I wish I had a pensieve (from Harry Potter) where I could view good memories later. I would use them to push me from neutral to positive state many a times. College has a great number of such memories. I was lucky enough visit college recently after a year. I had work in the bank and decided to stay back for the day. It’s been two years since I graduated and my college NITK Surathkal is a night’s journey from my house. I went with the flow and my instincts lead me to take a great tour of the campus and also have an amazing day.
It started with me getting off a Volvo bus at the main gate. It was the first time I had a camera with me (My phone), I just could not stop taking pictures. I felt like I was sent to mars and needed to bring back evidence of alien life. I walked towards SJA (Silver Jubliee Auditorium) where I had the first and last official ceremony to become an Engineer. I felt very nostalgic and needed to recuperate. I had a secret bench reserved for some me time, I layed down there looking at the birds fly. It took a while to put myself back together and I decided to take as many pictures as possible and started walking.
I went to every hostel block one by one and took pics of the where I lived. I was shocked to find that there were taps still running in the bathrooms :/, It reminded of the cold early mornings when I used to run to different blocks with a towel and a bucket for taking bath. After first year, I stayed in with my wing-mates. They were kind enough to adopt an introvert like me and we stayed together like family. We played together, traveled together and went to mess together. I almost NEVER went out with them because I LOVED being inside the campus. (I still find it hard to believe that people like eating outside)
I honestly liked the mess food. I enjoyed the routine meal schedule. I even appreciated the days they served the meals I disliked because I had something to look forward in the coming days. I liked the Masala dosa and the mangalore buns. Masala dosa was served on Sunday mornings , I forced myself to stay up all night just to eat it once. (It was horrible!). I manged to have Mangalore buns, once a month (they were served on Thursday mornings). Life was simple when the main important goal in life was to wake up early to have breakfast and get an extra ice cream coupon.
Amul, Nescaffe, Crumbs, Coffee dabba and Night Canteen were some of the few places you could resort to “eatable” food in campus. I went to these places only to accompany friends. I considered eating here a luxury and going outside campus as dining at a five star restaurant. My parents gave me enough money but my conscious did not let me keep more than a hundred rupees with me. I remember the times, I had to search for change under my mattress and in my laundry pants just for 10rs :P. I had mangalore buns in the food court and went inside the main building to recharge my phone again.
Main Building was where all our classes and exams were held. The classes are a still a blur to me. I studied only for a year. The rest I did “Higher” things like playing fifa, watching sitcoms, swimming, building websites and experimenting small hacks. I was a member of CSI (Computer Society of India) where I got to handle the college fest website and mingle with like minded people. I got to be a part of the Technical Fest Engineer where I could contribute something meaningful. Kids from different branches and ages worked together to make the fest a great success every year. I worked from lifting benches in first year and lead the Tech Team before I left. Well, the road to self actualization is pretty crooked I can say 😛
First year was when I swam the most, I was regular, I played fifa, chess and even cricket with friends. As time passed, We got laptops. I got mine a late in mid 3rd year. I spent the “extra” time by ruining other people’s laptops, playing tt and chatting with people. I just hated going out but I am fairly good with people. When my wing would go out, I would go to a random friend’s rooms and spend some quality time with him. This led me to make many friends.
I went to the ground next and was tempted to run a lap. There was still time to till sundown so I and kept running. I was listening to music, holding my slipping headphones and running across the field in pants and slippers. Many may think it’s silly but I was having the time of my life. I did a bare foot run in the last lap. I had reached my limit since I hadn’t run for a year, then “Darkening sky” started playing. It’s a song asking for the lover to stay back, I was so tired but ran till the song got over. I felt as if the college was asking me not to leave :). I drank about a whole bottle of water and hobbled towards the beach.
I came across two lovers meeting on my way and I realized even I must feel the similar joy now. It had been ages since I had visited the beach. Every Sunday, I would go to beach with my friend and meditate. We would see the Sunset and sit by the sea for over an hour. It oddly rejuvenates you every time. I went and stood in the waves for a while. Looking at the sunset, took my mind off from reality for the moment. While walking back there was a blackout but the lights switched back as on as if I had a Illuminator :P. I was lucky to get the last seat in the bus and was able to return home easily.
It was great to be back in college after ages, It taught me how to live in the moment, My phone was out of battery, I did not have a ticket to go back but I just went with my instincts and had the time of my life.
Have a nice day