I don’t know why but my heartbeats
seem to be on an overdrive today. Perhaps it is due to this trip down memory lane.
A trip that evokes an odd degree of nostalgia and remorse, all at the same
time! Remorse for the time gone by and nostalgia of my bygone smiles, shrieks and
setbacks; quite an experience really!
It has been years since the last
time I was here. However, I can still close my eyes and make my way through it
without tripping. And that too after all these years! All these years I avoided
coming back here but finally I had to. I guess I was just waiting for the right
time to come back. So here I am, more mature and stable; a grown-up Mia as
opposed to the Mia who was here a decade ago. Still somewhere inside I am the
same young girl who once wanted to just run away from this place, a place that
she so dearly loved!
The college looks the same, more
withered really, but essentially the same. The corridors too are unchanged; enclosed
on each side by classrooms and huge gardens. The love lanes as they were called by students back then. Just the
students have changed, old ones giving way to the new every year. And a few
more scribbles on the tables and pillars have cropped up with names of new
lovebirds professing their commitment to each other for eternity. I can still
see the benches where I sat with my friends ridiculing a certain professor or
two. And there are the steps to my department which if scaled led us to the
office of our head of the department or the lion’s den as we called it those
days. The sensation is overwhelming really to come back to where it all started;
my real life so to speak.
I feel so anxious today so much so
that I just couldn’t wait till morning to be here. And now I am here standing
within the walls of a place I called home for many years. It is as if an
invisible force is trying to drag me and I just seem to have no control over
it. The Library! It was a place where I spent most of my evenings and sometimes
All of it, the stairs, the foyer,
the shelves and the sections; I know all at the back of my mind. Ten years!
Yes, it seems just like yesterday that I was here. Yet it was many years ago. Remarkable!
I was younger then, more foolish really but young nevertheless, and this was my
favourite place to be. My college library, my sacred space and my treasure
trove of memories!
It’s still the same, the same pale
blue colored double glazed door. Strange! I had walked through those doors so
many times before but never did I stop to look at it. I can just about manage
to see the foyer through it with a student or two passing by.
Memories! A rush of memories
suddenly seems to engulf me. I can see myself walking past it to collect books
for a new semester. I can see myself rushing out of it to a class that I’d
rather miss. I can see myself going through those doors with him. I can see
myself walking through the foyer up the stairs to the fiction section with him.
Yes, with Rony!
Ahh it’s been so long that I have
taken his name, even in my thoughts!
It is silly really. I was in love with
him but for him our bond was not love but just something special, a deep
rapport. He didn’t want to burden it with the nuances or the tag of a
relationship that only culminated to marriage. But that didn’t stop me from
loving him and wanting him even more. I guess love does that to you. And here I
am, ten years down the line still so much in love with him but never saying it
out loud. Avoid! That was my mantra to
cope with being away from him. I avoided thinking about him. I forbade myself
from even trying to contact him. It wasn’t difficult for once he reached the States
for perusing his masters; he just fell off the grid. Except a few snippets from
friends here and there, I never heard about him.
As I walk through these doors, I
cannot help but miss him terribly. My feet tremble as I walk up the stairs to
the Section of Shakespeare’s books. This was my temple back then where I sat
reading, writing and even thinking. Rony too loved his books; perhaps that’s
why we connected! Shakespeare’s books were like our imaginary fairy god mothers
with whom we could talk about anything under the sun!
The books still smell the same! Of history and stories divine!
There! The desk where I spent
countless hours lost with Lady Macbeth, Juliet and Othello.
And there is the desk where Rony
told me what we had was just a deep bond
not love! He left me there
heartbroken and never realized it! I could blame him, which I often did but to
no avail. I can still smell his cologne so strong is his memory. But I am here
to bury these feeling forever. I need to go away from this vortex of nostalgia
more so as he is getting married today. And what better way to do this than at
the place where we first became friends debating on one of Shakespeare’s
There! The book Macbeth!
The twirling at the edges, yellowish yet crisp pages with my note camouflaged within
its covers of my promise ‘I’ll wait
forever’. It seems just like yesterday but it wasn’t! So today I remove
along with it my attachment to you Rony; symbolic but heartfelt!
as I stand here, I let go of you Rony! I let go of you!