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Memoir: With love, Rathi.

June 7, 2019
- Aditya Rathi

Dear Roorkee,

I never really wanted you to be a part of my life. Four years ago, I remember feeling like I had no other option except you - like I had to settle for you. You were never my first choice. You just didn’t feel like home. However, out of sheer helplessness, I gave you a chance.

Ever since, we’ve had a love-hate relationship, you and I. Time and again, you kept giving me numerous reasons to dislike you, and yet, moving on from you seems emptying. Over time, I am sure you’ve heard me (through muffled cries and unrestrained rants) swear at you and curse you. So instead of just reminding you (and in the process, myself) about it all, I’ll try to tell you why, with all your vices, you’ll still be a story I’ll recall with happiness.

I’d like to thank you..

..for throwing untimely challenges at me and messing my sleep-cycle up. I learned to love both the tranquility of the night and the chaos of the day. I saw sunsets half-asleep and sunrises wide-awake.

..for making me miserably lonely with seemingly no place to go. I ended up in conversations with Bittu-bhaiya while I waited for my cup of tea.

..for reminding me how rare second chances are. It made me opportunistic on my good days and hopeful on my bad ones. I started being grateful for when fresh starts were given to me, even though I learned to never seek them actively.

..for letting me be stupid enough to rest my fate at the outcomes of coin-tosses.

..for embarrassingly short and unsuccessful interviews. It humbled me. It made me want to work harder.

..for panic-induced blackouts, ill-tempered anxiety attacks, and unwelcome bouts of depression. It made me compassionate enough to try and help people who needed me when I was doing well. It made me humane.

..for uncertain situations and confusing choices which demanded prompt action. On one hand, it coaxed me into being civil to the ones that came to me for advice and mentorship, and on the other, made me accept the consequences of and live with my decisions.

..for a fair share of both heartbreaks and joy. It made me resilient and faithful, and gave me regular reminders of and (necessary) testaments to the tenacity of the human heart.

..for the monotony disguised as the food in the mess. It made me miss home-cooked meals.

..for putting me in uncomfortably painful situations. It trained my brain to resort to my defence mechanisms more smoothly. I started finding jokes swiftly enough to normalise a lot of problems I’d otherwise be miserable about.

..for making me acutely dependent. It helped me gain modesty and learn to ask for help.

..for making me insecure, vulnerable, volatile and fearful. It made me look deeper into myself. It made me realise how beautiful (but fleeting) moments free of these emotions were, and led me to appreciate them to the fullest.

..for keeping me away from my family for months at a stretch. I ended up finding a family for myself right here.


Four years ago, I gave you a chance. Thank you for not letting me down.

With love, Rathi.