Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nuggets In The Alleyways.

One of the many many things I like about this place is that you can lead a not-so-penurious student life without having to spend much. Our department is a huge seven storied building that runs almost across two bus stops. That means if u get down on a bus stop, get into the building, and start walking parallel to the road, then by the time you are at the other end of the building, you would have covered two bus stops. It took me almost 6 months to master the basic layout of the building, for it is further divided into wings from A through T. Longer buildings only mean longer corridors. And if you start walking through the corridor on any randomly chosen day, making the list of things people put there to give away for free, I am confident that you will end up with everything you thought you did not have.

It works like this. When a department or a lab does not need something anymore (which happens quite often), they just place it by the side of the corridor and paste a “FREE” sign. Sometimes, they needn’t even put that sign. A department gets extra money in its budget, and it decides to get rid of everything it has. And when I talk about free things, I do not mean that they are torn or tattered or not in a position to be used. These are things in absolutely perfect and usable condition.

While I am packing my bags these days, I am amazed at the innumerable number of things I have gleaned so far by just picking up things here and there in the corridors. Here, let me show you.

See this basket and table lamp that works perfectly fine. I had found it lying outside one of the departments. And see this jumbo-sized executive chair. For a long time, I could not decide which chair should I take.



And then you will find empty hard covered files, office supplies, and what not. I once collected a pack of 100 unused binder clips. This came with about 200 folders of different colors. There was once a coffee maker which I did not take. You can find anything from print papers to discarded tables, executive chairs, lampshades, picture frames, latex gloves, file holding racks, unused copies and pens, staplers, wicker baskets, computer accessories like keyboards and mouse, and anything you can name.


And then comes the best part- food. Did not have the time to cook and bring food? Your heart is craving for an afternoon snack? People here like to share things with others. So they simply get a pack of something and leave it outside the department door. So the next time you take a stroll, don’t be surprised to see a huge coconut and chocolate cake with a knife on it. Initially I used to wonder if these stuff are edible. After skepticism came the embarrassment of someone catching you stealing a big chunk of the cake. But this is not called stealing. People want to share food with you, even if they do not know you. This heightens especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas. So you can find cakes and cookies, salted peanuts and cashews, pretzels, cans of coke, cup cakes, pizzas, bottles of juice, chocolates and candies, and anything you can imagine.

What more, all the dozens of packing boxes I needed for packing came all from me and G exploring and hunting the corridors. And all this came without the guilt of feeling like a rag picker. For me, it is more like a treasure hunt where you can find anything depending on your luck. From food to office supplies to tables, swivel chairs, you just name it.

Who knows what more will I see as I keep exploring the corridors this way.

sunshine.

7 comments:

chatduke said...

amazing realization ... these small public gestures done with due respect can make this world so wonderful ...

par tum sirf uthamein ka hi kaam to nahi kar rahi ... pakdi gai to desh ki naak kat jayegi ... just joking ...

ME !!! ...

creepa said...

But we believe in using the things to their end :D..we'll 'fevicol' the chair if its broken but wont throw it away :P :D !
neways..happy hunting!

simba said...

sometimes I wish I could transport all the surplus stuff there and distribute it amongst the needy here!!

cliche said...

Will miss this place for sure:)

sunshine said...

chatduke- rakhte to isiliye hain ki koi uthaye, aur kya?

creepa- That's again the typical Indian mentality.

simba- seriously, and I haven't even written about the garage sales.

cliche- hehe.

Siri said...

Sunshine, this goes one step ahead of your college corridors and extends to the many residential localities in US where one would find everything needed to set up a house when he/she is on something as nondescript as an evening stroll!

sunshine said...

siri- I agree :)