Oh boy who guessed that an essay on umbrellas could be this bloody long?
Umbrellas in Manipal are by definition a collective resource. You may have bought them but that doesn’t explicitly mean that it belongs to you alone. What this means is that if you have an umbrella and you leave it unattended pretty much anywhere in Manipal – the mess, the classroom, the store or sometimes even in your own room in plain sight, it is bound to be stolen. All other items no matter how valuable they are, are relatively safe. But umbrellas are not. The reason is that unless you have a fetish for sideways rain hitting your face hard, an umbrella is of the atmost necessity, always. And the wind that accompanies the rain is so strong that you will inevitably destroy a couple of umbrellas, at the very least, while you are here. There’s always a few days in the year when the rain is such that no matter how hard you try, unless you have a good raincoat that fully covers you, it is tough to get to class without getting yourselves soaked. But you’ll learn to tackle it and maybe even enjoy it by the time you leave! Do note that it could rain in Manipal anytime out of the blue so always have an umbrella with you unless you love being caught by surprise.
Umbrellas are such an important asset in Manipal that I needed two separate points for it. First of all, buy an umbrella or two before you get here. If you buy one here, it is indeed going to be much more expensive (the market’s gotta take advantage of the chaos, eh!?) Now that you have an umbrella, your task is to not lose it. And if you are a forgetful bastard like me, you’ll lose it in under a week. Then you’ll buy an overpriced umbrella from the nearby store, one that you’ll lose again soon enough. At that point in time, you realize that the way to acquire umbrellas in Manipal is to just take one. If you see an umbrella sitting somewhere unattended, you just take it and run. If you don’t do it, someone else will anyways – an unattended umbrella in Manipal by definition just doesn’t belong to its original owner anymore. Also, earlier you could just take one from the nearby stores if you were skilled enough, but now there are cameras in the stores so unless you have a fetish for public humiliation, don’t do it.
Holy shit! 3 points just for umbrellas! Whoa! Atleast now I hope you get how important it is in Manipal. So first of all, forget all that I said just now and don’t steal because well, its bad karma! Instead, use the knowledge to understand how not to get your umbrella stolen. First up, buy one that looks unique. Umbrella snatchers are vary of picking ones that can be easily distinguished in a crowd. If you have an umbrella that is plain black for instance, that’s the easiest to be stolen. I once had a friend who had his black umbrella stolen by his best friend (albeit unknown to both of them as to who was the owner and who was the thief) and I never told either of em because well, it was fun to see the guy rant to his best friend about his stolen umbrella when he was right in front of him. Secondly, don’t leave your umbrella unattended. If you wanna take a second serving at the mess, carry it with you; if you wanna take a piss, carry it with you. And finally, most importantly, do not leave it on any umbrella stands anywhere in Manipal. When you get to the foodcourt in Manipal, you see this huge ass stand where you keep umbrellas. As soon as freshers come in, they are all noobs and put their umbrellas on the stand. This is the time for seniors to steal your umbrellas. While you are having your meal, your umbrellas are being stolen. Doesn’t matter if the floor gets all wet, you always carry your umbrella with you. Every senior knows this and you’ll know this soon enough. As an evidence of it all, take a look at the umbrella stand at the food court on the first few days. It will always be full. Towards the end of the semester, not one single umbrella will be found on that stand. Well, gotta learn the hard way, eh?
P.S. An additional tip. Do not give your umbrella to a friend who is perpetually stoned. I once did that and he returned my black umbrella he had loaned, only now it was colored pink.