The Barista outlet at Vasant Vihar was one of the most frequented hang-outs when Yashik was in Dun over the summer. I wasn’t very surprised when he asked me to take a photograph of the place.
Walking in the alleys of the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. This was clicked by Yashik.
This is one of my favourite snaps for a variety of reasons. It has Yashik walking towards my house when he had come to visit Dun. I can say that the picture was captured at the right time.
That thing about purpose
“There is no escaping reason, no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose we would not exist.”
-Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, The Matrix Reloaded
There is no proper reason as to why I am writing this today. Today was a special day for me, a special day in a very weird sort of a way. It was on this very day last year that I left Hyderabad, a city that I had lived in for six long years, six years in which I loved and hated the city, both at the same time. A fact that still remains is that I miss the city, something that will probably remain as constant as the value of Avogadro’s number.
Now, as I write this, my Tumblarity is at an all-time low. Basically, if you are a Tumblr user, then, the Tumblarity score shows your statistics viz. your follower count, the number of posts you have made, you number of likes and reblogs, and the kinds of posts you make. The Tumblarity score is derived from some private algorithm involving a combination of these numbers. To make matters worse there are global and local leader boards based on your Tumblarity. Frankly speaking, I am not bothered how this post is going to affect my Tumblarity. Writing this is not only a mere formality, there is a little more to it.
When I woke up this morning, I had almost forgotten what day it was today. Only while I was bathing did I remember the date and the memories flushed my brain. Ah, nostalgia! The feeling is so bittersweet! Not delaying things, I rushed to class where students were there to ask a few of their last minute doubts for tomorrow’s entrance test to become part of the first batch of the National Law University, Cuttack (NLU- Orissa.) After the class, I roamed about a bit, grabbed a bite, sat at a bookshop and then headed for a drink to the Doon Regency’s bar instead of Prez, my usual drinking joint. I had gone to this place a couple of times when Yashik was here and it was just the second time I was going there after he had left. I ordered my drink and sat down, wondering about how the past year had passed and how I somehow managed to drag myself along. Nothing seemed to have changed for that moment, not even after I was five pegs of Rum down. Yes, there were many changes for good in the time that Yashik was here but there seemed to be something amiss. When I felt that I had consumed enough liquor, I left the place and had a couple of ice-creams before heading for home, where I had a bath which was followed by dinner. During all this time, I was wondering about something, something positive, maybe a little too positive. In fact, I had also thought about the same thing for a while after Yashik’s trip ended. Because of Yashik’s trip, I don’t miss Hyderabad as much as I used to and that is a very good thing because it helps me stay in control. If I were to miss the place the same way I did for the first few months after leaving, then I would have become a wreck, and that is certainly not what I would have wanted.
I am very much relieved to have gotten rid of most issues I faced in Gandhinagar due to my dilemma over which place to refer to as “home.” It wouldn’t be very honest to say that I don’t have issues with anything anymore, so I shall refrain from doing that. I am sure that you will agree that personal development is the need of the hour. I mean, come on, isn’t it time that I actually thought about myself? This personal development includes various aspects and requires a lot of patience as it will take a considerable amount of time, which, unfortunately is very difficult for me to assign as I spend eight months of the year in Gandhinagar and the remaining four months will be spent interning or catching-up with people outside GNLU. It will become very difficult to find time only for myself in these four months and that is a pity. If I keep doing what others say, it may become a problem for me, even if I may want to actually do what they want me to do. However, I feel that there is nothing more than personal development, at least at this stage of my life, in fact anyone’s life. Hence, for those of you who want me to schedule a regular trip to Hyderabad, I am extremely sorry to disappoint as I may have to overlook that very thing, despite wanting to make the trip myself. That doesn’t mean that I won’t come down, nor does it mean that I will not do so soon. It is just that there are more important things to think about. That is all I want to say. I hope people shall understand the true worth of my thoughts, as all this is for a purpose.
Riding The Wave
About a year ago, I was getting responses to a letter that I had written a couple of days back. It was more of a long note than a letter and it was to inform a number of people that I was to leave the city of Hyderabad in a week. The reactions of those who read the letter were on expected lines as most of them were shocked because I had told them what I had to at such short notice. That letter, as most of you know, was called “The End of the Ride.” A little over six months after that, I wrote an epilogue to the letter and this was put up on a public forum. It was titled “A Series of Fortunately Unfortunate Events” and was all about how I was trying to adjust to places and how I still missed Hyderabad.
On June 6 this year, when I was thinking about the situation in which “The End of the Ride” was written, I wondered why I was not able to tell people that I was leaving the city and instead had to end up writing a letter to inform the same.
A year later, many things have changed or as I would like to say, evolved. However, there hasn’t been much change in the approach that I have towards things in general. The only difference is probably that I am a little less vocal about my opinion now as I have almost accepted that it is all in the mind, something which I constantly told Yashik when he was with me in Dehradun.
Yashik’s visit to Dehradun was a very enriching experience for me as it helped me get rid of many scars from the past, especially ones that had cropped up over the past year. One of the statements which he made about me during one of our many discussions took me off guard- he felt that I had become more open, something which may actually be a good thing. On a lighter vein, Yashik also managed to find time to teach me chess while we were at Mussoorie! Yashik’s visit was the perfect opportunity to get rid of the grief and pain that I faced after I left Hyderabad and now I am at peace with myself. Life hasn’t been this good in a long time and for this I am not only indebted to him but also to all the others who contributed in some way or the other.
While he was here, Yashik had one query that I couldn’t answer and it was obviously something to do with why I had to resort to writing a farewell letter last year. There are many reasons for this and some of them need not be understood by everyone. If you look at the number of people I thanked in that letter, you will notice that it is quite a number of people and informing all of them in person would not have been very easy. Some have said that I should have at least informed my closest friends and they are right; there is no doubt about that. It is just that I couldn’t gather enough courage to go and tell them that I was leaving Hyderabad. The letter was written at short notice as it was already too late. However, I did try giving many hints to all those who mattered, it is just that they didn’t pay much attention to detail. Lalita and Vishnu knew about this at least two weeks before the others got to know. This was because they were the only people who were expected to give a mature reaction, something which can’t be said about the others. These two may behave like children in public but when it comes to understanding things by taking them into perspective, there isn’t quite anyone like them.
So, here I am, a year later, writing this as a mere formality and for a reason I can’t seem to figure out. All that has happened has been put behind and all that I seek is a fresh start, something which will help me over the coming years in the course of the law school grind. The other day someone from the Uni had called and she said that I had never sounded this calm and satisfied in Gandhinagar, a place where people relish their experiments with society. Dun as a place helped me a lot although there isn’t much to do here. All I do here is sit and laze around, read, write, take long walks, have a drink once in a while and take photographs of random things. Then there are the nice feel-good family conversations and a few healthy arguments. All this has helped make Dun a rather satisfying experience for me. Though I have a few friends here I still feel that the best company that I can have is my own self, the person that knows me best as it is nothing but a part of me.
Now, after the end of the ride in the City of Pearls, I am riding the wave of hope and happiness with renewed vigour. Like all waves, this wave is dangerous too but then what is life without risks? After all, I may just end up finding a pearl or two in the sea of humanity!