Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Heartbreak Honeymoon

I’ve always considered myself more of a thinker rather than a doer. An excessively intelligent mind coupled with an excessively lazy bum is probably the reason. True or not, I often have thoughts, ideas and notions that I like to call profound. Some would agree with me. Most would not. Some of these aforementioned thoughts have been mentioned earlier on this page for others to mull over. The rest have, fortunately or unfortunately, escaped that honour.

An era of my life, the smallest in real time but easily the longest by any other yardstick, is slowly but painfully surely drawing to a close. One of my greatest friends called this place Wonde-R-land once and, in the hours of leisure that I now have at my disposal, I see fantasy in the name rather than frivolity as I once did. The hours of leisure mean that I’ve been doing a lot more thinking and I’ve come to a certain conclusion that I’d like to share with you all. The last few days of college are like a second honeymoon with it. It’s the time to fall in love with the place all over again. The metaphorical rose-tinted glasses are on, and everything seems to fall within their vision. The notable exception is of course, what is usually considered the fairer sex, but as always, that is another story.

As the honeymoon progresses, the magic in R is becoming more and more apparent. The main building grows more majestic by day and more enchanting by night. Sojourns at Nesci seem to stretch for hours now and the seats are no longer uncomfortable as I once thought they were. CL is no more a crowded cacophony of Mom-and-Pop stores but a heart of winding alleys full of promising haunts. An exciting midnight dip in the swimming pool has had a more lasting effect on me than the waters of the Styx could ever have had on Achilles. Even the monstrosity opposite the farmhouse can be excused as a poorly constructed building now.

While honeymoons are meant for hearts to join and become one, this one has been full of heartbreaks. DC returned to R for 3 stolen days before it all began. I could only see it as the Return of the King. The visit was bittersweet. Sweet for all the memories it stirred. For the trip to the years when We Had Issues. For the trips to IITD and Venky’s. For a reminder of that fateful evening long long ago in a galaxy that is now so far far away when I was told, in a way only DC can, to come out of the shell that I had been in and become me. I’d like it, he said. He was right. Me was different then from what it is now but the discovery has been fulfilling. The visit was sweet for so many other reasons that, as another of my thoughts went, are too sacred to write about. Yet, it was the most bitter visit too. A harbinger of the difficult moments to come. Of those painful awkward minutes of farewell. It’s never adieu but always au revoir, I believe. Someday, we shall meet again. However, as DC departed on a rickety bus with only a raised hand for farewell, I realized that while we would certainly meet again, and hopefully again and again, this was the first time when the ‘when’ part of the next rendezvous hung like a Damocles sword over our heads.

Rapu had his Ol’ Monks on the 12th. It was perfectly Rapu-esque and I’m sure none of us would have had it any other way. Someday, I hope to tell you of the wonder that Rapu’s Ol’ Monks was the culmination of, but that again is another story. On the 12th too, it was goodbye Gulate. The hours wore on. There was the Meta Bash. The Men of Steel melted under the influence of His Majesty Prongs. The honeymoon was back on. And all too soon, Susaant was in G-81, collecting media for the last time in a long time to come. Another ‘all the best’ and ‘have fun’. Another hug and handshake full of emotions difficult to express and it was literally Tata to the successor.

It’s the 13th now and despite it being a Wednesday, it’s more dreaded than any Friday the 13th could be. There is no Happinezz as Udi and Bansi pack up. It’s night and Sunky is in my Cautley for the last time. Sunky of the loveable bulk and a plethora of photogenic expressions. Sunky of Africa who would agree that this moment is very hard indeed. While conventional goodbyes are hopelessly inadequate, adequacy here is fairly impossible to achieve. Unrealistically, United’s 2-1 victory over Wigan seems irrelevant. There is to be no rejoicing that night. An Arsenal supporter is the reason and ironically, I’m thankful to him for it.

The 14th is here and FAQ has made a quiz “for the fourth year”. Mech-254 has scarcely looked so alluring. The faces on the other side of the laptop are not the usual ones but this anomaly is deeply appreciated. A call from Praneeth, an au revoir to Kaka and it’s honeymoon to heartbreak yet again. We go to Baadshah but there’s not way that this particular visit is going to be any kind of last. There’s a memorable game of Scrabble. A discussion with the latest batch of Morons reveals them to have the same starry eyes as the 2 batches before them. I silently rejoice. The mag is in safe hands. My celebration is painfully cut short. Anirudh, the latest successor to my cup of joy, the cup that was drained of Cola Shikanji so long ago yet only just now, joins the au revoir bandwagon.

The days are flying now. It’s 15th and Ronzy’s departure is inconsolably imminent. Is it irony once more that Govind, the bhawan I was least familiar with, is where I kick the football for the last time in R? No time to think about that. I won’t be meeting Pratap Singh again so better go ahead with what is by now practice. The BTP report submission date draws closer now and takes up many hours. Too many, if you ask me. Another Sunday passes by and I’m yet to visit the Church, something I’ve been meaning to do since 2-1. Shreyas and Arun drop by on Monday night to “seek my blessings” before they return home. I try to find happiness in the fact that there is enough of a bond between us for me to feel some pangs of misery at this moment of parting. I fail. Somehow, pain has a way of scoring over happiness once more. There were so many people I’d liked to have gotten to know, and so many more people I’d liked to have gotten to know better.

The streetlamps are positively mellow by now. The long solitary walks home to the farmhouse, that I’ve always treasured so much are becoming more and more enchanted. It’s impossible, I know, but I long for it to be misty so that these walks can become ethereal rather than just beautiful. Ah, guess I’ll have to make do with memories of January. The lights in front of the library are brighter than any stars could ever be. MMED went from haven to heaven long ago. I’m back at G-81 now. My sanctum sanctorum. My four walls of constant care and comfort. This is where the entire thought process began after all.

The good part is that there’s a lot of the honeymoon still left. The bad part is that there are more heartbreaks along the way. And the worst part… is yet to come.

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