AN ODE: To a new old-friend, to good friends & to the beginning of the rest of our lives

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

~  Henry V (Henry V, Shakespeare William)

I’m at a loss for words. No, I really am.

A recently deceased former school English teacher once told me that the surest sign of proficiency in any language is not in being able to express a simple thought in big words; but in being able to distill the essence and feeling of deep thoughts in to simple words. If that’s so, then today I know that my English is not as good as I’d thought it to be. That’s because I cannot find the words to express myself.

I’ve never been a morning person. As a matter of fact I’m just slightly less allergic to early mornings than I am to religion, math and hard work. But even so, at a little after five-twenty in the morning this twenty sixth of March I’m up. I’ve been here before. All through-out the first year, I was always staggering to bed at such times; after a long and festive night. But today, for the first time, I stop to look. I’ve never seen the campus like this. The bright yellow-orange ball of fire rising above the new academic block and the mists clearing. The silhouettes of the trees gradually becoming sharper and then the warmth of the morning sun chasing all melancholy away.

There is relief, happiness; and a huge sense of achievement – but all of that is tinged with a certain sadness. Like a light sprinkling of rain on a hot summer’s day; it doesn’t do much for the heat, but you know it was there. Or a bitter espresso, lightly dusted with sweet chocolate. There, but just.

It’s as if you’ve just climbed up the difficult face of a mountain; as you make it into the sunshine, out above the tree-line, you realize that you’re standing in a moment of utter perfection – you’ve done something. But, with that also comes the realization that it’s over. Somehow the journey down won’t be that good. You leave a little something of yourself on that mountain. I’ve left a little something of myself on campus.

It slowly creeps up on you that feeling. Just when you’ve nothing at hand to do, or you’re taking a break. It doesn’t overwhelm you, it doesn’t burden you. It just stays there – like a cat. It doesn’t make to re-examine at things – it just lets you know it’s there.

Perhaps then, it’s like a break up. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind – graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. Perhaps it’s the blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last – and yet will remain with you for life.

What I will miss the most about this place, is a combination of three things; a carefree walk around the campus, taken after dinner, with friends and spent mostly talking about nothing in particular and everything in general.

Even if I were to find any two of the above, I know that I shall never be able to get all three. There will never be such people, who will be so unconcerned about success, status, money and vices & prejudices; that will just be happy in each others’ company. There will also never be the carefree atmosphere that, even with assignments and tests, allows people the security and freedom to spend moments not worrying about the next day, the next meal or the next job. Most importantly, there will never be another campus. Quiet, clean and entirely our own. Never.

And so I leave, still not able to put the words to my feelings. There are people that I’ve met, people with whom I’ve laughed; people that have inspired me and made me a better person. There are people that I’ve met everyday, people that I walked to class with, people that I walked aback with. There are people that have helped me; people that have become as familiar to my daily routine as the sun is in the eastern sky.

And, they’re all far far away

POST SCRIPT:-

I started writing this in the morning. It’s been more than 24 hours and I’ve yet not managed to write what I wanted to. Perhaps that’s because words are cheap. Feelings need not always require words, there are too many words to describe feelings.

The sounds of people playing Holi downstairs distracts me; this is my first Holi at home in ages – perhaps the first in half a decade. They are making merry, shouting all sorts of things; the young and the not-so-young all taking part in the melee.

And all I can think of is what will people be doing on campus. All I think of is when will I meet them again? What will happen to us? Who will remember us when we’re gone? Who will tell our stories?

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