It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we thought we were all going direct to Heaven but in fact, we were all going direct the other way.
The four years spent in college were definitely more out of a Dickensian novel rather than a fairy tale. With all the overtones of adventure mixed with follies and happiness mixed with tragedies the only thing it lacked was a truly tragic end. The separations though sad, were more on a jovial note of plans to see each other in the coming few months and forever staying in touch, made easy with the advent of technological wonders like Facebook and What’sapp. Because in the tragic style of a true Dickensian world, we are all going on paths with quiet varied directions.
Frankly, I don’t think I will ever miss my college. With its archaic rules and red tape that could put public works departments to shame, that place never gave us anything which could help us remember it fondly. What I will always remember are the fourteen hundred odd days that I spent in college, with each day witness to a story that is well worth documenting. What I will miss are the people I met in college and the people whom I began to call friends. In a typical Indian Engineering College, you meet a variety of people during the course of the four years (minimum, not maximum) that you stay there. And especially if you are a hosteller, it is like going out to sea with people from all over the country aboard.
These friends teach you, learn from you, give you advice, give you company, share joys and sorrows alike and above all their presence gives you the hope that life is not all about taking jobs, earning money and raising a family, it also needs to take into account what the little red devil in your head says. Friends give wings to your dreams and a thrust to your imagination which helps you soar high in the sky. I had not an ounce of sadness on my last day in college because there was a whole lot of stuff to do and it would still be some days when the first of us would leave with their back to these grounds for the last time. But as friends begin to leave the real sadness begins to creep in. Because now the surety of finding that friend in his room or regularly seeing that face in the college campus is gone. It’s like suddenly the closed walls of four years of incumbency begin to fall away brick by brick and the chaotic un-surety of the outside world begins to reveal itself. Life is not a race, Life is like a war, and friends are the people with whom you celebrate your victories and defeats, moan your losses and nurse your wounds. Rest all the relations in the world we are born into, these are the ones that we make as we go and these are the ones which give us our most memorable memories.
The four years in college have been full of experiences and adventures and there is nothing I recollect that I would want to do differently now that I can see things from a distance. From attendance shortage to subject toppers, from unbreakable friendships to underhanded rivalries, from Shimla to Bombay to Chennai, from bike trips to walk trips, from bungee jumping to rafting, exquisite foods one night and empty stomachs the other these years in college have given me a truckload of experiences to draw wisdom and inspiration from throughout my life.
Life in college is not about the classes, infrastructure, departments nor the facilities or the lack of them thereof. It is about the people you meet there and with whom you spend an unforgettable part of your life. These memories will forever remain etched on my mind irrespective of where I go from here or what I go through. They will act as the light of hope in the darkness of despair and sound of laughter when the cold silence of age engulfs me.