Pink House residents: ‘Pink is the new black’

By Rachel Adler

The Mac Weekly interviewed housemates: Akshay Sood ’12, Ali Bandeali ’12, Andrew Ojeda ’14 (formerly ’12) and Ajwad Imran ’12. TMW: How did you first meet each other? Ajwad: Me, Akshay and Drew were on Turck 3, and Akshay and I were in a First Year Course together. Akshay: Drew was the doorman. And Ali just hung out with us. He lived on Turck 2 and he just kept showing up. Ajwad: Akshay was actually the first one I met at Mac. Akshay: I had an open-door policy in my dorm room and [Ajwad] was the first kid to show up with his starched collar, looking all neat and proper with his leather shoes. I was like, he looks like such a nice guy. Ali: Yeah, the first time I met [Ajwad] was on the staircase. This guy was like, nearly suited up and said, “Hey, are you Ali?” Andrew: I existed. They existed. And we crossed paths at a point. Akshay: Drew was like the dude you couldn’t avoid because you had to go around the hall to use the other staircase. Andrew: I lived right next to the elevator. Ajwad: You could hear his annoying guitar from was across. Akshay: Yeah, good thing we can’t hear that anymore. Where are you all from originally? Ajwad: Lahore, Pakistan. Ali: I’m from Karachi, Pakistan. Akshay: I’m from New Delhi, India. Andrew: Fresno, California. Akshay: Booo [laughs]. What were your first impressions of Macalester? Ajwad: [Laughs] That’s a good one. Akshay: Well, my first impression of Macalester was Ajwad walking into Café Mac, so I thought it was a nice place. Ajwad: What was my first impression? Andrew: I know mine. Coming from California, I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops, and it was pouring rain in August. It was something I had never experienced in my entire life. I’m not even joking. In California it never rains in summer, and I was not prepared for that. So my first impression was, oh my god, what the heck is this? Ajwad: I thought it was too international, to be honest. Akshay: So irony was your first impression [laughs]. Ali: Too many foreigners. Andrew: That was my impression too, and I just didn’t want to say it. Ali: My first impression…hmmm…I was a little late in coming here, so these… Ajwad:..late, like always.. Ali: Ajwad has a tendency to come too soon. [All laugh] Ali: I guess I was honestly surprised as well because I wasn’t expecting this many international people. Especially the Econ guys were all Indian. Ajwad: Oh yeah, that’s a good point. Akshay: Yeah, only two of us, by the way. What are your majors? Ajwad: Akshay, you should go and start with freshman year. Akshay: I’ve had several majors. The consistent one has been none. I started off Econ/International Studies, became Econ/IS and Art History minor. Then I became Econ/IS and Anthro for a little bit. And eventually became IS major with an Econ minor. Ajwad: Yeah, Econ major, Applied Math minor. Akshay: He’s not a foreigner or anything. Ali: I’m actually the same; Econ major and Stats minor. Andrew: As a sophomore, still.. Akshay: Yeah, Drew’s been working on that for a while. Andrew: As a sophomore still, I reserve the right to wait until the very last day of the semester. I’m leaning towards Political Science, but I just haven’t asked anyone to be my advisor yet. Akshay: And just as a note to all sophomores, you can live off campus as a sophomore. Andrew, can you talk about your time spent away from Macalester? Akshay: In a penitentiary. Andrew: Yeah, state penitentiary, or LDS Mission as some people call it. Yeah, I was away for a year and a half. I was a Mormon missionary in Germany and Switzerland. Ach so [oh really]! Akshay: Dude, I think she just called you an a**hole [laughs]. Andrew: Yeah, so I did that. Then I come back and everyone is significantly progressed, I guess, and I’m a sophomore. Akshay: As a fun fact though: I think everyone here is fluent in two or more languages, which is quite interesting. Ali: Funnier fact: Akshay, Ajwad and I speak the same language. Akshay: Technically they’re different languages, but we understand each other. Even funnier fact: Drew is our third roommate in the house. Ajwad: We found him through Akshay: We’re a perfect match. What are you working on this semester? Akshay: Sleeping, eating, playing video games on the weekend. Andrew: Well Ali definitely has a bunch