A lot of what goes on behind hostel doors is left to assumptions. Boys love to imagine girls' hostels are full of scantily clad teens who have pillowfights at the drop of a hat. And boys' hostels have an air of machismo, which is nothing more than pseudomachismo once you scratch the surface.
Firstly, boys gossip, too. Probably more so than girls. It's amazing how a gym-session with guys lifting twice their weight turns to a gup session on everything from the latest fashion faux pas in college to who's dating who. However, since gossip is officially a 'chick-thing', the boys call it "discussion" or "debate", taking pains to cover their indulgence by sneering at girlie gangs.
Then there's the selfproclaimed myth of proud heterosexuality that does the rounds in almost every boys' hostel- the talk revolves around everything from who's sleeping with the college hottie to crude jokes ridiculing gay men. Ironically you will also find the most extreme examples of 'male bonding' in boys' hostels - from pulling off one's towel to watching porn together, dressed almost in undies.
And there are the classic scenes of boozing, occasional fights and not-so-occasional crying that would make soap stars take a bow. One big thing in a boys' hostel is college politics. This is one issue that generates a lot of heat - less because of the attendant violence or the senseless slogan-shouting, but because of the sheer volume of litter it generates, as evident from the posters all over the place, including the toilet cubicles.
As if the stench and the cigarettes on the toilet floor weren't bad enough, now one has to deal with the smiling face of a wannabe politician staring straight at them while they relieve themselves. On a happier note, boys' hostels often host late-night music sessions with friends who can't sing. Sometimes, if there's a power cut, these sessions move to the terrace and become open-air soirees. Plus, hostel dhabas, like the one at Hans Raj, offer something that makes life worth living. As for the mess food it's a mess.