Sunday, July 31, 2011

Alive For A While

I am good with nostalgia. Really good. I can feel nostalgic about almost everything I have had an association with. For the past three years, I created an illusion around me. An illusion of having grown up. Growing up with an ability of tear-free moving on. So far, the illusion did not seem treacherous. The numerous farewells conducted in the college- in music society, the Economics Department, WSDC, and the big-grand-college farewell itself- none of them could lead to even an allusion of moisture in my eyes. It was so different from the school farewell, where I shed an epic amount of tears, right from the beginning, till the very end, and may be later as well. But now, as I graduated out of college, it seemed like the most natural course of things- not even for a second was I in denial. Everyone graduates, some with smile, some with copious tears, some with fondness, some with grudges- I think I was largely impassive. And that was because the emotions had not yet knocked on my door.

"I'll miss you"- this one sentence, when spoken at the end of a seven minute conversation, by a diminutive figure with benign eyes and a humble disposition, a person who epitomized respect, diligence and everything astute during college life, a lecturer who made you want to study, can make even the most somnolent feelings of loss which thus far you had been suppressing away to an obscure corner of your heart come alive. Dr. Ela Trivedi- this name was reverential in college. It still is. And after a rigorous lecture in International Trade to the nascent third year students, as she stepped out of Room 308 yesterday when I visited college, I could realize, with force that too, what will never come back to me after embarking on a journey beyond college. She meant well, inquired meaningfully, did not show any hurry- in short, she sent my way every emotion which did not reek of the slightest formality and which made me realize the strength of my association with this grand institution called Jesus and Mary College- its grandeur more palpable now when I look back as a spectator, not a part.

As she walked away, a faint tear did try to force its way out of my eyes. I wanted to just walk over to the fabled 308 balcony- where naps were taken, fests planned, books read, notes completed, rains enjoyed, gossip sessions held, secrets confided, sadness shared, photo-sessions undertaken- and spend a quiet moment with myself. May be I once again wanted to look down at the parking lot and guess by looking at the assortment of cars which teachers would definitely be inside college. May be I just wanted to stare at the JMC gate and imagine my friends approaching the building, their hand waving fondly at me. Or may be I wanted to just look at the sky and seek an answer to "Where now, what now?"

Yes, my heart did feel heavy, but it felt alive too. I was on a well deserved leave out of the plush corporate ambiance of Gurgaon offices, and breathing in the odours of familiar corridors of JMC. These were the corridors to which we were expelled when we forgot to carry a Sydsaeter and Hammond or an Allen Webster to class, and these were the corridors from which we shouted out desperately to get that one extra attendance when our lecturers did actually expel us. Now the same corridors were brimming with faces, both familiar and unknown. Around ten of these faces came forward to give me the extra-special hugs, typical to the kind of bonding which develops amid JMCites. Two of these faces held my hand and dragged me to the quiter corners of the college to ask, share, discuss everything that came to their mind. I don't know for how long they will, but right now, my juniors do miss me. They wanted to tell me so much, ask me so much- and all I could do was to apologize for the dearth of time. In this one day respite I got from buying and selling currencies(my current occupation), I had to live at least a thousand more moments which office life heartlessly deprives me of. It does, of course, more than compensate by giving me fun moments of a different kind; but the charms of the carefree yet responsible college life do inveigle me as of now.

Remembering the highs, consciously forgetting the lows, I write from this room which sequesters me from the travails of the life being led and the uncertain future to follow. I am, right now, allowed the luxury if being engulfed by memories which make me smile into nothingness. And as I do so, I remember faces
My professors-irrespective of the way we opined in college, they were not just the best professors, but sometimes, more than just professors. Friends do tag along, but these are the real treasures we leave behind.
My mentors- Nivya Nair and Swati Iyer- two seniors who lent me that knowledge of music which I never had the luxury of understanding..and they helped a lost kid find some comfort, some solace.
My juniors- they just made me feel like the most special person in college. The respect and the love I got, and I still get, leaves me indebted.
My friends- few,  but prized.
My best friends- fewer, but mine for life.

PS- And the book-shop wale uncle. I don't think anyone in the college can function without his kindness. I owe him so much, monetarily. Hopefully, my first salary will lessen the debts. Only the monetary debts. The near filial benevolence he showed, how can I ever pay back for that?


  1. It is evident that all these words came straight from your heart :)

  2. Wow, this is really an amazing imagery of what you feel.
    Greatly expressed !

  3. @Anisha- They of course do! A year down the line, the same words will echo in your heart too :)

  4. @Vidit- Thanks a ton. Great to hear from you. If I am not wrong, you're from LPS, right? We did a play together, didn't we?

