“I will not be the person who only hangs out with other Indians”, I said to myself as I accepted my offer to study at Durham University. If there is one thing that I am actually good at, it is being miserable at sticking to my commitments. This is one commitment that I actually followed through on. My little pack of fellow postgraduates constitutes – Indians, Americans, Englishmen, and an assortment of Europeans.
October 2015, I was a postgraduate in the undergraduate infested Collingwood College at Durham University. Much like the alliances forged in The Hunger Games arena, the minuscule ‘Wood postgraduate community stuck together to ward off the onslaught of drunk and horny 18 year old freshers. There hasn’t been a dull moment since I set foot into this college. My Snapchat stories at this point are literally clubbing and binge drinking montages featuring myself and my multicultural pack. My weekly updates will feature my life in the Kingdom of Durham as an Indian International student and a large part of it will constitute interactions with my predominantly male pack (despite being contested by many; I am female). For the next two weeks, I will be sharing with you my detailed notes on the members of my pack. Code names will be used, not for anonymity but mostly because they’re funny.
- The King (Male): Indigenous to tropical land of India, The King is where the alcohol is. The King prefers a state of inebriation when interacting with the rest of the wild. When socialising with the other animals, The King is often spotted a little away from its pack, smiling to itself as it dances out of tune. The King’s mating habits paint a colourful picture, one that it does not mind sharing with the members of its pack in stunning detail.
- The Kitty (Male): Possibly a member of the cat family, the Kitty rejected the motion to be called “Pussy” instead. Native to the rugged, northern land of Liverpool, the Kitty is often the loudest creature in its pack. Known as the official “Archbishop of Banterbury” in the Kingdom of Durham the Kitty enjoys putting other creatures in their place. Its biting, albeit witty social commentary/personal remarks are usually followed by a loud “AEEEYYY” sound and a girlish laugh. The Kitty possess a strong mating instinct, regardless of the season. Upon spotting a “fit” female mate, the Kitty proceeds to pirouette its mate before going for the kill. It is for this reason that the Kitty is often spotted prowling The Kingdom in search of what it terms “a fit girl social”.
- The Little Liar (Male): Native to the northern lands of India, the Little Liar is the product of generations of cultural and national cross-breeding. Touting oneself as a narcissist and compulsive liar, the Little Liar finds satisfaction at the bottom of a whiskey bottle, narcotics, and Indie Rock music. In terms of its mating habits, the Little Liar is wildly polygamous and uses a string of lies and deceit in order to maintain its seemingly monogamous relationships. Despite making a conscious effort to offend and anger every member of its pack, the Little Liar is often endeared for its idiosyncrasies. The Little Liar is volatile in its moods and its preferred locations change accordingly. When happy, the Little Liar is sociable and outgoing, and is spotted “looking good on the dancefloor”. This goes hand in hand with excessive alcohol consumption, which leads to a slump in its mood. When inebriated, the Little Liar is often spotted in corners, laughing bitterly at its life choices, and frequently encounters an existential crisis. Much like its favourite superhero Batman, the Little Liar sleeps through the day and wakes up at night. The Little Liar has a natural affinity with sweatpants and an aversion to showering.
- The Sergeant (Male): Indigenous to the midlands of America, the Sergeant is a friendly, sociable creature known far and wide in the Kingdom of Durham. The Sergeant finds solace in alternative rock music and blowing up buffalos with grenade launchers. At this point it becomes important to mention that the Sergeant spent a significant portion of its life dabbling in the U.S Marine Corps. Though possessing an aggressively medium built, and a seemingly mild disposition, the Sergeant is surprisingly strong and combat ready. It is wildly protective of the members of its pack but it is unclear whether this instinct is purely protective or just a means of releasing pent up aggression. The Sergeant can usually be found at dance clubs busting out its characteristic knee based dance movements.
- The Zuckerberg (Male): Noticeable for its strong jaw, well built muscle tone, and deep baritone, this Austrian creature is excessively sought after by females. With regard to its mating habits, the Zuckerberg prefers females of a caramel skin tone. Upon identifying a mate, the Zuckerberg seeks to impress her by means of its skilled card tricks. While the Zuckerberg prioritises physical attraction, it experiences a decreased libido in the absence of an emotional connection. Highly motivated, the Zuckerberg is distinctive in its ambition to be an entrepreneur and is not governed by its need to procreate. Skilled at Basketball, the Zuckerberg can jump as high as 5 feet. The Zuckerberg also enjoys Deep House music, salsa (not the dip) and making videos of its travels around the world. It is frequently spotted bent over its laptop and does not restrict itself to one particular pack.
The above only constitute a fraction of the fauna I have encountered in Durham. Watch out for “A Kind of Detailed Guide to the Fauna of Durham University (Collingwood Edition): Part 2” coming out next week!