Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going Away

Is there a word for the sudden feeling of desolation that overcomes you when you realise you are moving on, that a phase of life has come to an end and you are beginning a new one fraught with responsibilities and cares, when you are wholly responsible for your actions, and have to leave behind a large part of your life and the people who know you well?

We had our last get-together this evening. Just five of us, because a few others couldn't make it. Which shows we're already going our own separate ways. I didn't know finishing college could feel so...unpleasant. College was never great fun. But it was something safe and familiar. Life is never going to be the same again, is it?

Homesickness is a word that I have only heard of from others and in books, and when they describe it, it seems like an experience you'd rather do without. And now it is going to become a reality. At midnight, when I'm trying to fall asleep in the dark, thoughts just come streaming into my head unbidden. The feeling of homesickness tries to push its way in even before its time; it is irrepressible, and I have to fight to keep it at bay. So do my friends. But why should I worry about it until I really have cause to be homesick? These are the last few days I have at home, and I mean to enjoy them, all the work and the preparations notwithstanding.

If I know what I'll miss most when I go away, I'll memorise those things and feelings. The scent of jasmine, the fragrance of newly moist earth, the sight of the first rays of the sun glinting on the sea? None of these is unique to home, but will always be reminiscent of it. Familiar music, the musty odour of old books, F1 races, photographs in newspapers. Everything will carry memories of home, and there is nothing I can do about it. Maybe it will be easy to summon the memories as I like and let them ease the unfamiliarity of a new place. Did I say once that I wouldn't like to have my memories bottled up (as mentioned in the book 'Rebecca')? I'm not quite sure I feel that way now. Adolescent arguments with my parents, the little hurts endured as friends came and went, unpleasant occasions...all to be left behind. Is this new phase really going to so big and important as I am making it out to be?

Four years...they have just flown by, and I remember how on the first day of college a senior student told me I seemed aloof and unfriendly. Isn't that what you are like when you don't want to be humiliated by strangers trying to make you prove your 'obedience' to them, flaunting their own cowardly inferiority complex by making you endure what they were forced to go through? I've got along fine; I made friends with the people I liked, and I get on pretty well with them. When you begin to think you're happy with life, it is time for a change. You have to accept it, you don't have a choice. It might hurt just a little, or a lot, but you have to move on. That's the only way you avoid boredom and stagnation.

I have no idea what I am trying to say. It's hard, when a large number of thoughts are racing one another madly through your head, and you have to separate them and lay them out clearly. I know there is much I want to say, yet the words refuse to come to mind. Another of the side-effects, perhaps, of a mind not calm enough to think rationally. Every single thing that I come across now seems to remind me of something. A warm, rainy evening reminds me of a day in school when my friend actually brought a blanket along, and we snuggled under it during Hindi lessons. Oh, how crazy we used to be! I would give anything to be in school again. My school, the place where I was what I wanted, and had the nicest years of my life. Now, I have to be all grown-up and responsible, take charge of my affairs to a great extent, go out among strangers! It's not fear, it's just a strange, inexplicable feeling in the pit of my stomach. How do I describe it? I know I'm failing miserably at this, but I also know there are many people out there who must have felt the same way at some point in their lives. It is now my turn, and my friends'. We talk about it- there is nothing more we can do. We'll soon drift away into our own different worlds, and probably not feel so badly as we do at the moment. It will pass. But there is quite a bit to be borne before it does.


Arun said...

gee its kinda feels bad to read this one...:(
so you have made up yer mind on where yer headed?Arent any of yer pals joining you?

Jaya S said...

Arun: Yes, there are...but it's not quite the same as being at home, is it?

Kanishkaa said...

ok, i may need some bio here! Where are u right now, what are/were u studying, what do u plan to do and where are u headed? Arun told me u're in vizag working in IT, if i heard correctly. I feel like some visa officer here :-)

Jaya S said...

Kanishkaa: You got the Vizag part right :). I've just finished my engineering exams, and I'm moving out to begin work in the IT industry...and then probably try to get out of it and buy a Formula One team ;).

Revathi said...

i wrote a very very similar post when i had to leave college and go out and fend for myself in the cruel world!!:P the responisibilities, the expectations and work will seem to crush and choke u. i always say "every person should just live life upto the age of 21 attend college and die" !!
Sigh!! college. school. they seem so surreal now!! :(
i dint mean to scare u man!! :). you will get used to it and wonder of wonders even enjoy it at times!! ;)

Jaya S said...

Revathi: Thanks for the hope :). Wouldn't it be nicer if we could, after 21, only have to read all day long?

Revathi said...

Sigh!!! you are making me all the more wistful man. Reading all day!!!!!!! Wow!!!! I went to higgin bothams yesterday and there is this lady whose work is to sit and help people pick good books, show them where all the books are and read books all day. I would give anything to have her job but sigh!! beggars cant be choosers!!

Jaya S said...

Revathi: Why don't we have a reality show that lets people swap jobs?