Vellore Days…..

Original Post date on Blogspot :20/02/2016

 

It happened within a few months. I was a typical “calcatian” enjoying my time out on the lanes and the ghats in the city that has never failed to give me anything a hint less than joy. Coffee house, Baghbazar, college canteen, a metro station south of the city and the vendor cabin of the last train from sealdah on thursdays were my rotating addresses. Home was just a refuge. Addas were my forte, the people my stage and Kolkata was my oyester. I am still not sure about it, but i thought like the city was it for me, it was the place that would have all the chapters of my life written on it , and i was nothing less than glad to be a character in its ever so marvellous novel, be it of a broken heart, joined hands or the bits and pieces of the lips that joined together to make the smile of my life. And thus all of a sudden came the unprecedented “but” in my life and like the whirl of a hot wind in a summer afternoon , brought me to the very next page of my story via the kharagpur villupuram express one fine june morning. And vellore said “Vanakkam.”

Lets be honest, i loathed it since day one. A strict institute in a sub urban part of the southernmost tip of our country was never the place i thought i would end up in. Yes, to the society i had achieved, won a medal round my neck , but to me, i was lost. I was sad, i was homesick and i quickly adjusted to the depressed side of my being , of which i learned after i landed at katpadi junction, Home was a dream and to wake up every morning and walk down to the department in the picturesque campus a nightmare. I had changed my residence from coffee house to the coffee in a steel cup at the college canteen. Though it tasted better but it did not taste like it. The air was cooler in the evenings but it did not smell the same, it smelled of sambar and not of the ghoti gorom at the baghbazar ghat. Department to hostel and back to the department the next morning, life had become a routine with the last train, tea in a clay pot and shyambazar five point crossing all off to sleep clad by the blanket of my memories. The only known faces were the two of my best friends who had apparently had the same ill luck as to get selected here, but all they could help me with were a couple of words from the tongue gifted by my loving mother. I became calm. And trust me, that is not an attribute i look up to.

They say time heals all, but what they don’t is that time also builds all. And just like the sapling on a pot my life started growing around the so far so loathed place. I started to know the people, taste the food, make friends out of corners and yes received with smiles. The smiles, chats, occasional hellos and the wave of hands made me realize that even though I knew how much i hated it here but at the same time CMC and vellore knew exactly how to make me feel loved. And riding on the saddle of the hour glass I had changed and once again started to live by the meaning of it. I started enjoying the hectic department hours sitting in front of the huge list of numbers that meant so much, my mates at the department started owning my secrets and won over the right to make me laugh. Most of them even though do not know the language i speak in but speak much more to me than i ever could wish for. A stroll down the dusty tree clad campus lanes meant meeting hordes of wonderful people just waiting for the opportunity to wave, smile and say “hi” in the most adorable of manners. Smiles came in packets of banana chips and courtyard dances of diwali celebrations,moves of vijay & Jr NTR and the smiles of the people in Adukambarae Kattupadi who fed us till our stomachs burst open even though they had known me for just a day or two.And it was just when i started feeling homely in the bounds of the bagayam campus that home came to me in the form of elder brothers and friends from my land, who did not spare a second before laying their arms on my shoulders. Vellore was slow but it emerged strong. Changes came through “it seems”, “river only”,”thek ache”, rumba chicken, visit to VIT and trips to the fish market , chennai and bangalore,tensions of journal review sessions , birthday celebrations and chicken tikka masala.

As i was returning today through the empty late night vellore roads to my campus, my head laid softly in the seat of the car,with a WB number plate with smiles old and new, a bengali song making its way through my ears, and the sky passed over my eye lashes, i would be a fool if not to accept the fact that i failed to realize that all the time i was nowhere but home. Home is an emotion, a feeling of belongingness and that ever so dark road from thorapadi to the college campus is where i belong now and never did it hesitate to make me a part , it was me who was stupid enough to deny it time and time again. I know vellore is just a chapter and its not forever but it is forever now and i am glad i landed here, to learn a lot so as to teach a bit in the coming few pages.I still miss home, still miss the bed, still miss the lanes but the only difference now is that it does not stop me from enjoying the rusty hostel cot, the beautiful college campus and my wonderful life here in the district of vellore in the southern most state of Tamil Nadu.

Life is Rumba Nalla Irrekke.

Cheers !!

to all the people who make my life in vellore so filled with life. and to all those who are home away.

A Year Gone By

original post date on blogspot : 11/02/2016

 

The morning to him appeared the same. Wearing the same outfit, carrying the same smile, watching the same frown on his mothers face because of waking up late- yet again. Watching the same gloated face on the mirror with the toothpaste foam peeking through his lips, which made him feel guilty for having to hide its eventually turning black color. Running his finger through the rim of the tea cup that his mom left him with about an hour ago he sits by in the corridor waiting for the clock to to remind him of beginning yet another day in the year that was in no hurry to pass by. An hour more later , he was out on the streets.

