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An Ordinary Life

August 7, 2020
- Nipun Vashistha

When I took up this job of writing a memoir, I honestly did not have any clue what I was going to write, and I am still struggling in my head to recollect as I write this. It is not that I do not have any memories of the last five years at Roorkee, or that it was not an eventful place to be. Infact, probably, there are just too many of them that I am not able to pick a few out of them to share with you. If you ask anyone how their college stint was, they might say it was too good, amazing, brilliant, extraordinary or maybe those with contrasting views saying it was competitive, overrated, and/or depressing. If you ask me how it was, it was ordinary. It was a series of ordinary days in the campus with your mates, waking up to find you have already missed the mess lunch timings and a few classes, having a love-hate relationship with mess and canteen food, looking at the same beautiful sunset everyday, getting excited about idea of getting an ice-cream sandwich, having a debate on ideas that would seem nonsensical to some, obsessing over a new Netflix series every month, cracking the same inside joke over and over again, walking in the campus for eternities observing the weird placement of trees in the campus, and ending your day just looking at the flickering stars in the night. It is interesting that as I write, I realise how there are so many things which makes up an ordinary day.

It is not that there were not days which were really eventful, when you go out and meet a lot of people, learn a bunch of new things, feel so full of life. In fact, I used to take part in a good deal of college activities and events, made a lot of friends that way, and it used to be a very exciting and great learning experience as well. You feel like you can do anything, you feel like cycling down the library slope, you feel like going on that trek you always wanted to, you feel like staying up all night for that dream job, you feel like working hard for that next start-up idea, you feel like jamming all night till you lose your breath, you feel like staying up all night with your friends and partying, you feel like finding the love of your life, you feel infinite and euphoric. And there were also days when everything seemed doomed, days when you feel like giving up on everything, days when you tell yourself that tomorrow will be a good day but it does not turn out to be, days when you ghost on all your friends. There are just so many ideas and ideologies moving around in college, that the journey of searching for a meaning might leave you in a place where you just end up feeling lost. In the second half of college, after the post JEE hangover was completely gone and I finally started to look at things as they were, I was so overwhelmed with different schools of thoughts that, first, I was impressed by the very existence of these different ideologies, I was impressed that I get to be around people who aspire to bring a change in the nation, or people who want to be literary geniuses, or people who feel for art as it is their life, or people who want to join the line of changing the world by a technological revolution. But in the end, after I peeked into all of those different paths and possibilities, I only found myself more lost than ever. Then one fine day, a guy who was referred to as ‘danger’ in my first year (trust me, he is one of the sweetest human beings I had the pleasure to know in college shoutout!), we were talking and I found a little life lesson between our conversation that ‘You gotta try, you will only know if you want to do it or not once you give yourself in and give it a try’. I guess that has encouraged me a little over the years to do things and not panic. I guess nobody has any answers for you except yourself. College seems like a pretty difficult place if you find yourself stuck in the loop of doomed days. But what better time than college to be lost?

Now the thing is, these exciting moments and the days in search for something, they were only the peak moments and I feel it is unfair to just remember or describe your college days based on the peak moments and leaving out the ordinary ones, because that would be like painting a beautiful incomplete picture, or making a really catchy song with only beats in it. And perhaps, wouldn’t it be just unfair to not speak about all of those days which were just okay?

As nostalgic and good college days and these memoirs sound like, in reality, it was a fair share of happy, really sad and ordinary days. But I still find myself cherishing that evening sunset outside my room the most. And when I look back, I realise that in some magical way, every single day that I have lived is now a part of me. My choices and dreams are not just impressions of the grand moments of my life but also of my everyday musings.

वक़्त को आते न जाते न गुज़रते देखा, जमा होते हुए देखा मगर उसको मैंने - गुलज़ार