So a few days back i found myself hauling my luggage across the desolate
. landscape which marks the border between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. I had an exam which demanded my presence at Bangalore where I had stayed the day before. The return journey featured the same movies which I had seen only two days ago when I had set out for Bangalore. So this time round I decided to take the time and opportunity to peer out into the open and take in what I could of the many vistas that a see through window afforded. It was a beautiful experience. This was my first long bus journey in many months and my first interstate travel (in a bus) in years. I had all but forgotten what the hills and plateaus down here looked like being more accustomed to looking at them from 20000ft in the air when my plane would descend towards Chennai airport. No, this was a different experience altogether. I guess I must have been starting out of that window for a few minutes when I saw the first of them. Big fluffy and white, like cotton bales strewn against an azure backdrop, the first of the clouds brought back memories which arrested me for the remainder of the journey home.
Being from Meghalaya, or the abode of clouds, looking at a cloud is no unusual matter. But for the last three years of my life that I have spent in Chennai, I had forgotten what these fuzzy white things looked like up close. I have taken the occasional flight home. But seeing them here and like this, from the ground, was an experience I had forgotten. Don't get me wrong Chennai does see the occasional cloud cover but that comprises of the high level clouds. If the occasional cloud does drift ominously close to the ground, you run, quite possibly because that's the tell-tale sign of incoming rain and anyone from Chennai will tell you, rain here falls on you like bricks. No, the ones I'm taking about were the low ones, the ones which take you back days, months, and years. They make you think about decisions and how they turned out, about dreams seen and what realizing them cost and about people you loved and people you lost.
It got me thinking of the last three years that had gone by. Looking back in the quite solitude that was offered to me by the bus (yeah I know) I got to wondering about how the last three years have shaped me up and whether I am ready to face what everyone's calling the real world (no not the one with Morpheus and Neo, the other one, money, sex and betrayal). It was a mixed bag of experiences, good, bad and disturbing. I have seen people spend themselves over love and succumb to the maladies that come with it. I have also seen strong relations blossom from the darkest of experiences. I have seen heart melting acts of self-sacrifice and have been sickened by heart-breaking instances of evil treachery. Did I learn anything from them, I guess so. And though I can't bring myself to explain what I have learnt from these but there is something which has changed about me. All who have passed through their college days may agree and those who will do so in some time to come may find that I'm right when the time comes.
Now we have a very real prospect of making some use of the talents that we have cultivated over the years. The weight of responsibilities is beginning to settle in and there is the fear of falling short of expectations and letting the people you care for down. Yet there is a confidence that this is a weight we will be able to carry and do so with pride and steadfast determination. I have seen this in the eyes of some of most wonderful individuals I have had the pleasure of sharing my time in Chennai with. And looking at myself now a few days later I think I make it through just fine as well. Yes there will be ups and downs along the way and yes I will tumble over and fall down with my head over my heels. But I feel today that I will be able to get up and try the road one more time. The road to a better future for all who have come to care for me. These are probable some of the last words of meaning I will type sitting on this seat, in this hostel in this city. So I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all who have helped me (as my friend Sooraj believes is a sign of maturity and growth in all males of the human species) develop tiny patches of beard by being who they were in the journey of my life.
P.S. In the last line of the first paragraph, I wrote 'home' where it should have been 'hostel'. I know that was an unintentional typo but for the life of me I can't bring myself to correct it. I guess that over the last few years, with its quirky neighbourhoods and maddening traffic, blaring chatter and jarring music, this hellhole of a city has won me over in ways I didn't realize up until now that it's time to leave. I guess it's the people who make this city great. Now then, when the time to leave draws near, my heart knows that there will be a part of me which will forever saunter in the rooms and corridors that I have frequented, even though my head knows that I may never come back.
Listening to: metallica
Watching: band of brothers
Drinking: Blue diamond Sherbat....Yes the real one!!!!