of days off. Akshay: This house has a habit of just not going to class. Ali: Me and Ajwad are in the same capstone class, so he goes to Tuesdays and I go to the Thursday class. Ajwad: Ali and me, I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, have taken every Econ clas together since freshman year. Akshay: I finished my capstone second semester of junior year. It was an IS capstone on global leadership. It was fun, but it was also kind of tough as a junior. Ajwad: Awwww. Akshay: Yeah, so I only have two classes left in my major. Ajwad: By saying that, do you mean you’re open for dating? Akshay: Yeah, well I have a lot of free time on my hands [laughs]. Ali: Yeah, and we found a new medium of procrastination. Akshay: I brought my Xbox and a couple of games and then we got a new TV. Then Drew came alog and was able to defeat Ali Bandeali in FIFA after only having played twice. Andrew: I used Fall Break to play nonstop so that when they came back.. Akshay: Which we did. Ali: We got a new game, which we would recommend called Forza. It’s the ultimate study killer. It is so good. Akshay: If you want to procrastinate, f*** Facebook; just play this. Andrew, can you tell me about your new student organization? Andrew: Yeah, Students for the Safe Exercise of the Right to Bear Arms (SSERBA). Sam Brier ’13 and I started this club for students that might not have ever shot a gun before, and so we give students at Macalester an opportunity to go to the shooting range to learn about gun safety and about a little bit of history. The most important thing, is that we actually go shoot guns. Ali: Do you want to talk about the time you accidentally shot a gun here? Andrew: That has never happened. And it should be noted that I am a licensed gun holder. What’s the history of the Pink House? Akshay: Well, it all started 90 years ago. Ajwad: It has historically been a house for subcontinental people, so our freshman year, me and Ali knew a couple of people living over here. We just knew we were going to move in, and we locked the place for junior year. Ali: It was just easier because this house is furnished, so people tend to know the people they pass the house down to so they can sell the furniture. We knew the guys and bought the furniture off them. Akshay: We went through a demand and supply graph, and determined that was the only reason. Also it’s close by, so usually when we’re late for class, and we wake up ten minutes before, we can still be on time. Andrew: Which happened today. Akshay: As a fun fact: this is a hundred-year-old house. Ali: How many fun facts are there? Akshay: The furnace looks like it’s melted. The Pink House currently has only 44 fans on Facebook. How do you plan to increase your fan base? Andrew: Whatever we say has to be the coolest thing ever. Akshay: Drew’s a sophomore. Ali: On our page it says 18 to sleep over, 21 to drink. Ajwad: And, if you feel bad about it the next day, we are right next to a church. Akshay: We’re also a national heritage site after Alien Crash Site 173. Andrew: So become a fan of the page. What are your plans for next year, if any? Ajwad: I’m moving to London. Akshay: The IRS has been after him for a while. Ali: Yeah, he needs to leave the country as soon as possible. I’m probably going to be moving to Chicago. Akshay: I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m working on it. Andrew: And I’m a sophomore. Akshay: I’m jealous. What’s going to be your screening process for the house’s next occupants? Ali: Not skin tone. Ajwad: I think at least me and Ali look at if you party hard. Right, Ali? Ali: Yeah, yeah [shakes head]. Akshay: I think as long as you pay me my money. For the furniture, I mean because we paid a decent amount for it. Ali: No, but it really helps to know the people. Actually, the landlord told us this house is very popular and sh
e has a waitlist every year. Akshay: And our recommendation goes a really long way. Ajwad: You have to live up to our tradition. Akshay: Live up to the name. Andrew: As long as the checks don’t bounce. Akshay: Keep it pink. Any last words? Ajwad: This is on a sentimental note: the last three and a half years have been the best of my life. Akshay: [Laughs] Of your life? Ajwad: Yes. I’ve made the most of my college life, and I don’t have any regrets. Akshay: Pink is the new black.