As I am writing this blog post, I am traveling in the train from Delhi to Jalandhar, towards my college. Usually whenever I have to travel on this route I am a bit sad, nostalgic; unwilling to leave my home. But today, at this moment, it’s a different feeling. I am traveling for the last time on this route, as of now and then I will be back to my home forever. Neither I am sad on leaving my home, nor am I happy and energized to go to the college in prevision of spending the last few days.
I came to this college of my accord. My parents didn’t support this idea really, not because they didn’t want me to move out but they could foresee the challenges I would be facing when I move to an altogether different place- with different norms and standards- which, to be honest, were startling and are inadmissible for me till date. Several in-equations are set, conventional and followed equations. Believe me; I did nothing for the first three years, being an unnoticed person in the college; quite contrary to what I was in the school and what I hoped to be in the college. Standing on the verges of bringing an end to this era, I think I am a far more developed and stable person from within.
I have spent four years in the hostel, changing rooms every year, spreading filth around, beating each other on occasions of happiness and crying for a friend as if the hell fell on you. The hostel was a perfect pandemonium. It was nothing less than a family- a dirtier one though! I made friends full of alacrity- few of them for a lifetime, my first and hopefully the last roommate, and met a bunch of jolly people.
Punjab, I say, has people with magnanimous hearts – not cliques, helping people or in all likelihood; it’s because of the hostel. They say you make best friends in school, then college and then it’s all competition! True that! But in a hostel also, you make best friends. The information our parents received was only 50% of what happened with us. The rest 50% was assimilated within the hostel. On the birthdays, special treatment was meted out with the mess dal, sludge, toothpaste, hand wash and a concoction of anything that you can think of on this planet!
Well this part of the blog was written about more than a month ago. Life changed drastically after that. Unbeknownst to me, it was a transfiguration. I realize it now. I met a new group of people, made a new set of friends, and merged our smaller group, V5, with theirs to become what we call ourselves as Freaks! We went out as all friends do- there were hangouts, joking, incessant laughing, loquacity and confabulations and eating- nothing that others wouldn’t do. It’s just that when you strike your chord with the rights set of people.
Not only this month, but the entire final year has been monumental and appeasing. Earlier, I lived with a notion that people pushed you down. Yes, they do! They really don’t let you do anything. In my entire college life, I couldn’t see a girl who was a class representative or a placement coordinator. There were reduced gate timings, only for girls. Till third year we have to get back by 7.30 pm. Imagine, we, 20 year olds, were put behind the bars! Guys would carry drinks to their hostels freely and we had to complete innumerable formalities even to let a day scholar friend stay in the hostel for a night. I neither am a drunkard nor am I interested in being one; but there has to be a sense of freedom. This isn’t being feminist, but a small step for instituting parity, which as a matter of fact ceases to exist.
But then, things changed in the final year! Three of us became the founding members of an online magazine. Not that it has been doing wonders- it is still in its infancy and requires that colossal time and efforts be expended on it. We organized two events within a month. Again they weren’t huge successes but enough to give it a start. But the whole of this taught me one thing- ‘When people push you down, the choice is yours- either stay down or be a spring and rise with that impetus!’ We have always heard and read stories about successful people and their struggle, but this time I witnessed it for myself in my own life.
That was too much for a digression.
Then, slowly things started coming to an end. People began leaving- everybody else fell into tears. Then somebody came from my home to pick me up. I came back leaving behind those boulevards, beautiful, gardens, the octagonal building, the hostel, those hangouts and those baseless hostel rules! Now I sit back in my home lying on the bed for unnecessarily longer durations! The days were impeccable. A hope for reinstatement of the olden days merely produces the placebo effect!