothes.” are the just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these species. These guys will be as rigid as the mast on a ship and as unyielding as those pesky school prefects who would pull you up for ‘outfit’ (massive eyeroll). For them, negotiations are merely one-sided arguments, with you looking down the business end of the gun barrel. Not even the Director of the institution can possibly convince these fellas to listen to your pleadings. And you will obviously listen to these guys. For even a speck of dust on their tables or a rule broken here is sure to cause these poor souls a life threatening seizure. But still even these seem saintly in front of…


The Flamboyant Show-offs


These people are the darlings of the institute. Every person in the campus knows their names, their photos are splattered on the FB walls of your batchmates, they are visible in every nook and cranny of the campus, flashing those bright smiles on all the lesser mortals and making all the correct noises to everybody they speak. However, the only place where they are not visible are their rooms and the one person that doesn’t recognize is their arguably unglamorous roomie. The only reason these people have the room is that they don’t have to haul their luggage across the campus. However, you are better off that way. For when the glittering social butterfly does take a break from its institue froliclking, they just cant get enough of themselves. Either they’ll be telling you the story of how they scored that perfect 10 in that course you barely managed to pass or they will be gleefully recounting how they managed to handle dancing, debating, art and obviously socialising all in a single day! They may have good intentions at heart, but they are best left to their activities while you peacefully languish in your room, catching up with your comparatively lacklustre life.


And last but surely not the least…


The Best Friend


These guys are as rare as skiing ramps in the Sahara desert, but they do exist. These people will take the initiative to forge a strong bond with you, help you out in the hour of need and accommodate your demands. They will have your back when need be and gently reprimand you if the need ever arises. From giving relationship advice to acting like a Bachi Karkaria-esque agony aunt, they will be the family away from family to you. They won’t sequester themselves to one corner of the room like the creepy poltergeists, but will rather watch a movie at full volume with you. They won’t pry into every personal detail of your life like the surveillance camera, but will know enough about you to give you the personal space you crave. They will not stonewall your reservations about the cleanliness of the room like the OCD maniac, but will rather talk you into seeing reason and striking for the middle ground. They sure as hell won’t leave you languid and boast themselves hoarse like the flamboyant show-offs, but will prod you to achieve whatever you want to, and theirs shall be the first congratulatory message when you win that election you had fought so hard for. These guys are unique and they are the roomies who just don’t stay as such, rather become the best friend you had always hoped for in college life.


That is all that I can give you about the various types of roommates you may have to encounter in your four or five year long journey at IIT Bombay. Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore these guys, for they will, irrespective of whether you want or not, form an integral component of your stay in hostel. Here’s raising a toast to all the roomies out there! If you think I have missed out on any kind of roommate, do tell me in the comments section 🙂

Also check out the different kinds of people you meet at IIT Bombay.


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