  5. oh wow..very overwhelming!!its a beautifully written piece..its everything you are.My heart was actually sinking while can tell that this is written straight from the heart and that's what makes it relatable.i know i have said it before but i'll say it again..i love the way you write :D.haha i like that you brought in the book shop wala uncle..he deserves recognition!our saviour..:p
    i dont want this to be a testimonial and im not gong to say "ill miss you" because i know we will stay in with your gut feeling for IAS and me with my gut feeling of becoming a CEO :p..until your next blog..<3

  6. Hey! I can very well understand now why it took you time to draft a comment. Its long, its lovely and its valued. Thanks a ton Batra!
    And please! You don't even follow my blog till I blackmail you into reading something, but once you're out there, in LSE, trust me, it'll be a good place to keep abreast with the happenings of what you leave behind here :)

    We will stay in touch, though not as much, so I will risk saying, "I'll miss you, like hell!"

    As for the CEO-IAS dreams, the feel is there, the future we can only wait and see unfold.
    Lots of love and luck

  7. I dont kno wat 2 say except believe in life n learn its teachings as it comes! many a times u'll feel its unfair bt den no1 ever said lyf was easy! Ultimately everythin happens 4 a reason! :) -love nivya

  8. Thank you so much! It goes without saying that your comment means a hell lot to me. And yes, your teachings always remain with my heart- this one is a fond addition to an already exquisite array of the learnings you have sent my way.

  9. Saumya :( im planning to go to college on the day of echo's first saturday practice :) We'll go together, we'l meet - n wait for it......................................................................................................................................................................................................If u want u cn lift me up :P This time i wont protest! I miss everythng and everybody too..i dont say it but i noe how badly i do..u noe in the hyderabad google office they had a music room, but i just couldnt enter..something was stopping me..i think it was the memories with all u guys..i dint want them to be replaced..i dint want to enter that room to create something new, i just wanted to hold on to wat i have or..had..

    we r meeting in the week - we wrk in the same area, n i'll ,make sure we meet, i wont give u a chance to call me or msg this time :)

  10. Hey...Don't take all that I said on the phone to heart sweetie. Wait, did you by any chance cry? I mean, you don't, but it seems you got really senti. I love you so much Panvi, I can never tell you enough. And above, is like our best pic. BEST! And i will lift you up, this time in front of your office people----won't miss any chance of embarrassing this cute little friend I have.

    Love you. Miss you

  11. as usual , very impressive n beautiful.words have flown from ur heart n they have touched my heart.very best wishes n blessings for ur future .

  12. Thank you so much ma'am!
    It is about time I write a similar piece about school. I miss you!

  13. its really other words to describe it..and it really made me senti..there is this part in me that really wants to go to college..walk through those corridors again..see the anxiety and excitement on the first years' the happiness when a class gets cancelled..and remember the wonderful times..and there's this other part which doesnt want to take the risk of stepping there..bcos i know i'll only make it difficult for myself to get back to work the next day..!! shit..Saumya..your blog has made me senti..!! darn..!!

  14. I'm quite at a loss of words frankly, because you put everything we've felt in the last 3 years so beautifully that I'm actually missing everything that ever happened at JMC. Its come straight from the heart, I can tell. I have a strong urge to just come and give you the tightest hug possible. :* I love you. P.S. You're getting better - I looked at the dictionary only 4-5 times in this blog. Actually maybe I AM getting better :P. Love you... Its my favorite blog till now... <3

  15. To both of you, Akanksha and Pallak
    My workplace partner saw me staring at the blog while I was supposed to have been trading. She saw me staring at the last pic, our pic. And, it was she who told me my eyes were moist.

    What I shared with both of you was the best part of my college life, I cannot be in denial at all. Not any more.

    Thank you for commenting. It means a lot to me, you both know it.

    Love :)

  16. I (today criticized for not commenting, for I had alienatic reasons) just imagined you at the farewell. Have had a glimpse of your Gob-blessed life each day I visited to JMC. How hearted people you are surrounded with and who surround you. I can't say more than this.
    But, as a junior (of different college), even this post makes me realize how far you've gotten. The only two reasons I would find meeting you were just : Your college and your another college near my house. Will I ever be able to meet you again? I wonder....

  17. Sweetheart, don't wallow. Not good for your health, neither for mine. I am always around. Be happy and find ways to make us more tangibly available for each other. You are welcome at home every weekend, for that matter, any day, at any hour. I'll be happy to have you around :)