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The Long Walk September 26, 2005

Posted by espritnoir in Uncategorized.

I was rummaging through some old stuff in my closet, and along with some files and papers, I inadvertently pulled out some memories of college.

I still remember my first day at DGR quite clearly. Trying to lose myself in the myriad mass of humanity, the first few words I heard in college, happened to be ‘Abbe, chal be, dimaag ka dahi mat bana!’ I jerked my head just in time to see this Surd talking to his friend and I thought ‘God, am I ever gonna be so cool to say something like that and get away with it.’ A kid just out of school, I was completely out of tune with what was around me. Not wanting to run into any another ‘dimaag ka dahi’ types, I spent the rest of the day walking around campus with my eyes fixedly on the tips of my shoes, frantically trying to convince myself that everybody was NOT looking at me. You know, they never were watching me, but back then, it was hard to shake off that feeling, and it took me almost a year to walk around campus alone, without that knot in the pit of my stomach. And it took me even longer to finally say ‘Abbe chal be, dimaag ka dahi mat bana, kya?’ Although its been almost five years since I’ve graduated, every time I hear that phrase, I go back to that first day of college, and smile. I see a pathetic lone soul walking around campus with his eyes staring fixedly at the tips of his shoes. If I could, I want to tell him, “Here buddy, lemme walk with you awhile. Show you around the place a bit. And don’t worry, one day, you will say that very line. And more. And nobody will be staring at you then. Life’s gonna be okay”

But that kid’s long gone now, and all that’s left behind is me.

On my last day in college, contrary to my normal disposition, I took a walk around the campus. It took me more than an hour to cover the concrete walkway around the DGR campus. A distance of maybe 500 meters. A journey of 5 years. There were a lot of questions back then. What next? Where do I go? Who do I meet? Will I ever make new friends? And more importantly, will I ever see these people, with whom I had spent the last five years, suffering through boring lectures and hanging out on the college ‘katta’? Would life ever be the same again?

Today, five years out of college, I know the answers to some of the questions. Some answers I like; others I’ve had to make compromises with, and accept painfully.

Some questions still remain. Where do I go from here?

Some old questions have made way for new ones. Will I ever meet someone?

I’m a working twenty-six year old, and even now, I just wish there was someone out there, from an unknown future, waiting to tell me the same words I wanted to tell the kid.

“Relax, son. Life’s gonna be okay”.



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