I wrote this at 5AM.
I have been in bed trying to fall asleep for 3 hours now. In a last desperate move I even tried watching OK Jaanu (yes, you may judge me a little🙄). When even the constant “Oye”s in the movie failed to put me to sleep I really started wondering the reason for the constant dark circles I have been parading around the past few days.
With just another night left in Pune, for the first time in half a decade I was leaving my comfort zone. Kerala had become my “parents place” and Pune had become my home. I knew the places, people, roads and buildings here. If you want to eat out, I can tell you what to eat from where. If you want to go shopping I can tell you which place has the cheapest items. I can plan the best day out for you and tell you which clubs have the best music. I can tell you how nice it is to dance and sing at High Spirits and then go stand facing the river at Mix36. I can tell you to walk on Lane 1 and get spooked in KP.
Things will have changed next time I come to Pune.
For one thing I won’t call it home anymore. I will be a visitor. The Symbiosis sign I’ll see as I land will invoke nostalgia, not homecoming.
There’ll never be a return ticket to Pune. There will never be telling the auto driver to take me to Rohan Mithila. There will never be waking up to screams and shouting of breakfast plans. There won’t be another “we should toootally eat/dance there duudee”. There will never be late night rush to finish deadlines and finally falling asleep saying “it’s not like they are going to do anything if we submit it late!Fuck it maan!”. There will never be “roadtrips” to go eat at Le Plaisir. Probably never be cribbing about early morning (that’s anything before 10) lectures. There’ll not be another visit to the college cafeteria just to get out of it a minute later complaining how the juniors have taken up every inch of the new campus. Also the constant “why the hell did we have to move to the new campus anyway?!”
There are faces I grew accustomed seeing; people I saw every single day. People who will slowly end up being random Facebook updates. It is something else hugging a friend or classmate and knowing that it probably is the very last time you’ll ever see them.
Doing everything one last time.
Meeting everyone one last time.
Going to places one last time.
Was University worth it? Absolutely. Not because of what I learned in my textbooks; anybody can read from a book. It’s what the people there taught me; to love, to trust, to help, to care, to dance, to appreciate, to be happy, to be grateful and to accept myself as the absolute weirdo I am.
Above all, they taught me that at the end of the day if you’re able to come back home and be amongst people who can make you laugh until there are tears in your eyes, nothing else matters; you have everything you need.
I have never been sadder to board a flight to Kochi, ever.