College memories....

It was the Indian Student gathering at the University of Houston, mainly undergrads born brought up in the US. The first few minutes she felt like a fish out of water. She was easily one of the oldest people amongst the people there. There were a few questioning glances directed towards her, it was evident she was not a grad student, she was not a undergrad, she was not old enough to be one of the kids moms. She politely ignored them and sat back, waiting and observing.

Like every student organized program, there was the usual chaos. Might be not visible to a stranger but for someone like her who was always in the organizing end it was so evident. The usual chaos. US or India, students tend to be the same. Frantic phone calls, screams and cover-ups...they did stir up memories... surprisingly the once bitter memories seemed sweet... time does it she thought..

She smiled as the gals rushed around trying to hang on to the sarees and lehangas and pointy heels and still try to look poised and elegant. She did it once too.... stopping in the loo every few minutes to look at the mirror, matching handbags, matching earrings... those were days... fun days.

Like every other student program she was a part of, this one started late amidst hoots and boos. She missed the rhythmic claps she had perfected over the years.. those claps that accompanied the chorus , "start the f*ing show"... those were days.

She sat watching gorgeous young men and women walk in, meet up friends, laugh, talk, demand compliments, pose of pictures... so familiar... so sweet.. she looked at the smiling faces, the heavily accented Hindi the drifted to her ears... she went back to the time when she did all that... the lovely memories she treasured within her she saw in front of her... Another country, younger versions of her and her friends she saw.....

The fashion show brought back memories of those days. The cat calls, the whistles, the dating couple, the infatuated guy, the jealous boyfriend, the beauty queen... so alike.. just a different people and faces she thought...

She missed the song dedications, the fishponds, the rose stalls and everything else from her college days. She hated each one of those rituals during her days in Surathkal but today she missed them. Might be it is was the carefree attitude of college she missed the most...

Getting together with old friends happens even today. But the world outside college is so different and grown-up. She plans to meet the same people she teased mercilessly a few years back at the restaurant near her house. She chooses her outfits with care, she goes through all the details about her old friends with her significant other for the nth time. She wonders idly about her friends personal lives. The parts she knew so well seemed kind of obsolete today. As they talk over chips and salsa, their conversations linger around common friends marriages, kids, mutual funds, cars and what not. Responsibility has crept inside our lives slowly. The frivolousity of youth seems so strange today. But those were days... the best days...her college days are long since over.. however hard she tries she cannot recreate that magic. In the memories she smiles and clings to them....

2 Comments:

sementi said...

True! I still have a year to go but the thought of leaving college already brings sadness! These wonderful days are hard to come by again.

Pooh! said...

Make memories in college sementi.. you'll look back to them a few years later and smile.. it is worth it!