The bag he was carrying around was old, filled with scratches and missing stitches but he perhaps the only piece of fabric that he was fond of wearing along his shoulders and it is not because he was fond of studying or going to college, in short i do not wish to write about it in the very beginning. He made his way through the bustling streets on the heavily crowded , ever the same, crossing. He tried to think as to how writers would find inspiration hidden in the crowd or how generous it was of the sun to shed its light every morning. Because to him, the former was just a huge bag of sweat and litter and the second was, well, just yellow and warm! Yet again he decided to walk to college as obviously the buses declined him a pave to stand and complete his journey through three blocks.College, well it was no different, being late and cajoled by the profs, the ever so same lecture of having no hope in life, “what is life to this man?”, he used to think, just a degree which earned him the eligibility to make his days miserable. The same game of TT in the common room, what began with hours came down to a game a day, he was losing his streak and thus his place as a good competition. Afternoon came and went drawing him out of his comfort with comfort.Evening saw him with a bit of travelling, the best part of the day was yet to come, his girl, his heart would be waiting for him in a distant street, the part of the day that made him wish to live the next. He got down, spent the only hours of the day he felt worth spending on shared phuchkas, shared seats on public transport, shared walks and most of a shared life. Returning home, he loathed every bit of it, complaints of being seen holding “someones hand” out on the streets, no putting in effort to study, lowering indices of report card, pesky relatives, wasting away time on friends and sleep and doing nothing but diving into glowing screens till late night. He was having the worst year ever, oh how he wished it ended, he would change so many things the next one on! He had got it all sorted but he needed the frame to close, the year to pass by and he would have everything, every damn thing in control.

And his wish  was heard!

It started with tests of mind and heart, things started shaking as if they had all been hit by an earthquake, time started flying by, education demanded his attention and so did society and the scales got heavier on both sides. This was his closing year of his college life and he had just realized he need to know a lot more to pass the exams this time, he started spending long hours at the institute and getting late for other arms in his body. And now it started aching. The world spinned around him like a merry go round going in the speed of 80 miles and he could do nothing to stop it, days and nights started passing by as the shadow of a bird on a stone chip, no one even knew of it passing by and it was not long later, that, he lost all grip. Where he went wrong ? The fast passage of time did not bother him, the pace of passage did. He diverted and diverted far, and not long later did he manage to put a scratch on his “share” of life, a call, a call created a difference and he was so engrossed in his sudden business that difference soon turned to anger and anger to deviation and deviation to distance. The hands on the ceiling of sistine in his life shifted further and further away and he did nothing but enlarge the painting in size until a time, tears rolled and stopped and so did the beats of half his life. He got a call and flew out, to a different land , made in zeal but shattered in dreams. A new dawn started in his life just as quickly as the dusk of the past went by ,but this time it stopped to take a breath and he suddenly realized that even though the dawn was new but there was not a drop of dew on the new leaf that had grown out of the bud of the new year, he once so wished for to come. He sat their on the ledge looking at the new sunrise and dreading it for being this different, a new land, a new path to walk down, a new crowd and also a brand new pain, a pain of ¬†being incomplete, a pain from running to fast, and pain from missing out on time, tide and a few ounces of teardrops. He knew that this day held promises , but what it did not hold were the promises he had broken. He had a life now, a new one, one that he desired but it missed one thing, his dreams. He no longer dreamt of a new year to come, he had nightmare from the one in the past. He wakes up now, looks up to the sky and looks on to the road and now he knows. The sun though the same emits a different ray every day, a ray that sometimes relates to hope, sometimes to truth, sometimes to peace , sometimes to warmth, whatever it may be, the time you take to look up and decide om which ray to put your hand on , that’s how you know that every morning in a year is different, every morning is unique and that once gone it never comes back. The crowd is a symbol of ones uniqueness to be his own among a collection of his likes, an inspiration to stand out and also a cohort to look for the right person to wrap his arm around. Now the poets don’t seem that stupid to him. He has learnt to pass his day, pray through it and since the time passed in no longer his apologise to himself hoping vainly that his life might hear once, he knows its a hard deal, but he does it anyway. His year now is filled with hope, promises and prayers instead of frowns, anger and

discordances. He still carries the bag, still filled with scratches and more stitches have opened up but now its filled with memories and less the pride.

He still makes a wish every night, ” how i wished last year had never passed! ”

But

Well, lets just said, you are granted on one wish in life make sure you put your heart in the right one.

Hopes for losing on an aching heart (and not cheers for this one)

So dare not wish for time to fly by, cause one can never keep up.