I was in a scurry sorting out the books I read this year and stumbled over the college slam book, memories and friendships, signed and closed. Four years since it was last touched, yes, time hasn’t really permitted me to re-read those notes from the best years life could offer.
I lay on the couch, swirling a couple of strands of my curly hair and feel this trwaing-trwaing roll of white faded curls in a plain backdrop, taking me through these intense moments of college years; the best life has given me thus far.
The beautiful me - Haven’t you had this sudden transformation of getting conscious and more chilled out about your looks, as you enter college? I did, and I think it’s natural with all ‘cause until school was over, we were so used to projecting ourselves like nerds, you know, plaited hair, uniform, those boring black leather shoes, bags weighing our spines down all the time and all that. Nothing mattered more than marks those days, nothing at all. Thank god, I was finally rid of being an ugly betty. It was thrillingly fun to take time in the mornings to dress up and leave hair loose and wear all sorts of colored fabrics and head to college with a bag which carried more of CDs and fun books to exchange. This is the phase that actually made me feel the girl in me.
The first love – Well, they say, no matter how much life thrusts you with, the memories of a romance, which worked or did not will linger on for a lifetime. And I for obvious reasons, was not surprised when thoughts of those moments bubbled up, triggering goose bumps and a sense of bliss only love can bring. Waiting for each other in the class, exchanging boxes of chocolates, turning with a reason to talk to a friend but stealing looks, chit chatting on the phone till dawn and not being able to wait to get to college to catch up again, staying in the classrooms after college hours with a friend to guard the entrance, experiencing the beginning of what romance is, the special meetings arranged over annual and symposium days, the anxiety over a mysterious future, the last day of signing up autographs and bidding goodbyes, promising love for a life time and all the mix of joy and thrill and fear and strength and loneliness and longings, life can bring when you know you are in love, I don’t know if there is any other experience in life which takes you through a steep and exciting ride of emotions as much as love does. It’s been 8 years since I first had this guilty instinct warning me that I was falling in love. I didn’t want to, but eventually I did like every one else. The memory is still so very precious.
Friends - You finally learn to sit back, put an arm over your friend’s and let go of anything that used to scare you till the end of school - books, teachers, classes, labs, assignments, marks ,you just forget them all and smile. Those lunch hours, when we would sit on the fence, laughing over the silliest things in the world, forgetting the test assigned for the later half of the day ; the lost stares we would give each other while giving a test, I remember scribbling down the recipe of Vanilla Cake so studiously for an Electronics and Design test, simply to save the “you-people-are-hopeless” kind of look from my teacher ,which made my best friend burn in despair ‘cause she thought I was actually giving in the answers ; the nick names we used to carol around for almost every one; ganging up to spend some sleepless nights on the eve of exams, I remember calling up pals like at about 2 or 3 in the night, to discuss subjects; sighing out the relief on clearing semesters, partying over any and every reason with the little pocket money dad used to spare, oh gosh, why did College have to get over ?