Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th.

Every day for the past five years I've taken the Jadavpur-Taratala auto from my house to University, and then back again at all hours of the evening. I didn't wait at Bengal Lamp for the auto today like I usually do, I walked up to 8B, because I wanted the journey to last longer. I'm not good with goodbyes. Usually, I like pretending it hasn't happened.

Today was the last day of class. For us PG IIs that means no more semesters, no more assignments, no more running about the corridors dodging lit cigarettes and professors whose classes you just bunked. And as Bob so insightfully pointed out, no more bunking classes. When a junior told me to write something for a yearbook they're going to make for us, I sniggered at the impossibility of the task. How do you sum up a coming of age, how do you sum up five years of .. and I can't even finish this sentence. I sat in an empty classroom for a long time today, just because. I can't say why, maybe because it's a privilege I shall be deprived of, and no, it didn't take the final day for me to figure that out. So I sat in class while students walked by to the departmental library, and I thought- lucky bastards. And I can count the number of times I've been to the library on the fingers of one hand. But I swear, if you told me today to go and read every damn book in there [even the ones on Lacan and Derrida], I would. Just so I could walk down that corridor again, just so I could enter the computer room or go sit in a class and say, yes, this is where I belong. This is home.

Studying for a test this morning, I suddenly had a panic attack, and randomly messaged friends, because I needed to get it out. When it sinks in, nothing else matters. You just want to go to college and hold on to something. Anything - just a stupid desk or the department ledge will do. I thought I'd go and pick up an MPhil form, but better sense prevailed. You'd say this is the unwillingness to move on, to start with a new phase of life. Where there's going to be no mollycoddling, and certainly not the kind of freedom JU allows. Perhaps it's that. But it's also the cups of coffee at Milon Da's, those three years of ghastly chowmein at Moni Da, the swim at the jheel, playing 29 anywhere possible. The bridge. I walked past the bridge several times today, like we do everyday, and it was difficult. There are memories there. With the same people I meet now and pretend I haven't seen. There's a video being made for us too- these juniors are great - where all of us come on camera and make fools of ourselves, and it's difficult knowing that that video will not have the three of us in the same frame. There's too much of these five years on that bridge. Too many people, too many episodes - the bitch brigade coming to beat us up, the falling in love and the break-ups, the slut, the grass, the cigarettes, the mihidana wala, Cezanne the diva dog, that slippery shortcut from the bridge to Moni's, playing wordgames or charades, or just sitting for hours on end with nothing to say but comfortable in our silence.

And when I was sitting alone in class today, this one junior comes rushing in in a tizzy and demands,"Rohini, tumi choley jachho?!Tumi PhD korbe na ekhaane?!" and I say, "Na" because there's more finality in having to spell out "Hain choley jaachhi" than I can deal with in public, and he goes,"Shit. Aami tomake bhishon miss korbo," and I know he's an incorrigible flirt and he's probably caught each of us girls and said the same thing to them, but I can see he's genuinely sad, and if I didn't know better, I'd sit him down and tell him how unbearable this is and how I will miss every damn thing in this place.

We took a lot of photographs. This is probably a very disoriented post, but if you think I give a damn about coherence right now, then you have no idea who I am. I grew up in this place, man. And no, I don't just mean from a waist size 28 to a waist size 30 and some. Humour doesn't help. We've gone through the whole day trying to think this isn't true, I think. I remember the last day in school being about tears and promises to be together always and forever, and to live in each others' basements if all else fails, and all the signing of the uniforms and the general breaking rules. That was 2001. Six years down the line, we're either busy with our jobs, or our studies or our boyfriends. And yes, I'm humongously to blame too.
There were no promises made today. Maybe we don't want to have to break them. Maybe we've grown up.Maybe it's because you don't need to say these things to family. And this was family. And I don't just mean JUDE. I've sat at the Union room- nursing heartbreak, fighting tears- till11 in the night for days on end, with people I didn't know, watching them wrap up after an evening of carrom, and I've felt safe, and it was OK because this is just as much home as sitting in front of the comp typing crap. I've come for a jog here very early in the morning with Shoots and J because there could possibly be no other place as beautiful.
That's what it's been. Beautiful. And saying thank you just doesn't cut it. But I am. I'm thankful for these five years. I'm thankful for the friends I've had, for the friends I don't have any more, for those people, with whom my best memories of JU are inextricably linked. I'm thankful for the professors and the stellar lectures and the impossible boundless unimaginable freedom that we are given by them- of speech, of creativity, of space. I am thankful to every single person in the faculty for being family and not just faculty, for trusting us enough to know that we will not disregard the feeling of oneness you help us create, that we will not direspect you for the leeway you allow us. And I sincerely hope we have not let you down, like you never have.
Even now, at this very end, we're being eased into our future. Heh. Thank you Rimi Di and Tintin Da, for helping us cope with a sense of loss too overwhelming with your kind offer this evening.
Thank you the juniors, without whose relentless insanity I would never have grown up. Or had white hair. Thank you to the friends I have, and the friends I have lost. We've made memories and I'm taking them with me, because looking back on these five years will be incomplete without what we've shared, and I want to tell you in a totally non-lesbian way that I love you, and though you will never read this and though we both don't like having other people's boobies on ours, if I had the guts, I'd go up and hug you. But I don't have the guts. Only the ego.

