November 20 2020, the day my Pg life started. It was new, exciting and I had so many dreams in me like any other college-going girl. Most of this ‘excitement’ part has to do with me joining a college in the city for the first time, and will need to move out for the first time, live without my parents for the first time!
As exciting as it all seemed, I always wished that I would finish my PG in my home and secretly wished for the lockdown to extend till I finished it. But, God had other plans.
We all know that the regular academic year starts from July and ends in December. But ours started in November, ended in February and by June 2021 a whole year was over. That’s it, the first year of my PG was done and dusted in my home. We had no idea what to expect. What to hope for and what to not.
After a week, by June 16, the first day of our second year started. And we were informed that soon, the offline classes could start! That took us all by shock. I hadn’t confirmed my hostel yet, I didn’t have any known friends in PG to stay with me so that I’ll still be in my bubble but damn! When God plotted my PG plan oh, did he do that very well!
July passed, August went by very quickly, then September, October flew away in a blink of an eye and then… November flashed before me. We were ordered that the students should be present in the campus by November 8th, as it is a GO. My mind was numb, as in I never wanted it to be but somehow, it was. The excitement in living by myself (no, I’m not completely independent yet ) faded away melodiously like a spring day’s song.
Days were nearing and I’m sure that I really was numb because, thinking about it I really didn’t know how it was going to be or what sort of ‘effect’ it would make in me. One good thing about it all, was that surprisingly, I did not expect anything. I jumped in blindly, like I usually do in almost every important phase of my life.
“Not expecting” or anticipating something with my hostel life has turned out to be really good. Because now I don’t have anything to regret, I don’t have anything to be “unhappy” for.
November 7 2021. The last day, which was supposed to be in my home before I move, Sunday. But I was sick. Surprise. I spent the previous day, Saturday, entirely on shopping for all the things that I needed for shifting and had eaten out. The water that I drank there must have been the problem. By Sunday, I was very unwell. I had to shift by then to get on with the classes by the next day, that is Monday. In spite of that, I moved by Monday, had a day off and resumed classes by Tuesday. When my Mum was about to leave, I cried like a baby. And that wasn’t a surprise, even to her!
The following days, the food at the hostel, atmosphere, people and the fact that I was struggling to find my space was all too overwhelming. I had four continuous days of emotional meltdown and my body did not support much, I had fever. And I finally moved to my hometown by Friday of that week. The very moment I decided to go home, the temperature went down. ( don’t laugh, I can hear you from here! )
I hadn’t had anything more than an idli or 1 dosa for almost an entire week. I did nothing but rest, rest and rest. But by Tuesday evening, I regained my strength and went out, bought all the groceries that was needed for my mother to make me my favorite “thakali bacchi” ( tomato curry ) and then I was ready to leave. By Wednesday, I happily left and had no sadness in my heart. Once my heart knew that home was not far away, my mind began coping up with it. And that was all I ever needed. When the heart and the mind are at peace, things will have to fall in the right place.
As I had mentioned earlier, this was my first time in a hostel, I’ve never lived alone or to have been in a situation where I needed to sacrifice my comfort zone. But hostel life gave me a huge storm to sail through. People, attitudes, words, jokes, perceptions were all distinct that I still find it hard to carefully interpret what people mean. But, things are getting better.
As much as I had found the bus travel odd and very off-putting earlier, I seem to slowly love it now. It’s strange how with almost 50 in a bus, I still find a space of my own. It’s almost like I travel on my own terms. It’s not that I resent human-conversation, I definitely don’t and I enjoy when innocent grannies enquire about the bus-stops whilst I myself know nothing! Honestly, I have twice got on the wrong bus and it has all ended with a anxious-laughter in my heart.
It’s the little moments that make us laugh about ourselves that stands out in these testing times. But what I learnt from this new journey is the fact that I did not expect anything from the start and so I didn’t get affected when things weren’t necessarily “good.”
Bottomline: Jump in right-away. Embrace every walk of life. It’s always the little things that matter.
With lots of love to write and ponder,