College, The journey.

Since I’ve spent exactly 24 hours in my PG room (since my awesome-mest college doesn’t have hostels) 
I’ve realised I look forward to just a certain things in the day.

Least of all is waking up. After an all nighter (of Facebook, or for the rest; reading books or s-t-u-d-i-e-s), waking up is a herculean task. The alarm goes off *TeeTeeTeeTeeeee* and we
 squint open one eye ‘somehow’ to see what time it is, only to calculate how long we’ve ‘
slept so that we can judge IF college is worth giving up on sleep. 

And trust me, nothing beats going back to sleep after the one-eyed-squint when it’s a Sunday. NOTHING. 
That arm goes up slo-oooo-wly and shuts off the alarm: Bliss. 😀

The one part I personally look forward to is dressing up. Believe you me, it aint easy to be appropriately dressed for *this* college. Ever. If you doll up too much, you’re a blonde or worse, a slut. If you go de-glam for days at end, you’re labelled as Not bothered or 
Nerdy or some other god forsaken thing.
It’s gotta be a delicate balance of lip gloss and just a tad of hair tugged out (or in); and the last thing to do is look at yourself in the mirror, if you have any that is, and say- 
Whatever I wear, I look good. 
Clothes don’t make you girl, you make the clothes.

So, after waking up, you bathe (another thing i hate doing at times, another battle to be won within the stipulated time- it takes TOO much time), then dress up. 
Gosh, the uniform’s waAAy better. At times, only though.

So, bath-check, dress/ attire- check.
Next up- The humiliation or Confidence to walk down the classroom corridors and aisles as teachers, seniors, staff, sub staff, batch-mates stare. Much less stare, almost ogle. 
Looking up, then down and then at your torso; as if to judge if you actually originate from the very same solar system, let alone this planet. 
Hair, nails, flab, shoes… My god. 
And they say ‘Ragging is prohibited’?

Here, I should mention, I probably am the only one in my college who wears tees and jeans at a regular basis. Medical being medical and Burdwan being, oh well, what it is,
 I am *not allowed to wear jeans till me Freshers* 😐
So, I have to be almost aunty-like a suave, possibly hot aunty, and go to college…walk down to college, which itself is 5 whole freakin’ minutes away from where i stay. So I go ‘Toink toink’ in my Salwar Kameez and Keetos (Puma) and sit glumly in the *second* bench.

No, I don’t mind being one of the first few. FYI, profs don’t question the ones who sit in front. In hindsight, the front benchers only remain ‘smart’ till the backbenchers don’t start  questioning 😛

So, second bench under my arms, I look around to see if even ONE person was worth befriending. Yes, I was a little snooty initially cuz I had this whole I-am-from-Kolkata-so-they-wont-mix-with-me attitude. But hell, no. Everyone likes me now! 
The girls, cuz i smile a lot, talk a lot and because they can laugh at me when I don’t understand tough difficult Bengali words  (Tarun, Binoy– they’re more names than words!).
And cuz I introduce them to guys (mainly, the latter is responsible for them being with me)

And the guys, well, obvious reasons. [I flatter myself]
Here, I must mention, I have been exposed to some really weird, but really cute methods of flirting. I never knew corny lines existed in real life as well!

Yes, I was, at first the only girl who spoke to everyone, no inhibitions. EVERYONE.

And then I was assigned my Roll number for the next FIVE yrs of my life.

*Drum roll*

Guess what? 

I am Roll no. 1. :/
God? Do you even exist? 

Don’t you know how mortifying-ly difficult it is for a Roll no. ONE to get a proxy?

No one-understands-me, 
::Stomps foot and runs away::

Oh, and classes begin.
Attendance taken, embarrassment hidden, I painstakingly take down meticulous notes. Always the same, I treat the demon head on, only to come out hungry, dizzy and did i say hungry?

Next up, Lunch time. The one happy moment during school, oops, college hours.
The glorious, oily food never seems tastier. The water-cum-dal, the sabji with more chillies than chilly itself, the pickles, the rice– one word: Yummy.
Though not really. I have to run to shit most of the times as soon as I reach home cuz the chillies burn right through my G.I Tract.
(Aah, yes, I luurve using big scinetific terms which few people understand)

After lunch, is the Adda session where, while waiting for our profs (who are always ‘just’ late), we catch up, flirt, wink, laugh, scold, share notes (rarely), flirt again, exchange numbers and memorise the 99 new names we’re thrown into! 
But it’s fun, and totally worth it.

Did I mention I have to wake up at 6am to take a BUS from Esplanade to reach Burdwan on time? Six. I mean, SIX?! And then the bus-walla keeps honking the horn as
 if it was made solely to please his half-deaf ears. 
I cant even sleep there *sniff sniff*

Okay, so after lunch, the class is basically meant for sleeping, thanks to the above mentioned, healthy routine of waking up early. But, NO. I am meticulous. 
And a second-bencher. I-just-cant-sleep-off. :/
I contradict myself too much, na?

