Saturday, July 25, 2009

Room-hunting......


The onset of the second year (pre pre final year!!!, a sub conscious voice within me involuntarily corrects me…) brought with it a rather unique experience for me --- that of room-hunting…

Now, it so happens that every year, the authorities take the immense trouble of allotting rooms to each student in different halls according to some criteria they consider as suitable.... and on the other hand, as for us, spending a whole year with unknown, incompatible roommates is nothing short of a horrific proposition, that is why the students refuse to abide by the actual allotment scheme… that is why, every year, at the very beginning of the odd semesters, just after the formal room allotments, the hostels get transferred into a free trading market for rooms --- every kind of activity they taught you in economics is present, be it bargaining, plain trading or bartering, you'll find here....

This market does possess quite a few similarities with the bigger economic systems that we have had the chance of being acquainted with during our lessons in economics, like presence of differential sectors, different groups , bottom feeders, etc…. here are just a few instances--

1. There are different groups with different kinds of hold over the market--- some zones , by virtue of their superior strength in numbers, consequentially possess more bargaining power, while some others, due to presence of greater influence over the participants in the market, have greater trading opportunities….there are always some who do exercise their “connection” muscles, benefitting from their acquaintance with the previous possessors of the concerned property(read: rooms)…. And then, there are the usual bottom feeders, those which do not possess any bargaining power or influence in the market, and are nearly always left to scrap up the left overs…

2. There’s also an overall controlling authority, much like the government in an actual economy, which tries to maintain some amount of equality and justice in the market…in our case, those are the wardens and other college –appointed authorities entrusted with the responsibility of seeing to that the actual allotment sequence gets followed… they are overtly active during the initial stages of the market, however, their interest in the matter wanes within a week, and after that, its oly the free market forces that call the shots…

3.Tthere is always a fair amount of under-the-belt tactics for getting rooms---frequent stages of capturing rooms and exiling the bottom feeders, subsequent intervention by the controlling agency and restoration of the rooms to the rightful owners, then recapturing of the room once more, and so on…. One also gets to see a fair amount of double-crossings, under the table dealings( usually more than the permitted limit of people getting forced into one room) , threats , hard bargaining…..and everything which would put any market management assignment to shame….

This whole matter lasts for about a week or more, but ultimately, things settle down as most get their desired rooms or partners, while the remaining find it useless to protest, and thus have to compromise…. However, this real version of monopoly, sans the luck element, does serve as an interesting as well as an educating experience, I must say :)

Well, gotta go and clean up the mess in my alloted -cum- captured room now.....

so,

signing off....

Rishi....

4 comments:

Twisha Mukherjee said...

That was very wonderful and even more, a hilarious way of putting it!

stupid common man said...

Well thanks bro,for cleaning up the room..I thought we would have to leave it for the juniors !!

Soham Talukdar said...

You forgot to mention the FIR fiesco dude.The lawkeepers also have a role to play in our room allotments.Specially when KHARAGPUR is around!( both sr. and jr.)

Ronnie said...

awesome stuff,man...really...i think this "model" of trading should be showcased at the IIMs!!!