Saturday, April 23, 2005

The end of an Era

Now that the final few weeks of the fourth year approach, and the joblessness of the BTech junta increases day-by-day, a feeling of melancholy overpowers me. Affection. I try not to think of it too often. It is meant to happen, it is inevitable, it is all for the best. And when that day comes along ultimately, when all these amazing friends of mine leave IITM for a better life elsewhere, I don't know whether I'll have enough words to bid them goodbye.

Time flies. First year, new friends. The blink of an eye. Then whoosh, before you know it, a teary-eyed farewell to the best friends you've ever had. And a guarantee that your life will never be the same again.

We did so much together. We shared our joys, our miseries. We wrote plays to make people laugh. We had long discussions all night long on totally pointless topics. We thought about the future. We worked our asses off for the Litsoc. We frolicked on the beach like six-year-olds. We played Quake till our eyes were red and minds numb. We celebrated Holi and Diwali like they were the last days in our lives.

And then you bat your eyelids. Everyone has a job in a different city. And then I think of the good times behind us. And how they're gone, how they'll never return after this point in life. And I feel terribly, terribly sad and old.

Maybe it's a mistake. Or maybe I am just too emotional. Maybe it is all for the best.

I thought I had let it all out when I cried for four hours at Ganga's hostel night. I had plunged into Shaastra to avoid exactly this feeling. Then I wake up today and TG reminds me that it's Faisal's treat. And like a river waiting behind a dam's sluices, the feeling flows over me again, drowning me.

I remember. The memories are still fresh.

I remember when he had graduated, and was leaving for his Infy job. I had gone up to his room. I think I woke him up, and said goodbye, ready to leave since my train was due. Faisal came out, bulbing, shook my hand and went right back in to bed. But I broke down. And when he came back after his trasfer, I was so totally overjoyed!

I remember getting impressed watching Faisal beat the shit out of his opponents in Quake and I remember putting fight and reaching a level where I could too. I remember all the conversations we used to have after every single CTF match when we set up our own LAN. I remember listening to him sing in the bathroom, and search around for the music system which was playing the impeccable melody. I remember all the new lingo we coined together, some just for the moment, some to become a part of IITM's heritage. I remember the skit we made on the train to Bombay. And I remember the excrutiangly long bus trip back from there, and the stopover at Bangalore at Ganaps' place. I remember the smiling face, the resilient voice, the sharp wit, the dextrous fingers, and the best friend called Faisal.

And when I zoom forward into the future, and look back from there at this point in time, I see so many farewells, tears, hugs and smiles. I see so much excitement, tension, joy, nostalgia and above all, so much change.

I see the end of an era.