By Joybrato Dutta
What is it about college that we love the most? Education? Women? Strangers? Or is it the sense of power that suddenly gets bestowed on us. The power to handle situations. The power to stay unshackled. The power to write our destiny.
This post is not about preaching the philosophies of life, nor is it about a moment of reminiscence after gulping a few shots. This is about mourning the death of my hero. The hero within me. Who was brutally murdered by maturity, responsibility and EMI.
The ‘bring it on’ attitude during college days inspired me to win, to beat the opposition mercilessly. Today, it quietly whispers ‘Survive’ in my ears.
Hostel life was all about being a strong bond. There was a reason day-boarders didn’t mess with hostelites. There was a reason day-boarders never dared to sit on a chair which had ‘H’ inscribed on it. Such a strong bond comes from trust. People say it takes a lot of time to build trust. But in hostel it’s different. It’s almost like it’s written on their faces that you can trust them. And of course after seeing each other naked for a year you can trust each other with your life. (Is that why a man trusts his wife? Sorry I got digressed)
Fearlessness is another quality that strengthens the bond. The biggest challenges – the Warden, the Dean, the HOD, the nerdy day-boarder who does not believe in the term ‘mass bunk’, the seductive vamp who invariably tries to loosen the bond, can be dealt easily. Of course the seductive vamp problem is dealt differently.
College taught us to be fearless. Fuck logic, fuck ethics. Just be fearless. Just support your friend. Precisely, why I could go watch a movie with my girlfriend during weekdays, because there was a fearless friend ready to give proxy. Precisely, why I could spend all my money on a stupid gift, because a friend will always give me the money to recharge my SIM card.
We never cared that we could be expelled. With exams round the corner we would still bunk college and go out for trips. We didn’t have the fear of empty wallets. Yes those were the days we did things we felt like.
Today, I have a job. I stay in an apartment in Mumbai where the rent is more than what my pocket-money used to be. I have narrowed down my objectives to that one dream. To achieve that I need money.
There have been times I felt like reacting with as much anger I had then. But today I am scared. Scared of losing my job, scared of not being able to pay my rent, scared of not being able to pay my EMIs.
Ya, post college we all get a make-over.
Today that bond hasn’t weakened but we all do have second thoughts. Today most of us have shouldered one family-responsibility at least. A lot of us have to repay the education loan.
Today we have learnt to take a lot of shit. We’ve learnt to bow heads. We’ve learnt to compromise, to lose, which often is the self respect. Today I feel I am no different from that ass-licking nerdy I hated during college.
We all have a role model. A hero, who inspires us, teaches us to overcome hurdles, gives us the strength to believe in a second chance and to stand up for it. A hero who teaches us to fight for what we believe.