This is becoming some sort of award acceptance speech. Damn.

With all the stuffy rooms and the dirty benches and the filthy toilets and the decrepit buildings and the moss and the jheel and the long winding paths and the bigger jheel and that kingfisher and those kingfishers and the stairs and the dark and the lamplight and the fireflies and the mosquitoes and tea cups and politics and poetry and madness- you're beautiful. Thank you for letting me belong.

32 comments:

Dhruva said...

Of all your readers I'm probably the least fit to react to this post, if only because I'm not a JUDEan.
That it's over is horrible, but hey...good things are transient.I'm happy they're there at all.After all, life's all about chance meetings.
You'll be fine.

Srin said...

Reading this made me very sad, not so much because you're leaving but because I'll have to leave too, in a year or three years. I have a lot to say to you, cant say it here, cant say it to your face either. Just, be very very happy wherever you are and with whatever you'll be doing.

*hug*

anudas00 said...

This too shall pass.
Amen.

"sen"sational said...

*lump in throat*
Dammit! JUDE does this to you.

Though I don't know you that well, would it be okay to offer a hug?

Shatabdi said...

Bitch

Dreamcatcher said...

That was really sad. And beautiful too. Don't even want to think of how much its going to hurt when we have to leave next year.

Priya said...

I'm not a JUDE-an but the other half is. And this post of yours took me a decade back to our years of hullat prem. The jheel, the winding roads, the endless hours of Scrabble on the basketball court, the jhopjhaars (:P) I even managed to attend Sukantada's classes, some seminars and guiltlessly look at the Profs in their eyes as I sat on the dept ledge, dangling my legs on either side! When N left two years later, I felt a similar sense of loss. I realised how much I "belonged" there, despite not being a part of it! It was heart breaking to just leave it for good. Shamelessly admit now, I must've been more in love with the place than the guy!
Can completely identify with your incoherence. This'll take some time to get over, and won't say, you can completely "get over" it really. But you will move on, like we have...soon.

Bob said...

aamar bhallagchhena.

Bob said...

no more ,not doing classes.no more not making sense. no more spending the day not doing anything.


You guys will make a class-attending, sense-speaking, productive turd outta me.

kaichu said...

i don't know what to say.

i didn't know what to say at the steps-opposite-milonda's, either, and i remember i babbled something pointless and incoherent and utterly stupid, and u were distracted anyway so thank god.

next year it's my, and our, turn.

i saw panu down drink after drink after drink at princeton as she mourned leaving JUDE, too. she was drunk for the second time in her life.

friday the 13th, it is.

Anonymous said...

Rohini...I just bumped into your blog after its all over for us! Keep the spirit, and don't give a rat's ass about anything, do your thing! Best of luck always

love

Sugrieve of Lokkhon shellshocked.

priyanka said...

you horrible woman!!! it just sunk in and i have papers to finish and i just want to lie down and not wake up, not stir even ,just to keep it all in. i don't want to cry i don't..i wont..i cant..gawddd...five years and now all i have are few scraps of memories in blogs and albums coz its just too damn hard to let it all in..what do i remember or even forget...your blog reminded me of that mihidana wala i often find him walking past milan da and how it always reminded me of you and shutki...i wish i wasn't this devastated should i be embarrassed for the tears for thanking you for just being there, not hugging listening or just to be there when we all started out,ipta, bridge yeah union room... this journey this life that i have to leave behind..you and the one like you neurotic and beautiful...thank you

priyanka said...

and what a day to end...Friday the 13 th..jottoshob

panu said...

I love you too. Because you were there. And because I know you in the short time we have met. This morning I told Kaichu that I wished you would end up with someone nice.

And I wish it will come true.

Rimi said...

I wish I knew you earlier, and knew you better. This sounds like, but is not, customary politeness.

And notwithstanding, you feel like family.

(For example, it had nothing to do with me in any conceivable way, and blame it on being in a school that started days in the name of the Trinity if you like, but from the moment I noticed I **wished** it hadn't happened.)

Shamash said...

