The days are flying by in a tempo that’s equally rapid and tired. The mornings come and go and every day is spent at the same desk studying for the same test, the same exam, ready the same chapters over again just to make sure; what if I’d missed something. Let’s make coffee, let’s go for a walk, let’s cook together.
Let’s just forget that we’re sitting like cows in a barn waiting to get slaughtered.
We’re all next to each other. We see the same struggles in each others eyes; the same fears of inadequacy. It’s finally here; here’s to finals.
April came with the beauty of spring paired with the intensity of Indian summer. As if the entire subcontinent holds its’ breath before the storm arrives, yet a storm that I won’t get to see.
In 10 days I’m done, but what is next? Everyone’s focusing on the next obstacle in their lives, as if it was rested on rails for them; always another test, another class, another submission, another school, another degree, another job, another life.
Yet I’m not; I’m copping out.
The next year will be as daunting as it will be exciting. I hate the term gap year, as it indicates that all it is is a gap before I get back on track. What if I don’t care about Ivies, GPA’s, and varsity teams? Where can I go then?
I was just booking my flight tickets home and was deciding upon where to depart from. Wield your weapon, pick your choice. I’ve always Imagined the feeling of leaving Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s emigration queues behind for a final time. The thought of passing through the beautiful cosmopolitan hub of an airport, slammed in the middle of Mumbai’s largest slum would summarise my experience of India; the country of opposites.
Because India is not just a country of overpowering poverty, it is also a country of disgusting wealth. Beautiful nature and concrete jungle. Rolling mountains and ferocious seas; India has it all.
Learning to love India is learning to see past its’ imperfections; to fall in love with its’ inadequacy. India is not the land of dancing, festivals, and flavours that we’re taught in the Orientalist West. India is the workaholic always catching up, the runner catching their breath, the dancer who only just sticks the landing. It’s like this every single day. India is the literal mover of mountains whenever it blows them down, the cultural heresy towards legacy when you see the Coca-Cola advert in front of the landmark, the sleeping giant that hustles through every day just to make it before dawn. It is a marvel that this country doesn’t implode every single day. It is a wonder how it works.
And what a time it has been. Hidden away in my little alcove named MUWCI, shielded from the intensity of this country; like an embassy of calm in the middle of the storm.
Thanks for the trips, the mountains, the summit attempts,
the bike crashes, the nights in Paud, the days in Pune,
Thanks for the hanging out of jeeps, the long drives and conversations
the scars on my body, and the soul, that will forever be the memories I earned
although you were all grown up already,
i still feel like I grew up with you