Chatter, cheer, color, contrast, cafe, cats, corridoor, confusion, cell-phone, courtship, culture, cigarette, classes, catharsis, country-music, colonialism, co-education?, condescension, Columbia, Coleridge, chaos, cahoots, camaraderie, campus...c'est la vie. This is life - or something like it.
This is my tribute to that phenomenal institution called Lady Shri Ram College For Women (don't miss that), which has been the cause of much pride and perturbation, turmoil and trepidation, emotion and excitation, and has filled every nook and cranny of 365*3 number of days with remembrances which refuse to age with time and consciousness that, mercifully, is ageless. When time spent inside campus seemed to fly by and that spent outside it seemed to drag on- I knew that something was going majorly wrong within my system. I couldnt have enough of sauntering in the sun-lit corridoors, lazying around in the lawns, snuggling back to the warm womb of the library, gazing at the notorious owl which lived in the trees overlooking room 27, consuming the excellent food at our in-house cafe graciously offering some of it to the omnipresent cat, spending quality time with friends while bunking classes, watching movies, shopping and attending lectures(in that order), spiritedly absorbing the wise words of much loved professors/spiritedly indulging in illicit day-dreaming et al. Only I know of the terror that was gnawing at my innards as I walked past the front gates, fingering nervously the rows of assorted flowers which lined the periphery of the front lawns on my first day. And only I know how slowly, with each passing day, that nasty feeling dissipated and filled that empty space inside me with something I still can't put a finger to. Perhaps it was relief, or hope, or joy, or excitement- of finally finding one's place under the sun. Perhaps it was all this..and more. The kindness in the teachers, their willingness to go beyond known limits to help students with whatever was causing them agitation, their selfless devotion to their noble vocation- has made me wonder why people always tried to alienate me from expecting a good life at college. All those stories about how one is on one's own, college is the true test before one launches into real life and things like that. Because for me college has meant that there'll be help available whenever and however you need it- not dressed up formally and impersonally, but in flesh-and-blood, alongwith a welcoming smile and kind words, it has meant that differences shall not be ridiculed but embraced, it has meant that the biggest mistakes will be forgiven and the littlest success will be celebrated, it has meant that with every breath and every step something in me is growing- not with the fanfare of epiphany but with ignorance and arrogance slowly gathering their things and walking away in the middle of the night. And most of all, it has meant that no matter if I travel to the other end of the world, no matter how small or big I make in life, the singular connect of familiarity, friendships and fusion that I found behind those walls and beneath that roof, would stay alive in a hallowed corner of my heart for as long as I live and after.
"When envious time, with unrelenting hand, Dissolves the union of some little band, Memory still loves to hover o'er the place, And all our pleasures and our pains retrace."