Drowsy yet alive, I escape the shackles of the classroom and rush for fresh air. 
Instead, I am dragged into the dissection hall with 4 dead bodies, 
or Cadavers, lying face up, stinking. 
Aaaaa.
Dissection is THE most gruesome part of 1st year med. 
And THE most amazing part as well.

*toing* 
I see a boy faint as the teacher starts explaining “The Scapula is divided into two by the…..”
This is pretty regular by now. And mind you, more guys faint. Girls are strong 😀

10am to 4pm. Classes done; we all (100 students) walk down to our respective accommodations. Home Sweet Home.

One thing is, while living alone, you learn how to live dirty– 
with dhool mail and cockroaches.

I only return home to hog some more on food (Mom-made cakes!) 
and rush out to buy milk and bread.

Then it hit me: Mom used to do this for me, she used to do that for me. 
And i break down-crying. This is normal right.. Or is it retarded to cry?

I sulk back into my bed, complete with pillows and a bolster, again, arranged for by Mamma. 😦
*i miss her i miss her i miss her and dad as well*

I get a hold of myself. Call up Nidhi, talk it out- without letting her know that I’m upset. 
Mission Accomplished. 
I already feel better. I eat some more Cakes and drift off to sleep.

***
Wake up. 
Study-Anatomy of the Dental Enamel. 
Eat dinner (yay! more oily glory but this time with chana and chilly *smack*)

Go Facebook some more.

Goodnight people. I have a busy day to repeat tomorrow. So much to learn, to fight about, to talk through, to like, dislike, flirt, memorise names..

College is unique.
No wonder they say- School is home. Outside it’s a big bad beautiful world.
😀
“Listen, it’s Dr. Sweta”

The Cup of Alone

This is poem is about two best friends. A boy and a girl. 
The girl is very successful in life- with a lot of material pleasure, fame and fortune. 
The boy, however, is not successful professionally, but is doing something that he likes, is passionate about. 
Being a best friend, he can’t be upset or even jealous of the other’s success. 
They’re far away from each other, yet together… and this is the emotional expression 
of the guilt related to jealousy and how this emotion needs to be concealed for them to be friends, forever…





I sit at a distance, brewing in the togetherness of alone.

Bubbling with the guarantee of my destiny unknown.
While you stand and stare at your blissful solitude.

I savour in the bitterness of fame and fortune.
Burnt in the pain of accepting doom.
While you recollect the sweet taste of luck.

A drop of sun peels into my tea, some light!
Photograph memories flashback to my mind.
While both you and I look at the same night sky, the same moon.

There were days of surprises, each with Life as its gift.
I’m still planning on something, just look out for it.
While you and I sit back and breathe, together, a thousand breaths away.

There were nights with a hundred conversations, each with a dream anew.
I’m still there, right beside you.
While we smile at the same thoughts, a thousand dreams away.

I look into my browned reflection and choke a tear.
Scattered, lie, the pages of fate and fear.
While you toast to pride and life itself.

Clouds reassemble in my backyard before being gone.
I sip a broken sorrow from the cup of togetherness, alone.
While you and I live on the same earth, under the vast sky,
With the same hope of togetherness.

Stars or just a single Moon?

“It’s the moon.”

“What’s the moon?”

“That. That’s the moon”

“Sweetheart, that’s not the moon. 
It’s a cloud.”

“No. The glow is the moon.”

“It’s a star.”

“I’m telling you mom, it’s the moon.”

They sat in the plane and kept arguing, both mother and daughter peering into the 
window while the rest of the mortals on the plane were busy dreaming 
in the REM cycle. Maya always looked out into the sky when 
she travelled by air. She felt that she was seeing a side of 
the sky which she rarely ever saw- which always changed from 
the last time she saw it. She saw the belly of the clouds that
 rained on her; she saw the gurgle of the fluff which smiled at her… 
This was her first ever over-night flight.

“The moon has a mark, then why is it beautiful?”
“That’s because it doesn’t believe that it has a scar.”
“But why? Is it not good to be aware of ones shortcomings?”
“Yes, but we shouldn’t let it over power our sense of belief and beauty dear.”

Maya slumped back, not too convinced by the answer 
her mom gave. She was sleepy and tired but the window kept 
luring her back to itself.  She looked at the glow again. 
Was it the moon or was mom really right? 
No, it WAS the moon.

***

“Mayaaaaa!”

“Neel? Hey, what’s wrong?”

“She left me Maya, she left me and went away”

“ Rhea? Shucks, why?”

“I don’t know. She just left. Without a word. To another country.”

“But she loved you.”
“Yes.”

“And she left you.”
“Yes.”

“Did you call?”

“She left her phone. She’s going to take a new one there.”

“Where there?”

“Stupid-America, there.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why did she leave? Even I did not know.”

“Family issues”

“Oh.”

“And she left. No good-bye. No I’ll miss you.”

“Nothing?”

“No.”

“Mail her. Don’t sweat. She’ll call you when she can, trust me.”

But Rhea never called and Maya was happy that she did not. 
Neel was moving on, but not with the one she hoped he would. 
Maya was always his friend. She was never any more or any less. 
She was just one of his stars, but not his moon.

