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This article has been submitted by Rudresh Mandal for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.

Well, I guess I had to turn the page sooner or later. Calcutta has been home to me for the past 18 years of my life – right from the time I was learning my phonetics in nursery to figuring out what on earth the derivative of 2Sinxcosx was. When I was a kid, I really wanted to grow up and be an adult! Now, I’m not sure I really want to. Maybe I could just stay in school for a few more years, couldn’t I? Just the thought of leaving this city behind leads to a myriad of emotions. Perhaps nostalgia, perhaps anxiety, perhaps excitement and maybe the typical option (d) of most entrance examinations: All of the above.

I’m not sure exactly what I should and should not be feeling right now.
My mother seems to be convinced that I will lose all my clothes, books, towels, etc. within a few weeks of going to college. In fact, just today she told me how she plans on labeling all of my bed-sheets with my initials. As much as I hate to admit it, she’ll probably turn out to be right (again), given my careless nature. It is almost as if she’s going to college, and not me! Mothers will always remain mothers and although I always tell her otherwise, I will miss her. A lot.  I might just miss her occasional lectures as well. Oh who am I kidding?! Mothers never will stop lecturing, no matter what the obstacle (in this case, distance) may be!

My last few weeks in Calcutta weren’t as up to the mark as I’d hoped, courtesy a surgery I underwent and more importantly, the subsequent abstinence from football and exercise for four long weeks. But that aside, I’m quite excited to get to college. My seniors tell me that they play football every evening, and that’s something I really look forward to, especially after grim long hours of classes. I’m also really glad that one of my close friends from school is going to the same college as I am. It’s almost as if I’m taking a part of home with me. Really, no matter how much one craves to get out of one’s city – to new beginnings and new friends, there’s something about home, something we’d all like a reminder of, no matter how subtle, in college.

As I’m about to embark on my journey to Hyderabad/Shamirpet for the next 5 years, I realize that more than Calcutta, the city, I will miss Calcutta, the people (and also the food) more than I had thought I would. The stories (true or not, I’m not sure) about the cut-throat competition at law school really scare me, to say the least. But as most people do, I’ll just have to fit in. The laidback-ness Calcutta has imparted in me will have to be done away with, I guess. It’s tough to imagine life without my house, my friends, school, my Xbox and whatever else. From the football-at-any-time-of-the-day matches, to bunking school, to getting caught for the same, narrowly escaping suspensions, to drunken sleepovers, to meeting my girlfriend after school in the most clandestine manner possible, I’ll miss it all. It seems like just last night I was studying for my ISC Sociology exam and wondering if would actually pass ISC Math or not. It feels like it was only a month back that I sat for my ICSE.  Seems like it was only a week ago when my mother asked me why I wasn’t studying for the CLAT, and I told her “Arre, there are still 2 months left, don’t worry”.  Yet here I am, off to college in a week and about to start a new life, one that I hope will leave me with as many memories as my life so far has. Here’s to hoping that over the next 5 years, I’ll still be at home. Just not in Calcutta.

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