I dont really know you, just chanced upon your blog while random surfing but your post really made me cry thinking bout how i had to bid farewell to school and come out in the BIG bad world outside, but Ju became an instant home and at this moment i really cant think what it would be like to leave this place

ushmi said...

i ditto srin...i won't pretend that i know you well enough to say i'll miss you terribly...but i will miss you guys collectively....and i do have memories of the bridge that are bound up with you as well...shit, someday (soon, too soon) i'll have to leave too

dreamy said...

I love your blog.
I just stumbled acrosss it somehow and for the past two days I have been trying to read each and every one of your posts.

*gawky-eyed* in admiration.:)

scorpionragz said...

gosh peep!! u just made me feel like the 3 yrs i have left aren't even half enough. i don't think i'll be able to leave at the end of it all. i think i'll lie on the corridor trying to hug the floor and someone will hafta drag me out with me scratching and clawing the floor to stay back.

The Alluder of Alliterations said...

i am debating whether it would be inappropriate to ask you if i can have this for the year book.

Bob, prochondo birokto said...

jhotpot onno kicchu ekta post kor toh!ei ghanghanane post aar bhallagchena!ghorardim!

rainbeau_peep said...

dhruva,
hmm, yes. there's no regret - any more. I mean, that would be stupid, I didn't come in thinking I'd stay on. But it's a natural sort of outburst that i can't explain unless i start describing each one of the daily stories that JU manages to give back to you. I mean, everyday man, every single day there's something new to take home. I'm fine rey, thanx :-D

srin,
Too early now for you to think of when you'll leave. Thanks for your wishes ... and the mail. Made me feel important. :-p
To 29 and arbit nocturnal debauchery! *wink wink*

anudas00,
Yes, but it's the end of an era. :-] Nevertheless, a new life beckons.

"sen"sational,
I'm going to remember you, you know. Theatre is, to use that corny cliche - a great unifier.
besides, you're too crazy pretty to forget.:-]

shatabdi,
obhinetri! :-D

dreamcatcher,
don't think about it now. because when it happens, you'll find there's nothing else on your mind.
but no, on the brighter side, it gets easier. because you find you're still making silly excuses to be in college, and *i think* eventually there's a new life, and new people and you're busy settling down into a new phase, and the intial burst of emotions becomes this warm, fond looking-back. for instance, you can recline on an armchair with a drink in your hands and a dreamy look in your eyes, instead of becoming a despairing alcoholic because it's all too sudden and too sad. :-D

priya,
Yes, that's JU for you. I know a man who entered gate no. 4 in the year 1992, and hasn't left since. And he's never been on the student rolls. it's how people give you your space, but in an unfathomable way, nobody's alienated either.
i'll get over it, i know. don't we all? it's been great, is all I was trying to say. :-D

bob,
mairi? tui hyangla to jana kotha, kintu shob kichu khete hobe, including free tey sentoo, sherom kono niyom nei.
besides ... life is a bus____, you know. :-p

kaichu,
we're on, friday the 20th. i'd been distracted all day that day - too distracted to even want to drink, heh. should've joined you guys, though, may ahve felt better.
you've got time yet, and with luck, when it's your turn, we'll all be together drowning our collective sorrow. or regaling each other with the laugh riot that's been the greater part of our time in JU. :-]

Sami,
Wow. This is just it - how we hold on somehow, even after it's all supposed to be over. We're gonna keep in touch, boss, we have to. [Especially if you make it big in Bombay]. :-p
Oh, and you boys owe some of us a holiday in the mountains. Man, lava lolegaon, and your bNashdance by the bonfire - these are the stuff of memories. :-D
Love and luck!

priyanka,
[have i ever called you by your name?] there aren't a few scraps - there's so much it's overwhelming. and that's why it's so beautiful. there are a thousand farewell-type sappy things that i can say to you, but you don't do that with people who are yours. some things are just a given. so i'll see you in the new beginning. :-D
in the meantime - dude, lighten up already. it's not this post, it's all those damn poems, i'm telling you. :-p

panu,
i should never have let you read my palm. :-D you're a crazy woman, but nice with it all. and that's better than a thousand other ways to be. if there's time ever - and friday night might be a good time with all the booze and everything - i'm going to teach you how to be a bitch. sometimes, it gets you by nicely - if you can know how to keep it down at other times. yea?
and mairi? nehaat aami shobaike boli chNada tuuley amar biye ditey, tabole ki aami - ok. fine. yea. i hope i end up with someone nice too. i'm not denying it. :-p

rimi,
hehe. i have a bad habit of keeping my guard up at all times, so you're not to blame if we didn't get to talk as much as we might have. something tells me we'd have had a lot to say if we'd just got down to it.
but i'm still going to read your blog and i'm still going to leave comments for those posts where the ingrezi is just about easy enough for my understanding. and i'm still going to think ohmygawd this girl learnt her alphabets later than i did, but look at her go!
so, yea, you and i are gonna keep in touch, methinx. :-D