***

“Ma, why do we lose things we love?”

“We only love them after we lose them child.”

“But what if we loved them already?”

“Then your love increases after losing the thing.”

“But why do we lose them in the first place?”

“Because we don’t care much when it’s nearby.”

“And what if we do?”

“Then, we never allowed it to understand we cared. So it goes away.”

Maya wasn’t sure what her mother had replied to. Did she understand 
Maya’s reference to Neel or was her mother referring to something 
else- someone else? It was raining outside. The seatbelt sign went 
on and an announcement was made. Maya locked herself in.

***
“Aaaaa. Drive carefully Raj.”

“Hold on tight. I love you.”

“That does not give you the right to murder me!”

“Why would I do that?”

“Look in front.”

“No, I would never lose you.”

“I am more worried about me losing you, dumb-ass.”

“I am Immortal. Hahaha.”

“And I am batman.”

“Really?!”

“Shut up. Raj, drive carefully.”

“Relax babe, you’re with me. Smile!”

“I cant. You just freakin’ jumped a signal”

“Maya, wait.”

“For that, you need to stop your bike, right?”

“Oh yeah, sorry.”


“Shucks, it’s the road, why are you sitting on the road?”

“Will you, please, let me talk this time?”

“Yeah”

“Maya, we’ve been together for four years now. It’s a verylong time. 
No, very, very, very long time. I know you like I know myself.
It’s a lot, but it’s still not enough.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Maya. Shush. What we have is a lot like love but I’m not sure it is. 
I mean, I love you. Do you love me?”

“Yes, I love you. What are you talking about?!”

“Maya, then will you marry me?

“Shucks.”

“Shucks?”

“Yes I love you. I will marry you Neel. I will.”

“Neel?”
***

Maya shut the window. She did not want the moon to see her pain. She was 
tired of replaying the conversation. She was tired of analysing where
 she’d gone wrong, why she’d said Neel instead of Raj. 
She glanced at her mother;she saw her reading a book.

“Have you ever felt true love Ma?”

“Yes , I have.’

“Who was it for?”

“You”
“Me?”

“Yes, you.”

“I mean real, movie-type love…”

“True love has just one type. True love is pure.
 And the only pure love I have is for you.”

“Can we feel true love for more than one person?”

“Yes, why not. It means so much more than what you think it does?”

“It does?”

“Yes. Ever thought of it this way- turn love around and add a ‘ve’ to it.
 It becomes ‘evolve’.”

***

Maya re-opened the window. She wasn’t in pain anymore. After thirty years of life 
and one marriage later, Maya still loved Neel- True love, pure love, and infinite love. 
She smiled at her reflection on the double window. It had stopped raining
 but the plane kept jerking. The seatbelt sign remained on.

***

“I can’t take it anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s enough.”

“What is?”

“You. Your tantrums. Your entire presence in my life. It’s enough.”

“Then what do you want?”

“A divorce”

“It’s not that easy.”

“I know. I just want to be out of it.”

“Fine”

“Fine?”

“I know this is just a phase. I’ll wait for it to be over and then we’ll talk.”

“It’s not a phase.”

“We’ll see.”
Three months later, Maya was free. She walked out of it without a penny. 
She was happy. USA had made life much simpler for divorcees. 
Maya decided to go back to India. Her mom came over to help 
her make the move and that’s how Maya was on this flight.

“Ma, did I make the right decision?”

“As long as you’re happy- yes”

“I am happy. Now”

“Later?”

“I don’t know.”

“Maya, beta what happened?”

“Between him and me?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you know?”

“I just supported you through this. I know what you did, I don’t know why.”

“But I thought you knew. Why did you not stop me?”

“Do you regret it?”

“No.”

“Then I think I did fine by not stopping you.”

“But I thought you knew!”

“I asked you why.”

“I didn’t feel happy with him.”

“That’s it?”

“Is that not enough?”

“For how long were you unhappy?”

“25th March; last year”

“But you got married on 20th.”

“I did not love him.”

“That’s the real reason.”

“Maybe”

“It is.”

“If you say so, Ma”

“I know so.”
***

Maya did not respond anymore. 
She felt as if she was spiralling downward with each question her mother asked. 
She felt naked. She felt revealed. She felt exposed. 
She had hidden her love for him so well, but not from her mother.  
She loved him. She hoped he loved her. But she knew he did not.
 He did not love her even when he was her friend. He did not love her 
when he was married. Or even now, when he is alive. 
And he still lives without loving her. 
He lives without knowing her love for him. 
He lives, breathes and lives again, but he’s ignorant about 
the one true love he could have shared.
He missed out. 
Right? 

Maya knew she was the moon and not the star. But then again, he was the sky.
She knew the glow in her sky was the moon.

“It’s the moon Ma, it’s the moon”
Her mother just smiled and Maya felt like a little girl who was lying to her mother.

She knew and for the first time- agreed, 
she would always be just a star in his sky but a moon in her own.

“I’m telling you mom, it’s the moon.”