Sunday, March 30, 2014

Today is different

That multicolored tinge, over the skyline of Hiranandani, seemed like the trails of ‘gulaal’ thrown in the air, as if some imaginary lady left those trails while dancing her way back unmindfully. The setting sun on the back of Hotel Renaissance looked weary from the day’s toll. The lake facing balcony on the second floor of A-wing has always been a refuge for me, a refuge from those dizzying, soul-numbing moments and hullabaloo of my daily routine- a place, a space which soothed me with a psychedelic serenity and made me feel one with it. Today the calmness felt heavy. I could hear it whisper me a pensive note! Today I felt like I was floating back and forth in time. Today is different.

July 11th, 2012 it was. The Duronto express clad in all sorts of colors from outside seemed very metaphorically iconic to beacon me into a colorful ride. It wasn't that I was boarding a Duronto for the first time; it’s just that imaginations take you anywhere pleasant you want to be and I was totally pepped up for my upcoming MBA days, like anyone else. The idea of a sabbatical from the shackles of a ‘job’ for another 2 years presented me with so many escape routes and possibilities that it literally felt like an adventure to begin with. That 28 hours journey to the ‘City of Illusions’ and I already started making friends; friends who would go on to define the journey beyond those meager 28 hours.....forever. Illusion-ed I was as I landed finally to reach Hostel 1- the Queen of the Campus;  DREAMS...well, I had many, but all scattered like the pieces of a puzzle- stand alone making no sense at all; and the euphoric mind posed a great challenge to enable me to look at the bigger picture. But one thing was sure, like the wish of most of the middle class small town boys in India who aspire to step into an IIT one day, a wish that largely remains unfulfilled; I was going to live one of my long cherished aspirations, though in a different way. Der aye, durust aye.....Now that I was inside that jigsaw puzzle, the situation demanded me to clear all those blurs from my mind and recognize my strength so that I could go through all the pain, all the ups and downs in the days to come and not lose faith. But, I was already confused, unsure of what it all meant, unsure of who I was! Inside, I was just a small town boy, from an ordinary school, then from a not-so elite college, passing on to become a nondescript engineer in one of those nondescript software companies.  Basically, I was a ‘Nobody’, to my own self. Today that silence by the lake still posed some of those doubts, some questions still puzzled me the same way but the road from a ‘Nobody’ to being a SoMite was something that made certain difference. Certainly, Today is different.

Let me float back, I thought....Those rigorous sessions, life-threatening assignments ad night-outs that made the clock tick faster and made hours paradoxically longer! Everything around seemed to move in a constant tizzy; I was a part of it too. The giant bats on the trees and the killer reptiles on the ground became my alibi. The land of insomnia was uncommonly generous on me.  Loop: Classes, Dikshas, Assignments, Continuums, Project: End Loop. (And I thought all these days the programmer died inside me!)  But those late night nuisance from your neighbor, the birthday bumps, the innumerable small chitchats, mimicking each other, pulling each others’ legs, occasional laughter became the much needed palliative.  Every day, it was a race against time and the medal was ‘a good placement’. Days turned into months, months into a year but the incessant rain of Mumbai seemed the truest companion we had for the most part. Today the clouds above formed thin patches; today it wasn't gloomy enough to vomit raindrops. Today it seemed quiet, forlorn. Today is different.

I by the lake side balcony could well sense the redolence around. The time travel went on and on.....One year down the line and we were ready to wear the Crown (of the Campus). Hostel 12 was full of independence, introspection and hard work. The routine remained the same, the source of motivation changed; after all, the case study competitions were round the corner. Routine: Group-discuss- slog-qualify-lose in the end-repeat; Venue:  A-216 / A-208. Surprisingly, that is how my romance with this corner of the A wing started in spite of having a room in the D wing , as I spent most of the small breaks here, philosophizing!    Life never felt so good....Then came placements. Rejections, rejoices, heart-breaks, laughter, broken dreams, renewed vigor followed. Once again, life gave an immensely intense opportunity to feel good or bad for others, to rejoice because someone had raised the bar for everyone else, to empathize because you had to make someone else believe in their dreams even when everything was falling apart, because you knew when time came that ‘someone’ would do the same for you, always....because anyways you couldn't have done otherwise! We stood side by side. Friendship never had been better. Today, sadly the time has come to go apart. Today is strife with uncertainties. Today we are poised to say good bye. Today I feel uncomfortable standing here. Today is different and I so very wish it were not so.....

"It was the best of times it was the worst of times....
The journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride and needless to say there are tons of memories to last an entire lifetime...
The big failures and even bigger successes...
The tears and the smiles...
The love lost and the one found...
The friends who left and those who chose to stay...
As I said...It was the best of times it was the worst of times...."

written by,

Abhishek Banerjee



  1. Amazingly written Abhishek.. Brings back those old memories.. A similar article last year written by me is no way close to ur superior work.. U have captured the emotions with words that echo far deep into the soul..
    As always, a big fan of ur work!!

    1. Please are being so very humble...your range of topics and detailing is something that would never happen to me...I can never write so effortlessly and so frequently on so many things that you fact I find myself repetitive....but anyway, thanks a lot...I think the nostalgia is something we would both share always...:-)

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