After I had passed the High School Examination and secured a first division, it was decided that I should go to the town for my further studies. Throughout my boyhood, I had possessed a smouldering desire to go out in the world and live on my own.
I had always felt a keen passion for higher studies. Now the ambition of my life had been granted. I was to go to the town and stay in a college. But I do not know what happened to me when I was leaving my home. As I entered the carriage I felt most reluctant and melancholy.
It appeared to me that I would not be able to live with strangers away from the protection of my parents and the company of friends. I thought that those bosom companions would be no more with us. I thought how alone I shall be in the town, in the college and in the hostel.
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These thoughts vanished when my journey to town started and I began to think of my life in a college hostel. As soon as I reached the college hostel, I found the atmosphere very cheerful and interesting.
The whole place had a smart look and there was a great difference between life at home and life in the hostel. In the Beginning I found it difficult for myself to adjust to the new atmosphere.
At home, I had been looked after by my parents. I did not have to bother about myself. My parents cared for my food, clothes and even about. I remembered how even my books used to be arranged by sister and sometimes by my mother.
I also recollect how my father and mother became anxious whenever I feel ill. All this was not here, I had to stand on my own legs. I had to take care of myself. I had to lead an independent life.
This very idea made me feel that hostel life is very difficult. I felt home-sick and lonely but as days passed, I learnt to be responsible. I took pleasure in arranging my books. I tried to keep my room tidy. I was feeling as if now I was a grown-up person. I met people and tried to make new friends.
In the beginning my effort to make new friends often landed me into difficulties. The seniors tried to rag me. They wanted to make a fool of me, and it appeared as if I was the hunted beast.
Sometimes, I felt disgusted and thought of running back to my village home but then I felt that if I did that my dreams for further studies will be dammed for ever. So, I put with that and gradually I found that I had made several new friends. As I came to know these boys, I found that there are all kinds of boys.
Some are poor, others are rich. Some like to devote themselves to studies while there are others who take no interest in books. There are mean boys and mischievous boys but there are also intelligent and generous boys. I now realized that my father was correct in asking me to be cautious in my dealings.
The regular visits of the elderly warden also gave me a lot of confidence. I found my warden to be a man of great tact and sympathy. He always listened to us and whenever he came, he made anxious enquiries about health and welfare.
I found that the inmates of the hostel had fear for him as well as respected him and this respect prompted them to behave properly.