shamash,
oh dear. i've been making a real impact with this one, haven't i? :-[ you've still got time to enjoy JU, and when that last day comes, I hope you can look back on your time here with as much fondness and love as I can.
and when you're done, get drunk and pass out asap instead of coming back home and blogging about your angst sober. :-]

ushmi,
i'm sure it means a lot to us to know that we are not to be easily dismissed. :-]
There's time yet for you. Don't think about leaving now, because that time will come. And after it's done feeling horrible, it feels nice in a damn-i-think-i'm-growing-old sort of way. *i'm keeping my fingers crossed about this*

dreamy,
e vava, ki lojja. thenkew bhery much, i am too embarassed only to make grammatically correct reply in inglis. :">

ragz,
Lol. No, you're more or less going to leave with quiet dignity because that moment when you step out of the department and make your way to gate no. 4 is sacred. after that, every time you come back in - it's not the same. but somehow, now you're special, because you've been through it all, and you thought you'd feel a little less welcome or a little less familiar, but that's all bullshit. because it's all the same. and you still belong.

alluder,
hehe, it would. i refuse to be remembered as the freak show of despair. tell me where i have to send the stuff and i'll write something in a lighter vein. with JU, you never run out of stories.

thomas bobbington McOly.
Durr kNachkola! shokal shondhye amar blog na porey kajer kaj kor. bujhtei paarchhi boddo miss korchhish amake. :-p

everyone,
is it just me or does everyone agree i've kind of gone overboard with the emoticons?

Bob said...

sala, jaabi tobey toh miss korbo! ekhono tui sorbokkhon milan da e fish fry khachhiss, aar rishka wallah der moton tash khelcchiss!
aar nije ekta shanghatik kadaane posto likhe bolish kina aami senti dicchi?[golgol chokh].pellaye rodda debo ekta!:P
aar aamaar aar kono kaj nei.tai shobaar blog porey beracchi--dekhcchi tui kemon tariye tariye senti khachhish!

The Alluder of Alliterations said...

articles at arunavab@gmail.com

mojo said...

that was lovely

Suki said...

Let's face it, I don't know you except as Malini in the adaptation of "Top Girls". But that post shows me, yet again, that we're all bound together.
Just because we're JUDEans, just because we belong to the culture of the bridge, the ledge, Monida's, Milonda's and the innumerable other little things that make JU home... we're family.
I guess this is odd coming from someone who'll be welcoming her first batch of JUDE juniors in a couple of months, but - I wish I'd made the most of all the time I've had here, and hope that every day remaining is going to give me yet another of those memories that I'll savour for a lifetime.
Love, and hugs.
Just because.

kaichu said...

e baba, nahin hoga re! friday the 20th ami darjeeling jachhi.

ami phirle abar akdin, ok? i still owe u a drink :D

The Alluder of Alliterations said...

i am waiting for write up
Cds go in to burn in a few days
hurry up

Srin said...

Hehe, this is towtullee slambook types comment section.

rainbeau_peep said...

bob,
ekbar riskawalla gulo'r shonge taash khele jitey dyakha to, tobe bujhbo. dinraat tor shonge shomoi katiye tarpor abar bari eshe shei tor-i comment er reply dewa - ki nitthur ey bhoga'r khel. :-[

alluder,
sent. ektu notsogood. karon moodta godawful bikrito.

mojo,
thenkew. :-]

suki,
I hear you, girl. We're all in it together - and it's amazing, because every bend, every hidden corner will give you a memory, and there's plenty of time for you to keep collecting, so just live it up while you're here, because there's no other place that any of us would rather be, I think.
Cheers and hugs!

kaichu,
kon shahoshe tui bukh fuliye darj er goppo shonachhish, jokhon amra 38degree tey pochey jetey cholechhi?
anyway, shedin aamio jyeni, was sick. so, yea, we're up for a drink sometime.

srin,
like,
Joints are white,
Weed is green,
My future's bright,
'Cuz I love Sreen?

U R 2 QL.

orom slambook type entry?

*I get the feeling bob will have something to say*

yippeeHippie said...

veRry nice post... :)

numb said...

jani this is a lil late but better late than nevr.......hahahaha!!! friday the 13th indeed.....i know how horrid that day was..........saying goodbye to all the ones i loved.....within college and without......hahaha!!! teli!!!!!!!1 toke miss korbo!!! martinian strength!!!damn 29!!! damn levi's changing room!!! damn KFC!!!damn damn damn!!!keep in touchhhhhhhhh!!!!!!(LEVIS STYLE!!!!)