Yesterday, my dad’s friend’s granddaughter had come home for dinner. She had taken admission in the nearby Amity University. Her father had come to admit her into the college, and settle her in the PG accommodation.
There was an unmistakable twinkle in her eye. This was a golden opportunity no less. An time to spend away from family, make new friends, explore different cultures and places... it is a thrill to live in a hostel, be in college and be whoever you want to be.
And as her father was busy listing all the things he yet had to equip his daughter to be able to function fully on her own, and how he was happy that she wasn’t in the hostel, I could not help but remember how my parents, terror-struck parents, had flown with me to Pune, to drop me off at my college. Symbiosis. And settle me in the hostel. They had waited at the office of the hostel in-charge right through lunch, just to ensure that their daughter gets a place in the nearly full hostel. Ground floor or third? Third, obviously. An accommodation in the ground floor brings about many problems. Mosquitoes, for one. And that’s how I got room no 330. I love that room to bits. And my hallowed corner. Near the huge window. Where I hardly got any view, but atleast it let in loads of natural light.
My parents shopped around in Viman Nagar for my buckets (I needed atleast two different sizes), mugs, soap (powder and bar), hangers, blanket, pillow (so she says, but I don’t remember at all!), biscuits, boxes of varying sizes, and much more. And as they bade goodbye, my mum did have tears in her eyes, but I had none. I was felt at home for once. For once, I was in my element. I still remember that evening I had made my first friend in college, AJ. And met up with others too. And slowly but surely, I grew on to love those three years of my life. Three years of hostel life. From sliding down stairs lying face down on mattresses, to knocking on other’s doors in the dead of night to spook them out, from living out of friend’s rooms and pantries, to celebrating birthdays and bringing down the house at two in the night. I wish I could go back. Back to being 18 and stupid, trying to wash clothes to the best of my abilities and making and unmaking the bef with religious dedication. I want to go back to those days.