It was my last day in the city, I tried gobbling as much as I could watch as the car drove past my college. Tears kept shedding. just like rain that I witness now in Pune. My mom- as calm as always- said,”Hey gal! what’s wrong with you, you may visit here anytime you want and not to forget you’re already leaving for Mysore in a few weeks; cheer up yourself for the new beginnings.” I had no answer to her words which was quite out-of-my-way thing. I curled up beside her gazing at my memories’ lanes.
The day I left for Delhi i.e. for my college is still crystal clear in my mind. I was a nerdy I-don’t-care-type of teen watching my Korean drama as mom packed my things. After all, Delhi was a few miles away. I wasn’t scared of going away or leaving my house as I have witnessed same for my elder sisters; all that I worried was about getting a clean washroom and good food to eat. Actually, my whole family is not so dramatic. They knew I would be bumping again at house after every few days. And that actually happened. If I compared my home i.e. in Haryana with Delhi, I would say Delhi felt like my own territory while the latter as dad’s territory.
In short, I lived my most comfortable and happiest years of life in the big city. It was my first face-to-face with the world alone. So, Delhi became my teacher to handle life with my own hands. Even taking an auto to station and then traveling on my own seem victorious to me. I felt enlightened. I got two wonderful roommates in my four-year hostel life. First one was Seema. She’s my bestie-adviser-inspiration-teacher. She showed me how I was enough to keep myself happy. She stood with me when I cried over silly matters and helped me with, not to forget, studies. My best memory with her is when we went Chawli Bazaar to buy wallpapers for our otherwise boring room.The dingy-narrow street frightened us so we walked holding hands tightly as if that crowded street would swallow us any moment. Later, we decided never to go there again. But in the end, it’s worth it. Those wallpapers of birds always made us feel high.
Slowly yet steadily time passed and we met Shelly who mingled with us like we’re never strangers before. She’s the one whom I admire for hard work. She taught me hard work will never let you fall before nothingness. Even now when I call her she is always rejuvenating her skills. And I loved her coffee. I am a tea person so when I say I enjoyed her coffee, it really means something. Then came my sweetest and innocent roommate, Gargi. We first became friends then roommate as Seema left hostel to live with her sister who lived in the same city. Words are never enough to explain my bond with Gargi. She’s my lovely teddy bear. We have spent sleepless nights together watching out from the window. The way she looks at her life is so simple yet powerful i.e. to cherish the present moment. I admire this ability of her which I am yet to adapt. As I am writing about them, a strong and electric longing to meet them is running through my spine. They’re my treasure from college life.
So, before the day I had to leave. Seema took us on a drive. We sang the songs that were playing on radio.
“Ek Ajnabi Hasina Se
Yun Mulaaqat Ho Gayi……
Phir Kya Hua Yeh Na Puchho
kuch aisi bat ho gai”
We talked about the moments of togetherness where we had laughed, cried and done stupid little things. We’re feeling nostalgic as we all knew coming time would scatter us across states. But something inside us was aware of our never ending friendship. Hostel life gives you your best buddies because these people know what you do when you wake up; what you do when you’re sad and how to console you; they know how you look after a good sleep and how you feel when you say “I am fine”. Because they know you so well. They have witnessed a portion of your life, so closely. I am glad I have experienced such a wonderful journey with a family away from my family.
“Do we have to order anything besides tea for you, darling,” my mom asked bringing me back to the moment, the moment of separation.
“No it’s okay,” I replied knowing I would always miss making tea in that little steel kettle with my girls in the small lively room full of my memories.