Sunday, June 19, 2005

Back to school

It was always super fun going back to school after the long annual vacation- the eagerness of donning the crispy new uniform, the suspense of who the class teacher is going to be, the fun of reading through all the stories in your brand-new English book, sizing up the new students and getting confused to where your new class is. Some days ago I got back to school, only this time it was a wee bit different.

Everytime something new happens in my life and I'm taking it in all by myself, there are a zillion thoughts which run through my mind. There's this inherent feeling that I'm going to be looking back at these days with nostalgia someday so we want to take as much as of it in as possible. You try to remember the dress you were wearing, the taxi ride and your first sight of college. Well, frankly, the first time I was driven into XLRI, I totally missed the gates with the big golden sign- the one with the edges hidden by neatly trimmed pale green bushes. So much for dramatic beginnings.

Every thing here in Jamshedpur brings back memories of my undergrad days in Pilani. Every single thing. As much as I try to make this a whole new experience for myself and not act like a forlorn lover on the rebound ( we are talking about my ex-college here) it all just comes right back. The way I first entered my hostel and saw the water cooler - the last time I'd got water from such a contraption was in BITS. The newly white washed double rooms- the fond memories of unpacking and then sleeping in the newly done up room. The bathrooms- the swanky white tiles and the struggle to hang the extra towel on the door handle. The mess- the plates with exactly the same 6 depressions of various sizes. Even the dal tastes the same. A small pang in my heart when I see 'Veg Maggi' on the cafeteria menu. Another when I try to put on my fake northie accent and say "garam paani, bhaiyya''.

There are differences, some of which I like. It's nice having few people in your batch. It's nice to know most of your batchmates by name. It's nice to know everyone in your hostel in ten days. It's nice to have professors who recognise you already. It's not so nice to have aloo for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday.

But you warm up to this place easily. The small campus is cozy and the fact that you bump into people you know makes you feel like you've been here forever. The 'family' thing these people so talk about is true- trust me. In three weeks I'm sitting in my room, reviving my old forgotten blog, messaging my buddy, making faces at my roommate and bugging her like I've known her my entire life. The weekend's welcoming us with open arms and we're making plans like girls from the Malory Towers. Within a week of classes we are swamped with work and deadlines a few hours of reading, project preparing and assignment discussions- much like the dizzy world I escaped from , but with a lot more excitement and fun added to it. Most laptops and PCs are busy typing out 'submissiles' - while I'm staring at this blog.

In a silent moment the other day, I looked outsidethe window and reflected. There's something about the old times which will never be back. The fun of bumping into your latest crush when checking your mail at the lab. The million people you say hi to when hunting for your best friend. The old world charm of the men waiting outside the hostel to call you. But life's changed since. And I think I'm beginning to like it.