Saturday, April 14, 2007

lathhir mukhe gaaner shur, dekhiye dilo jadabpur!

The first time I heard this slogan was on a hot June afternoon in 2005, marching with a few thousand students from Jadavpur University down towards Writers Building. We didn’t make it that far, of course. Somewhere near the Academy of Fine Arts we were stopped by the police and we sat down peacefully to sing songs while cameramen ran in circles around us.
Two years down the line, if I close my eyes and try to remember, I have to make an effort to recollect every rationale and every logical argument behind the student movement, behind our protests. What I can remember effortlessly are the emotions , the sentiment; the feeling of walking in unity with a thousand strangers; of walking beyond exhaustion and thirst, for a cause that we believed in. Somehow that memory can still make me cry.

I can’t explain it if you weren’t there. I can tell you why I was in a michhil, I can tell you who was right and who was wrong and why I still believe that, but I cannot explain what it was that made me throw dignity and self-consciousness to the winds and scream slogans till I was hoarse. Maybe it was the policemen who were lining the roads, flaunting their uniforms, their batons, their right to beat up the innocent and protect the guilty; or maybe it was just my impulsiveness.
I still can’t find words to express what it felt like to walk backwards, down the main roads of kolkata, in the middle of two lines of quietly marching people and clap my hands and scream till every single person within ear-range was screaming responses not with their voices but with their hearts.

This university taught me a lot of things through five long years, but that afternoon I learnt what Passion can be.

Afterwards, to be precise, over the next one year, ten months that came after, I’ve been taught what Apathy is. It’s been painful at times, but worth it.
Because at the end of the day this campus; this warm, friendly, welcoming, inert, lifeless, unconcerned campus has taught me one thing. That no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much you feel like the world is coming to an end, most of the world around you will not care. It’s a lesson worth remembering.

Chances are, I’ll forget it. Because after all there is just so much more to remember.

I spent tonight crying over memories. Which was a little ironic, because every one of them was a happy memory. But the thing about leaving a place, when you have come to love it and when you have built so many memories around it, is that it's a little like leaving a lover. You know you have problems, you know you were never meant to be together forever, you knew from the very first day that one day, you would have to move off. But in between, the years have gone by and the memories have accumulated and you’ve made love so many times through golden afternoons, hazy with the heat, and foggy dawns, and the bitter cold of winter evenings that when the time comes to leave even the happiest memory makes you look back in love, in pain and eventually in tears.

But I’ll leave college with a smile. I promise you I will not cry. Chances are when the final day of exams and farewell parties comes I’ll be so drunk and high that I won’t even remember my name. Just tonight I needed to cry. For you, because I love you. Because you’re the most difficult place I’ve ever encountered, but you’ve made me so happy. And leaving is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to. But you know how my old mantra goes; no strings, no loose ends, and above all, no regrets. I can't promise to cut ties, I have a feeling I'll bump into you again and there are a few loose ends we didn't get to tie up but at least I can promise you, I don't have any regrets. Not one. Not for the times when I sat on the side-stairs and bawled my eyes out, not for the times I got drunk, got stoned, got caught in embarrassing positions or managed to get away without getting caught in worse situations. No regrets, only memories, that's all I can take away. And all I can leave is a little bit of love. For you, for the people I'm leaving behind, but most of all, for the dream that is JUDE.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. In my case it wasn't the last day for most of my batchmates. More importantly, I hadn't told anyone yet that i wasn't coming back. Amar jonne goodbye ta onek beshi lonesome aar koshtokor (I know, YUCK!!!) chilo. A collective departure does make it easier. I think. Okay, I hope.

Tanya
(yup I've been an anonymous reader for a looong time)

12:10 PM  
Blogger Suki said...

:). Once again, you somehow articulate what we all feel about JUDE, and somehow about every place where we've been involved with some degree of passion.

I really, really hope that I can leave JUDE feeling even a tenth of what you feel about it.

And, Fishy... thank you. For being there every time we needed you, no matter how you yourself felt, you were a rock of strength to us. Maybe we would have pulled through somehow or the other without you, but we know we made it through that bit better because you were there for us.
Kudos to you!

8:53 PM  
Blogger Shamash said...

Reading your post was like going back to my school leaving and the thoughts and memories that i left behind.
I still have a long time in Ju and hope to enjoy each and every moment of them

8:02 AM  
Blogger Lost Poet said...

In the end...it matters and it means a lot. Memories will still be part of us, I just hope they don't fade before we do.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Sammimitra said...

Ei tum log sala, bohot emotional log hai bhai!!! Rohini and you. And the funny thing is I read both your blogs for the first time on the same day sat 14th.Partly why I left in a flurry that day after Swapon's test is precisely because of this gloom in the air!! JU and Gloom (gloom at leaving it) dont really sit together in my mind! For being together lets celebrate...

best wishes always and please right something cheerful about JUDE. I remember the first day we all trooped into Milonda's and bought a one litre pepsi or 7 up I dont remember...all of us shared it together.

for all the love, hate and indifference. Cheers.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Sammimitra said...

I hate to make typos...sorry (ya now you know why all that english goes down the drain) "write"

9:56 PM  
Blogger Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Somtimes it feels good to cry?

12:18 AM  
Blogger The Alluder of Alliterations said...

can i have this one for the yearbook?
touching and et all..
i would like this to open the audiovisual presentation...

12:38 AM  
Blogger Elendil said...

Beautiful. As Suki said, thank you for being there. We will miss you.

3:29 PM  
Blogger "sen"sational said...

Will miss you. Terribly.

*hug*?

11:41 PM  
Blogger panu said...

friday the 13th it was. I got drunk as a skunk in a funk and bawled all the way back to home.

Somehow, these two years just rushed by. I can still remember the first day I entered JU. I felt so scared because I was alone.

And now I am scared because I will leave JU and be alone again.







P.S. Bungle, You deserve a BOP for being a brat!

12:31 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

You write beautifully, Babel. Rarely have I found words describing emotions this well - this was poetry in prose...
And I understood every word of what you said. Today, nearly four years after I passed out of college, I still go there every chance I get.
But whenever I walk in, it seems like everything has changed. That, somehow, it isn't the same place anymore. But still I visit it year after year.
Because we share a very beautiful past. SNIFF!

P.S. You're in my blogroll now. Try and stop me!!

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Bubli said...

it ain't over till the fat lady sings...and i promise not to...or let mota sing, for that matter.ergo, it aint over yet, babeh!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Sphinx said...

beautiful post.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Dhruva said...

Some things make you a part of themselves, and themselves a part of you. JUDE, I think, is one such. :)

12:50 PM  
Blogger soumik said...

lovely lovely li'l post. guess i'll feel the same way in an year's time. i could just feel inside me what you meant bout the micchhil. its sometime so difficult to get how ju fills up such a huge part of our lives, makes up so easily for so many things we thought we couldn't do without. so glad i came back here. :)

1:12 PM  
Blogger beyond the realms of the rational mind said...

I've just joined J.u.d.e and....I'm already beginning to dread leaving it...

12:55 AM  
Blogger beyond the realms of the rational mind said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm guess dis is a biit back dated and all but still you write beautifully darlin. Few people make me wanna cry with mere words. Good writitng i actually felt a lil biut of what you feel. Neways iv always beena bit of a misfit and a loner and no place holds so much imp or any person for that matter(at least since my horrendous break up)
ok im droning on now. By the way dis is the Kong
yer special guest appearence Ju mISFIT

5:53 PM  
Blogger Irony said...

What a post........ Hail YOU.

1:23 AM  

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