Each year towards the end of the spring semester, seniors huddle in front of the iconic, immemorial academic block at LUMS. Each year, the academic block witnessed something surreal. Students, having evaded each other’s gaze for a good part of four years, now come together, eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder and look up towards the sky. They want to get a picture taken. The camera man stands and signals on the second floor of the PDC, and almost instantly, the chantings begin. It’s a countdown. Ten…nine…eight…and just like that, the picture fails to capture the nostalgia, the depression, the ecstasy, the gloom and other innumerable feelings that hundreds of people are going through or have gone through, together. These people are all joined in unison by the colour they are celebrating. For the years they went to the same university together, they enjoyed the liberty of not dressing up in uniforms. After all, university is not like school. It is something much more special. These colours – blue, white, yellow, red, green, orange, purple and some more – are uniforms they wish they never wore. For four years, they wanted out. The sleepy 8:00 AMs, the exhausting evening classes and all-consuming stress of examinations and grading instruments: my people thought they would have it better once they leave. No heed is paid to accumulating suggestions from the batches above them repeatedly saying that good-byes are not so exciting once you come closer to them, even if they are beautiful. Why would a freshman, a sophomore or a junior occupy his mind with the end-of-days festivities? It would not make sense. Anticipation cannot do justice to the moment felt in time, and every batch lets that moment come to it at the time it is due. Today, as I look around my peers all dressed in the same colour, much like a uniform, I understand that the time has finally arrived. If you look closer, the eyes reflect a weariness, a gloom that the rest of the body is oblivious to. It has not been stirred just yet. The good-byes are dormant but they will be ceremoniously performed, and that realization is starting to dawn upon everyone.
I inject disappointment into my soul at times; to be very honest, college life hasn’t turned out as great as I expected it to be. The people are okay. I’m gradually getting to know them better now but no one has the time to really stop, and care for the intellectual, artistic aspects of life. No one seems to care about genuine creativity and learning, and more or less, we all are focused towards scraping a grade. I can’t blame us now, can I? After all, we’re paying quite a lot and we need to score good ‘to fit in‘.
Unsung thoughts, I would like to call them. With music slipping through to your ears as you enjoy the comfort of laying back in bed, earphones on, and just silently thinking and evaluating life, never ignore the grandeur of this moment; it is significant.
Often in our lives comes a point where we need an escape. There is just too much going on, and while caught in this robust flow one tends to feel a little nostalgic even over the little peculiarities that he or she once enjoyed in a relatively static moment of life. I would call that robust flow of events ‘college’. I would categorise my escape to be this very blog, because its been quite some time that I’ve actually written something, about anything.
I really don’t know what I’m going to talk about, but I’ll keep writing till this post morphs into something worth reading, and hopefully by then you’ll be there to read it through as well. But really, this isn’t for you. This is for me. This is my escape, and even though it sometime bothers me that no one would read my post, this insecurity won’t last long and this won’t matter for long. This is my space, my escape and that’s about it.
I have a confession – one that isn’t so dodgy or isn’t as surprising as one would expect – but no matter, it still is a confession, which makes it exciting. I have lived for eighteen years now, and I do not know how to drive. There you go, the inflated balloon has now flown past you with such a demeanour that it doesn’t even deserve a second thought, but whatever. I modestly know how to code, I modestly know how to solve calculus problems and I can even cook the hardest things on the menu, but I have not learned the art of manoeuvring the modern vehicle.
To every confession, there is an underlining story often ignored. The story actually forms the gist of that confession; makes it exciting and gossipy as it should be. Why is it ignored, then? Simple. You don’t question about the ingredients of a Lindt chocolate that you enjoy – you merely consume it, revelling in it’s seemingly everlasting taste that can lift moods. I can safely assume that you are all smart enough to recognise the potency of this analogy, so may be I won’t draw the connection to an obvious point; not by the words at-least.
Very recently, I re-started gym to shed off the enormous amount of fat stuffed inside of my body. I am happy to report that I have been able to reform myself into a decent shape once again, but as you know, fat is that lying-around-the-corner curse. Despite all my efforts, I still feel that I need new jeans. I hope you do not doze off to all the insignificant things that you were doing just right now because the idea embedded in this post, which I shall reveal as soon as you affirm your intentions to read this post, is kind of…interesting, and to top it off, it starts off from a hunt for some new jeans.
Life is absolutely turning horrible as each second passes away in anticipation. I wonder what people awaiting death think of, but I can imagine. Their whole life would be flashing in front of their eyes, all their mistakes and all those nitty gritty moments that they thoroughly enjoyed.
I wonder what the difference between me and those people is. I’m thinking about all the things I have done; all the mistakes I’ve made…and regret. But yes, there is a difference. I can also think of a future in a dual beam. One of these beams where my mind naturally inclines toward is the compelling rage of serenity followed by a life of chaos, of uncertainty and absolute dejection. The other is, however, rosy. Despite it’s good nature, there is something wrong with it, I feel. I dream of all those things that my life has dreamt of achieving in the last few months. I can vicariously transport myself into the life of another – a person walking down on a road leading to the academic block at SSE. The person who later, after attending an intriguing Calculus class, goes on and takes a dive at the cappuccino bar at Gloria Jeans. I wonder if one day, that person would be me.
The problem with thinking all of the ‘good stuff’ is that it doesn’t put a smile on my face. It fails to ignite me. It fails to latch me onto the banter of a glorious upcoming. Instead, it makes me cry. It kills every time I think about it. Perhaps, it’s not a dream people aspire towards because they have greater goals. But one thing I have ended up realising from all this traumatic experience is that a dream, no matter how small or big, is still a ‘dream’ and there is a lucid impossibility factor that makes it what it is – a ‘dream’.
However, no matter how I think, it will be insignificant tomorrow. Either I am going to bask in some form of self-constructed and returned glory, or it will be the final nail in the coffin of shame. Otherwise, it will be a world on fire. Where my eyes would lose the capacity to discern. Where the people around me will no longer matter. Where everything will be lost. What a strange thing this is – you see, now I know why JK Rowling incepted a creature called the ‘Dementor’, the ‘happiness absorber’, the creature that sucks everything good out from you. I feel that these conditions are no different.
I have to brace what is coming for me. And I feel like I have all the time to do that, but I won’t like to think this way at all. I want to get this over with; I want to live; I want to live without any kind of fear of the future. Sadly, fear doesn’t always come with your permission. It’s something I’ve grown to accept as integral – a beast that whips me across a narrow tunnel, beating me to death, but knowing that with every time he hits, I grow stronger.
Tomorrow approaches, my friends. You can live your life the way you live it right now or you can change it. I envy all of you at this moment, because I cannot change anything now.