The place was dressed for an event in the making – workers sprawled across the campus, housekeeping cleaning empty rooms, grills outside waiting to be fixed for the incoming batch, the shamiana being set up for the performances that were to happen in the evening.
I see this every year and each year I get pensive, think about the year this has been for all these faces I see every day but for whom I am inconspicuous in my blue uniform and cap. I still remember when A-06 walked out of her quad alone during the first week here walking towards the amphitheatre, the road that seemed alien to her, her face a little scared, a little sad, I guess she felt a little lost and lonely. And now, I find her walking across the same roads, it looks like she’s at peace with walking alone, occasionally gifting her smile to people passing by her. Not waiting to be rescued by a known face, comfortable with the place like it’s her home now, now lost in her thoughts that sometimes bring a small smile on her face.
I hope that I see at least a few of these familiar faces again, some with each other forever. I hope that J-09 and H-12 realise the love that I’ve seen in their eyes when they are together and when they walk back towards their quads after spending the entire evening just chatting and eating together. I know they would come back holding hands reminiscing the first night they spent talking to each other that marked the beginning of this feeling of always wanting to stay together, finding each other more every day.
At the outset, to an outsider, this place people here may seem spoilt, drunk and rich, but there is always a feeling of calm amidst this chaos that arises from being lost together and finding affection for each other through this rigorous journey.
I can never forget the evening when I saw B-16 talking on the phone with his face filled with empathy and helplessness while sitting in a dark corner unnoticed amidst the hustle imposed across the place by the system. I hope he has found his answers and remembers this spot as the place that taught him an important lesson in life.
It’s actually this chaos that binds them together, the sense of accomplishment, scarring experiences, resilience and acceptance of each other’s flaws and above their own flaws make them fall in love with this year and everyone who was a part of this. Knowing that each of them was on a path to self-discovery, knowingly or unknowingly makes these bonds last forever; knowing that while they are vulnerable within the confines of their quads and Student Villages and they can swing their game face on in the Acad Block.
As they start packing their bags, saying their goodbyes, a part of their memories is safe with me. I will always remember this class, look out for them because in them lies a part of me and my family.