This article has been submitted by Namrata Bhagia for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
The grey areas have waxed into either black or white. The soup has been sieved and passed through a cloth – it’s clear.
Have you ever felt so light hearted that it made you light headed?
I finally moved out of my one-bedroom PG. The last eight months of my life taught me a lot. They taught me to be myself, to never change for anyone. They taught me to stay hungry and not crib about it. They taught me to inquire about each and every thing at the Office otherwise you’d end up paying 1500 precious bucks for a lousy backlog form (when getting the backlog wasn’t even your fault. Well, partly). They taught me to share my very limited space. The most important thing I learnt was to somehow contain myself in this Ferris wheel of life.
Yes, the first year of my college was tumultuous. It’s not over yet, but the worst is.
My life isn’t very dramatic, but it’s not bland either. It’s bang in between and I like it that way. Friends were made, and so were choices. Some were good, others were horrible. But that’s how we learn, right?
When I entered college, I had a huge group of friends; we were sixteen in number. By the end of the first three months, it was just four of us. Right now, I’m in touch with just one.
We tend to have pre-conceived notions about people with whom we’ve never really interacted. So we find people who are very different, yet very similar to us. We also tend to focus on the ‘similarities’ part forgetting that there’s a whole lot more to them. You might not have much of an ego, yet they would have too much pride, too much ‘integrity’ to last them for a lifetime. You might be a bit messy, they, on the other hand, wouldn’t tolerate a single spec of dirt anywhere. Calm versus hot headed, non-chalance versus haughtiness. The differences are never-ending while the similarities could be easily listed out – same taste in music, sports, and movies, and we think that we’re the best of friends. Strange how new turned adults can behave like children in their pre-teens. It’s all in the head, a head that needs to be clear always.
Judging a person is the biggest mistake ever. A guy who comes across as a nerd could turn out to be the funniest person to be around. A girl who appears to be shut and zoned, could actually be the most perverted person in the whole batch. A person with whom your tastes match might not be the person you want them to be. You see them as something, they turn out to be something entirely different. They might pleasantly surprise you or you may just have to put up with them. Either way, surprises would keep springing up.
That’s basically what we first years were told by our seniors – you’d know who your real friends are by the end of the year. You might be convinced that you’ve found the best people to hang out with or to be with for the rest of your life and then a few months later you bolt away in the opposite direction, disappointed, dejected, angry and confused.
“How did I not see that before?” is usually the first question that pops up. It keeps on nagging you till you finally put the not-so-hard puzzle together and reflect. You vow not to make the same mistake again and go on with your usual nonsense. You meet new people, you make new friends, and you think, “This is it. We are gonna be friends for life”, when again you’re disappointed. This happens a couple of times till you give up on the whole friendship scene and get some space for yourself, collect your thoughts and make friends with your laptop. Then even that gives up on you when your hard drive decides to crash and your internet dies.
Now, all of a sudden, your’e broke. You have 13 bucks in your wallet, it’s 10.30 pm (curfew) and you can’t go out of the goddamn PG to even buy instant noodles. So with change jingling in your pocket, you drink water and gnaw at dry fruits to somehow survive through the night. You vow to stock up the whole room with food, and treat yourself to fruit plate and juice at the canteen the next morning.
Staying in a constricted space for a long period of time can really smurf up your mind. You start pondering on things you shouldn’t think about, you start wallowing in self-pity, and you basically stop being fun. With people coming and going out of your life, it takes a toll, and then you stop getting affected by any of it. This numbness lasts for a while and then things come crashing down on you. Again the process repeats and your best friends, the laptop and the internet, help you out in times like these. You watch sitcoms to distract yourself. Some of them relieve you as you’re not an estranged serial killer or a person whose life revolves around a cute doctor who may or may not like them back. I would personally prefer to be the estranged serial killer. It sounds cool, and not pathetic.
Things start to look up when the holidays arrive. Home means food, free food. You don’t have to worry about staying within the 150 bucks per day limit, and you don’t have to haggle with the auto walahs or pay a fortune for laundry. Yes, home is indeed heaven. The advantage of having family and friends around to pull you out of pointless deep thoughts is prominent. When you go back, all you do is hang out with your friends and watch more sitcoms.
When it’s time to go back, you don’t particularly feel sad, but you’re not happy either.
After January, I was living by myself. True, I had space, and I had good company (for a while) but that didn’t last long. But when I was about to fall into the brooding mode yet again, the college fest saved me! There was so much work to be done along with many other people. You got to see different sides of people. Again, the curtain of pre-conceived notions was lifted. That one month was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to me at that time. I got to meet and be with some really nice people, and they made life in this city worth living. I never wanted that phase to end, staying in the college till 5 a.m., working for hours at a stretch, sometimes without having a morsel of food, going for days without proper sleep and playing the basketball tournament the next morning. I wouldn’t change anything about it, not even one bit. I wouldn’t change the people and I’m glad I still have them around me.
In March, I moved into an apartment. It was a welcome change; the best decision that I’ve made till date after moving to this city. Life, now, is calm. It’s peaceful, and what’s more, it’s fun. Genuine people are rare to find, and lately I’ve come across a few of them. Yes, they’re my flatmates and also a few of my batch-mates. I don’t want to flatter them but if they’re reading this, they know who they are.
Where once I used to starve, especially during the nights, I go to bed with a full stomach that lulls me to sleep. I do nothing but eat all day. It’s my favorite thing to do nowadays. Also, television was something that I didn’t care about. But again things are turning out to be quite opposite. I can’t help pampering myself, making up for the last eight months!
After this change, I’ve been nothing but happy which is, well, new to me. It’s relaxing and makes me wanna go ‘whee!’ End of the semester exams results are the biggest issue in my life right now, which doesn’t really bother me. What counts is that I have everything I want – the space, the food, the atmosphere, and the people.
Batch of 2016
Symbiosis Law School, Pune