College Wildlife – The mass bunk

Note: No college students were harmed in the making of this documentary.

Nature. Away from the hustle and bustle of the ordinary rainforest and its various inhabitants, in this episode we make our way deep into the vast concrete jungles of Mumbai. Lush grey swathes of buildings, populated entirely by bipedal creatures known as humans.

Each morning,  large hordes of young humans make their way towards big multilayered buildings they call a ‘college’. They then proceed to spend the majority of the day inside the said complex. No concrete reason is known for this behaviour, but experts suggest that it is a necessary rite of passage into adulthood in the human culture. Humans are no easy study in behaviour, as they have a range of complex moods and reasoning behind every act they perform. This makes a study on their behavioural characteristics all the more interesting. Let’s see what we find today.

What we see before us now is a classroom in one of the ‘Engineering’ colleges of Mumbai. It is moderately filled with young humans. Wait, there’s someone else too. It seems a larger, adult human is demonstrating something to the adolescents. Notice how the young humans have developed drooping eyelids and are drooling at the mouth. Experts believe that this is an evolutionary response to the intense pressure attending college puts on the human body and mind.

A shrill ringing sound is heard and soon, the adult human leaves the classroom. The atmosphere in the class has suddenly changed. Some humans sitting at the back are now getting up. They’re gesturing and communicating with the others. The gesturing has become more frantic. What’s this now?! More humans from the other side of the room are getting up. Hang tight folks! It seems that they’re attempting a mass bunk!

Note: A mass bunk is a rare phenomenon where the young humans ‘rebel’ against the mind numbing ‘college’ system by vacating their classrooms, and sometimes even the college, before the actual leaving time. This is an extremely difficult group move to execute as the risks are high, but the humans still attempt it at least once a year. A mass bunk is a sign of class unity and brotherhood. However, only a handful of successful mass bunks have been documented so far.

The initiators, or alphas, have now deployed a couple of humans to locate the next incoming adult, a warning system critical towards the success of this undertaking. Resolute in their purpose, the scouts make their way towards the adults’ room, making sure they are not seen and most importantly, not recognized. The mass bunk call has been made by the initiators and the message is loud and clear to everyone in the class. Oh boy! This is really happening!

After the initiation, comes the recruitment. A class is made up of several factions of adolescents. If the mass bunk is to take place, the alphas must convince the betas to abandon their posts and leave the room with them. This can be done in a variety of ways. Notice how this young alpha is promising this small group of betas security and protection from the inevitable backlash the adults will effect on them. In the other corner of the class, a couple of alphas threaten the betas with their fists. Soon enough, the betas agree to vacate the room on the condition that everybody else vacates the room as well. The alphas consider this as a success.

Recruited humans immediately leave the class. Some humans, however, are hanging around outside the class, in spite of repeated protests from the alphas. This is a common cause of the failure of a majority of mass bunks, as these lingerers build up outside the classroom without actually leaving. These humans ensure that if the plan fails, they can immediately re-enter the class and escape the adult backlash. As we can see, the number of lingerers is growing steadily, with only the true recruits leaving the area for good. Meanwhile, inside the class, the alphas are trying to convince the last group of betas to leave.

The betas who insist on staying are those who have a history of missing these daily classroom gatherings. In human culture, continually missing these college gatherings invokes some form of punishment. Afraid of the consequences, the betas plead with the alphas to abandon the mass bunk.

What’s this again?! The scouts have come scurrying back! The next human adult has left her lair and is on the move! This gives the alphas mere minutes to complete their mission!

Desperate, the alphas begin the act of begging. Pleased and convinced with this last resort, the betas finally agree to leave the class! However, the entire class must make haste now!

The alphas quickly lead the procession. The humans unite as one group and vacate the class, making their way towards the nearest floor exit. Meanwhile, the adult is approaching the classroom. Bear in mind, if the adult recognizes any human, the mass bunk will fail! Oh no! What is this small group of lingerers doing? They are moving incredibly slowly! They are dragging their feet! The adult’s almost there now! She’s recognized one! It’s over! It’s over!

The betas, wearing looks of disappointment on their face, trudge back to the classrooms with the adult. The lingerers rush back as well. The alphas make some sort of hostile finger gestures towards the returning humans and make their way out of the complex, a grimace on their faces. They will remember this moment for a long time to come. Like countless others, this mass bunk has failed. But like so many young adults the world over, they will try again someday.

And this concludes today’s episode. What other wonders will we find in the world of human colleges? Stay tuned! This is College Wildlife and till next time, good day and good night!

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