After a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious school life, I chose to go to a college that is radical and mainly, far from my home; and all the tapori school friends. I had to get out of that well and explore a different universe. Luckily, I got a good percentage; at least I thought so. I was lucky to get admission into one of the most popular colleges of South Mumbai—Jai Hind College—after my name was last in the last list.
The first day of college was exciting as a group of girls—from a senior class—tried to rag me, but in vain. In fact, we even became friends after that. Ragging wasn’t the thing that worked on a boy who came from such a place in the city but I enjoyed the attempt.
First-year junior college was the best time of my college life. I made many new friends, and especially, my first female friend—Monaaz. Our conversation was something like this; after the initial introduction:
Where do you live?
Where is that?
I have never heard about it.
It’s far but in the northern part of the city.
Oh sorry, I know only about the South part.
I realized, for the first time in life, that people in the South don’t know much about the city and I was like an alien to many of my peers. Maybe it was my clothing style, maybe my language, I don’t know but something was surely odd about me but I blended well eventually.
I also had many false assumptions and misconceptions about the people from the South of the city that got cleared within a few weeks. They were nothing like what I have heard all my life, in fact completely opposite—warm and friendly. Rest of the college life was full of fun and frolic—I made a friend—Pritam—who lived in love-lane, a friend who had his own car, a friend who had his own mobile phone.
Recently, thanks to technology—and Puneet—I had an opportunity to be a part of a WhatsApp group that has many of my batch mates. I am so happy that we could connect again and finally meet after 18 years. All of the credit for this reunion goes to the loving-kind organizers—Vipul, Samir, and Ranka.
Although, I had met some of them personally, meeting so many at one time was one of the most beautiful things that have happened to me in life.
As I am writing, I am remembered the white slam-shirt I wore on the last day of the first year of junior college. I took the autographs of all my friends on the shirt.
Gosh! It’s all coming one-by-one. it’s nostalgic and I am almost in tears; of joy and true happiness.
I met Puneet, Hardik, Hitesh, Kalpana, Komal, Bhavika, Rinku and Mukesh who were my first set of friends in college life. Suddenly, the missing colors have been added to my rainbow. The jigsaw of my life looks almost complete now; only a few pieces left.
BTW, my rainbow is 16-bit and has 65,536 colors!
I met one special couple—Nimesh and Neelam. They were lovers in college and they concluded their relationship in a successful marriage. I had been searching for a story of successful college love stories for some time now, and I am so fortunate to find one. I am going to meet them soon to hear their story and write a nice blog post soon.
We met with the same energy as we used to meet in college. Looks like the past is just one day behind. It seems that college life has just ended or maybe not—it’s still on. Everything comes in front of my eyes like a feature film.
Long lost friends are now a click away—many are in foreign countries but technology plus love has conquered distance, won hearts and healed all wounds.