Hindu College known for its special Valentine’s Day celebration attracted a huge crowd this year as well for the Virgin tree puja. The oldest member of Hindu College, the Virgin tree or the V-tree was decorated by the hostellers of the college with balloons and water-filled condoms and donned with posters of Deepika Padukone who was chosen as the Damdami Mata this year. “Deepika has been really famous this year and given several hit movies. It was a unanimous decision by most of the hostel members” says a hostel student of Hindu.
The college sought to cut down on the crowd this valentine’s day by allowing only the college students in for the celebration and even though the rainy weather on 14th did pose a lot of hindrance for the students they still carried on with the “puja” with the same level of enthusiasm as they would have on a sunny day. The role of the pundit for this year was played by Imtiaz, a first year Chemistry (Hons.) student and Hostel Mr. Fresher for 2013 as he was carried from the hostel to the virgin tree on the shoulders of his fellow hostellers in proper pundit attire with dhol playing as their background score.
The puja was held ceremoniously as the students sang the famous Damdami Mata aarti which goes something like this:
“Jai damdami Mata, Maiya jai damdami mata
Tumko dinbhar dekhun -2
Raat bhar so nahi pata
Maiya jai damdami mata…”
As the aarti came to an end, the water filled condoms were thrown so that the “Holy water” could reach everyone. Further, prashad was distributed and even a cake was cut this year so that students, as the legend goes, lose their virginity in the coming six months or at least get into a relationship.
While some might call it an act of desperation and insanity, the hostel students call it tradition. “It is a tradition that has been passed on from generations now and there is nothing wrong with it. We are not objectifying women and the condoms are used for AIDS awareness and not as an act of desperation and vulgarity” says another hostel student as he dances off to the beat of the dhol.