Sumn Slight to be The Junior Quad

05C Down QuadThe self-pronounced "junior quad" at Prom | Source: Faizaan Shaikh

Of all the disciplinary infractions—walking without socks, using the microwave at 2:00am, and lying to an RC, among others—that are reported and investigated at IMSA, one rather hideous one seems to go under the books.

According to Page 28 of IMSA’s Student Parent Handbook, all students — including those living in 1505 — are expected to try their best to remain quiet from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am every Monday to Thursday,

Across campus, students settle in after 10:30 pm to either sleep, converse quietly with their wingmates, or type away in their rooms on their computers. Much of campus comes to a standstill around this time, and especially so after 12:00 am.

Except for one hall … maybe one wing — really, just one quad.

* * * * * * * *

Take a walk near 1505’s C Wing at any time of day, and you’ll be greeted with some rather deafening, cacophonous noises. That could be Faizaan Shaikh’s dubious attempts to match his roommate Rithik Thekinath’s ability to sing, or Arjun Cherukuri’s botched attempts to match his roommate Adi Prashanth’s aptitude with the piano.

Or it could be something far more intriguing.

Early in the morning, you’ll likely find yourself tormented blessed by Adi’s duck quacking alarm designed specially to awaken him from his hours-long slumber or Arjun’s melodiously pronounced “yello.” During midday, you’ll hear Adi’s snores because he’ll be sleeping again or Faizaan unwrapping his fifth burrito from Taco Bell in the last two days (that of course, he used a Uber Eats’ $25 referral discount code to get).

But, it’s really in the night that the quad’s magic truly shines.

Starting from 8:00pm all the way to the wee hours of the night, something will always be blasting on the quad’s speakers. It’ll begin with “some classic bangers for the boys” as Faizaan puts it — that’ll include Dil Chori, Yentamma, Tillu Anna DJ Pedithe, and other hits from Faizaan’s very own Motherland Melodies playlist (he told The Acronym to make sure to mention it, so here that is).

Faizaan and his quad at this year’s Diwali | Source: Faizaan Shaikh

But as the night progresses — and the music gets louder — you’ll have a chance to see and hear what else the four get up to.

You’ll find Faizaan either perfecting one of his dances that he likely choreographed himself or working on some projects for the Campus Activities Board (CAB) or the Muslim Student Association (MSA). While a member for both CAB and MSA this year, Faizaan will be leading both organizations and has many ideas up his sleeves — trips to mosques as part of IMSA’s already-existing Worship Shuttle, a brand-new event during Halloween, an outside Homecoming, and more. As he works on such projects late into the night, you’ll be sure to see him dancing a few times. Faizaan, while he won’t admit it, tends to body roll and dance every few minutes; working and then dancing is sort of his own Pomodoro technique — call it the Faizaan Special. Oh, and he’ll be sure to let you know that he’s doing well, even if you don’t ask with his “I’m doing well, thanks for asking” “joke.”

A few feet away, you’ll find Rithik — or, you’ll actually hear Rithik. An ILMEA All State Honoree, Rithik enjoys singing, especially to tunes like Ali Zafar’s Jhoom. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch him dancing, with or without Faizaan. Aside from these excursions, though, you’ll see Rithik grinding — on a Quest, on a random math problem he finds interesting (and is likely far more advanced that something you’ll comprehend), or one of his latest origami creations. And if he isn’t there, he’s likely in the bathroom checking his muscles out combing his hair, dominating games of Spikeball indoors, spraying bottles of Febreze on innocent souls, or breaking coffee mugs by bouncing yoga balls in his room.

Then, if you walk across Faizaan and Rithik’s room into Adi and Arjun’s room, something immediate will strike you: no, not Arjun’s height, but a stench and a sight that reminds you of a post-apocalyptic society.

Regardless of how many air-purifying masks you regret not bringing, you’ll quickly be distracted by Adi as he beautifully plays the piano and sings simultaneously — an innate talent he shares with many across campus. Adi is one of the leaders of IMSA’s Mod 21, where he sings and spreads music across campus through performances at culture shows, events, and assemblies. If you’re not special enough to hear Adi singing, you’ll instead hear him repeatedly screaming “respect this jit” — till this day, none of his quadmates have been able to understand what he means, but they tolerate it nonetheless. When he isn’t … singing, you’ll find him grinding — on a Quest, a packet for MVC, a project for FRC, or perhaps even his SIR hosted out of CMU. And god forbid that you visit Adi’s room when he’s sick — if you have the misfortune of doing so, you’ll hear what Faizaan puts as his “overly exaggerated coughs and sniffles that are the most annoying things in this world.”

Ah, and then worst best for last: Arjun Cherukuri — the biggest, the tallest, the powerhouse of the quad. At any instant in time — morning, afternoon, evening, breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever it is — you’ll likely never see Arjun not up and ready to give you one of his signature moves: a yello, a zesty leg kick, or a loud “3, 2, 1 …. ANI*** AG*****” For Arjun, quiet hours aren’t meant to really study or get things done — but, instead to dance and to eat. Within a few minutes of walking in, you’ll find Arjun attempting to hit the popular Naatu Naatu dance, and while a brave attempt, it isn’t always Oscar-worthy. If he’s not dancing, he’ll be eating one of the manifold dishes stored edge to edge in his and Adi’s fridge. His explanation? That he’s “bulking” and has been “hitting the gym.” While he eats, though, he’ll be working too. Arjun is one of TEDxYouth@IMSA’s Coordinators, so you’ll be sure to see him creating event designs, communicating with speakers, and getting everything situated for one of IMSA’s largest — and most notable — events.

Even with all their different interests — music, singing, dancing, food — the four always find time to come together: and for them, that is through their culture. All four come from an Indian heritage, and through Bollywood’s music, India’s traditions, and South Asia’s food, the four have been able to create a bond that transcends any of their otherwise distinct personalities. To them, the music of India — the exact tunes they play illegally during quiet hours — is what enables them to be able to be comfortable in their own skins and find a sense of home, miles away from their actual homes. As the four now go into their last year at IMSA, they tell The Acronym that they hope to continue their shenanigans as a quad — so, yes, that means more Uber Eats, more late-night singing, more bulking, and more broken coffee mugs are to come. And under this tomfoolery, though, they hint to The Acronym that there’s a lot more campus can expect — especially as they become leaders of some of the most important groups across campus and helm the future of CAB, MSA, FRC, Choir, Mod21, Debate, the RSL Program, and beyond in their very own hands.

Oh, and perhaps most importantly, what do the four have to say about their nightly disciplinary infraction?

“That’s jus sumn slight from the boys.”

About the Author

Dhruv Patel
Dhruv Patel is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Acronym for the 2022-2023 academic year. He hails from hall 1505, where he's better known as the Fob Forgetter. Dhruv is looking forward to moving The Acronym towards more IMSA-centric publications. Outside of journalism, he's an advocate for disability equity, leading L&D Matter and spearheading critical research for the Council for Campus Equity.

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