For an “outsider”, who had not exactly been fond of the city for the last three years, and found the ways of the city too wayward and disorienting at first, the end of the final paper of the last semester signaled the end of something that is not really easy to define. It wasn’t one definitive moment that made everybody grasp the reality of the situation, “College Over!”, but the subtle changes that didn’t go unnoticed, at least to me.
As a group we did all the things we generally do after every last semester exam; talked a lot, went for the celebratory lunch, made plans for the holidays etc. but there was a sense of calm rather than the usual excitement. The movements seemed forced and deliberately slow. For a group of kids, who couldn’t wait to get out of the college campus after every paper, waiting for three hours in the college doing almost, nothing significant, was a change. It was like everyone around was trying to soak the sight and the energy around, some with their cameras, some in their minds.
The celebratory lunch seemed a little less festive this time, the photo session a little more heart warming, the goodbyes a little more painful, and the t-shirt signing a little surreal, as the sword of uncertainty hung over our heads, knowing fully well that nobody knew when will we see the familiar faces again. Don’t get me wrong, like our predecessors, we all made promises of keeping in touch and organizing re-unions, but the realist in me soon realized that not all promises are made to be kept, harsh but true. With all of us moving in separate directions, what none of us could promise was that our priorities would not change over the coming years, and thus, we let the silence do the talking.
Over the last three years, I have heard people talking about how disappointed they have been their college life, and how it didn’t turn out to be anything they expected. I find it hard to believe that I, on the contrary haven’t had any such disappointments, probably because I didn’t know what to expect, and sort of just went with the flow. I met some really amazing people who gave me memories that I would cherish for a very long time to come, people who have stuck by my side through thick and thin, being almost as possessive and protective about me, as my family, if not more.
I know, it cliché to say that “These years have meant a lot and I have grown up, better prepared to deal with the world”, but today I know that it’s a cliché for a reason. Because, there are no better words to explain one’s state of mind. Friends, food (lots and lots of it!), drives, fights, lessons, crushes, butterfly-sensation- in-the-stomach, jealousy, heartbreak, bonds formed, bonds let gone of and bonds promised to be kept, are all a part of the roller coaster ride that majority of us have been on for the last three years and it’s coming to an end. Needless to say, it’s been an enriching experience, and for this Delhi, you will be fondly remembered.