For nearly a month now, there was this desire to go back to the campus one last time. Though I had very happily left that place longing to get this independence and taste my freedom, something did nudge me to go visit my campus one last time. Meet all those people I won’t meet for a long time now and others whom I missed last semester. Meeting teachers was also on the agenda, to thank them for being with me through the onerous task of applying to foreign universities. But things seldom go as smoothly as planned. The tinge of drama only makes it a sweeter memory.
So, the tickets were booked, the reservations made, the parents approval sought (after much effort) , boss’s permission taken and I was all set to begin my journey. Late at night, when I was clarifying the details about the new rules regarding visitor’s entry or a PS2 student’s entry into the campus, one of my friends declared that an official permission was needed to enter the campus. The others had no idea. It was too late to get one now and my heart sank. I cancelled my tickets with tears in my eyes, not knowing why the cosmos was conspiring against me.
Totally put off by the nights events, I slept late next morning, skipped office, missed breakfast, slept some more and then was awakened rudely by a phone call late afternoon. Apparently, there wasn’t any trouble at the gates to get permission and also my mom had reluctantly agreed to let me go. Initially hesitant to get going, I realized perhaps the Gods had taken pity on me. I called up another friend who was leaving for Goa, packed my bags in 2 minutes and left. Bus-tickets were bought, reservations made and my friends were informed. One hour later, I was sitting in an air-conditioned bus to Goa!
It was a familiar journey and I was unable to sleep due to the excitement. As the familiar terrain of coconut trees interspersed with whisky shops and bars went past, it somehow felt like a homecoming. As the humid, moist air hit me with the stench of freshly caught fish at the Panjim bus-stand and we took the shuttle to vasco, the names, the places everything brought back a rush of memories. I was excited to go back to campus. My home away from home.
As Prachi’s familiar face greeted me at the gate, I felt ecstatic. I signed in as a visitor and basked in the hot sea-breeze as we realized on our walk back to the hostel, how long it had actually been since we had met. The familiar lawns with the irrigating, fertile (read smelly) recycled water sprinklers, the bright sunlight and the majestic B-dome makes it a sight worth capturing in your mind forever.I watched the trickle of students entering the B-dome, a few others arm-in-arm with their friends, others sitting under the fan in the mess sipping their cups of tea leisurely and the laidback,pollution-free,serene surroundings amd smiled to myself. I never thought I would miss this place so much.
But I sure as hell did.
(To be contd.)