I have always been uneasy with transition. I like the morning, the afternoon and the night. Dawns and dusks don't particularly excite me. I feel it in everything I do and in everything that happens to me. I don't like the train journeys to my home and back. They somehow make be uncomfortable, edgy; for I feel like I am neither here nor there. I love being in my hostel with my friends and I love being in my home with my family. But the transition, the wait for the destination as stations roll by the window, always makes me anxious. It's not that I abhor change. Nothing, they say, is permanent but change. It's just that the twilight zone unsettles me. So with about a month to go before I finish this journey which started five years ago and embark on a new one, I once again find myself in the same predicament which has troubled me on my train journeys, albeit on a much smaller scale; I am eagerly looking forward to end this journey and move ahead but at the same time I am loath to leave this place.
Five years is a long time to spend in a place, and when I say place I mean much more than a city. It's the corridors of your hostel, the kilometre long walk to the institute , the LT's that you slept in, the labs that you went to primarily for the air conditioning, the dhaba near your hostel where you have had numerous cups of tea and parathas, the music events that you won and more so the ones that you didn't, it's the market opposite the main gate of your institute, it's the Chanakyas and the Priyas that have become more than a part of your life. In fact, they are your life. I mean so much has happened in the five years that I have spent here and such has been its impact that it easily stands out as the most significant period of my life. Well you might say that this is the case for almost every college going student, it's a huge period in his life. I totally agree but nonetheless I feel like writing about it for it's these five years which has taught me things about myself I didn't know, it has in a long way defined the person that I am and but for this place, I am sure I would have been a lesser one at that. It has given me experiences to cherish for my entire life, friends who have varied from the boisterous to the suave, from the predictable to the one having the most unlikely mood swings, from the eternal phattu to the ultimate bindaas and from the erudite to the lover boy and the coder (pun intended!), friends with whom every moment spent has been a delight and a revealation.
Throughout these years several things have changed. The standard and frequency of treats for example, have undergone sea changes and have gone up from the KL and mezbaan to the Pizza Huts and the TGIF's. People who spent their yesteryears in all boys schools have become the love-gurus of today. Tandoori roti has given way to tawa roti, the SAC floor has been replaced by the Convo. The LAN has seen new avatars of file sharing every year and has moved on from the pioneering Tobu to by far the strongest and the longest surviving embodiment, DC++. Our modes of conveyance through the city also has changed from the bus to the auto to the bikes and finally, in our last year, to cars. And there have been some invariants also, standing ever the same even as things around them perpetually undergo major and minor alterations. So the thin people have remained thin and the healthy ones have maintained their health, each category continually harbouring thoughts of metamorphosis into the other form. And amidst all these, I changed too. I came in here as a boy who had just about conquered the world. In between there was the realisation that not everything in life goes your way though at the same time you are much more than what the world takes you for. There was the bitterness of defeat and failure along with the sweetness of achievement. I mastered the art of doing things at the last moment and just scraping through. I fell in love with the idea of buying books solely based on the blurb and the title and on the way came across gems like The Kite Runner. I learnt to play the guitar and sing along with my friends the entire night. I went trekking to a place where at night the only sound is that of a river gushing by and the only light is that of the thousand and one stars above you. I moved from writing a personal diary to a public blog. I also studied about Computer Science and realised that it's not my calling in life and something I would want to do ten years down the line.
One of my friends said that looking back, the past years have given us more than we could ever hope and I think he is probably right. So as I await the beginning of a new chapter in my life, the only thing that I hope, is for it to be as different from the others as this one has been.