The itchy glue resisted the separation from the blanched rough wall which was its home for the past 2 years, a symbol of love and a moment of frustration for me, I couldn’t risk a discipline committee call at this time of my college life and that too because of a stupid glue mark on my room wall!
My agitation got the better part of me and I collapsed on my bed with a thud. I didn’t want to leave and the inane gum wont come off from the umpteen number of photos that I had put on the wall to make it my ‘home’. A home which I had to leave now, a home which had served its purpose now. The last rays sank as the curtain swallowed the remaining sun of the day, it was 6:30pm. Somehow the courage to make those frosty walls bland again made me sick. The tink of the microwave announced somebody was hungry and it was maggi time, the apartment’s staple food for all times of the day.
I checked myself in the mirror, wiped the last tear from my nose and cleared the smudged eye liner to hide any signs of crying to step out of the door. Walking to Sneha’s room was a ritual and habit that I had developed in the first year. I would just go there and lie on her crumpled bed sheet. Sometimes the fairy lights which caged her birds on the wall entertained my thoughts and other times we just ranted about everything in the world. We have come a long way from that bus ride to the Hero Moto Corp’s manufacturing plant on August 21 2014.
I came back to my room and picked up my phone from the mess that I had made of my otherwise squeaky clean room, it was a pain for me to watch it in that state but my mental contingency made it impossible for me to clean it. My phone flashed two emails and 4 missed calls from Aayush, the only soul who understood what it meant for me to leave.
I struggled out of my bed and stepped into the warm campus breeze. The ruffled up leaves in the corner made a mess in the middle of the way, was everything going to be so wrong about this day? With a heavy heart I walked towards the mess with him. The peculiar mess food smell always made me nauseated earlier and today it made me happy. The bleached light from the tubes above painted an atmosphere of a vibrant campus. People right from Tamil Nadu to Nepal, all eating the same food. I helped the young boy I didn’t recognize, pick up pieces of cucumber he dropped and left to grab something cold to drink from the Tuck shop.
The campus had No shops when we came, like no canteen too! From that to a superstore style shop to a salon, the transformations made me smile and happy, a little jealous because I wont be able use all of it. My feet led me to my night mecca to eat, the dhaba, the only place in campus which serves sumptuous tandoori chicken and naan, something you would think could cheer a dead person’s soul, but, not me tonight. I ate silently while the mosquitos drank my blood both from my legs as I wear nothing but shorts and my hands, so everyone had a good dinner that night, at least the mosquitoes did.
My memories in campus are like a Pandora’s box, once opened could cause mayhem to people sitting beside me. All I would do is cry and trust me, I would. Those unforgettable class sitting arrangements, those coffees in those days of Lavazza, the omelettes and pajamas in Sunday classes, THAT London trip and I could go on and on……
My hobby of watching the stars and the moon may be annoying to some but it always gives me peace. I strolled down my regular road behind the workshop, kicking a small stone or two on the way, thinking about life outside the peaceful campus. Life is going to be about the honking cars, the cry about pollution and corruption, the responsibilities and the bosses, nope, you are not the ‘boss’ anymore as claimed by many people of my age.
What maybe I am failing to realize is that maybe life is so much more than what’s it in campus. What’s waiting for me outside those gates is probably more than this peaceful life, but I love this life and I wish I could just stop this crazily frantically running clock for some time!
I walked slowly towards my room for the last time, the last night walk, my last night in the concrete mess, my last few steps on this tiled way which was dust and bore my footprints some months ago, everything was changing and is still changing, I entered the apartment building for the last time as a resident and wrote 11:59pm in the student’s register and signed off.
I want to thank BMU for reconciling me with my old love of writing about anything and every crazy shit that exists, for reuniting me with freedom which was hindered, for bringing out in me a person I never knew existed, for gifting me pounds of flesh through unhealthy maggi times, for making me feel the presence of love from some of the finest people I have ever known and for making me fit into all those people, some of them culturally diverse, socially awkward, the uptight ones, the loyals, the overdramatic and the straight jacketed pun intended type personalties.