…I walked down the road. The roads had been repaired, or at least a modest attempt to repair had been made, and the haze of the sunset dust had not set in yet. I had invited my younger cousin, Vinod, to join me, and he had been game. I wanted to watch Morning Raga, but the VCD library near the bus stop did not stock it, and none of the other movies were to my liking. With nothing better to do with my time, I persuaded Vinod to extend our walk.
Reaching IIM-B, I felt this sudden urge to see the place. It is shameful, almost, that I stay less than half a kilometer away, and in two years, I haven’t ever actually seen the place. I have been there a couple of times, attended a programme once, but I haven’t really seen the place. I wasn’t sure the security guard at the main gate would let me in, so we ventured to enter via that little non-gated entrance which led to the post office inside. As I had expected there wasn’t anyone around to ask uncomfortable questions. And we made our way in, and to the road that winded into and around the campus.
Really, the campus is beautiful. And in the twilight, in the sudden transport from screaming buses to the dense silence, overwhelming almost. Stretches where you feel that if you were to skip past the road and venture into the dense foliage, you might even find a microcosm of the Forbidden forest from a Harry Potter book. We had no magic up our sleeve, alas, and so, we safely and boringly stuck to winding our way through the campus – past a few stone houses that housed the faculty, alongside the Management Development Center, and further down towards the sports area – the tennis courts and the football ground. As with campuses of most government owned educational institutions, beautiful is an understatement.
Brought back a zillion memories of ISB. It all seems like such a long time ago now. The study group conversations that lasted through the nights and into the early hours of the morning, those tennis matches with Chakra at 1:00 AM, the parties, the occasional night walks past SV-3 towards the Nirvana rock and beyond, the trials and tribulations of coming to terms with the heck of a lot that I didn’t know, the moments of madness, the girl who made my heart skip a beat every single day, an incredible bunch of characters, and the beginnings of a deeper exploration of my own personal enquiries.
If Vinod had not been with me, I suppose I would have sat around, reflected a while, and walked back home, full and heavy. But all we managed was to lose our way, and somehow, stumble our way back to where we started off. It must have taken only half an hour or so I suppose, but it had been longer.
Nostalgia is nice and fine, but for the most part, so many from that one amazing year seem so distant. Lost in their lives, their career preoccupations, their personal commitments, their successes and their compromises. Sadder still, almost everyone has lost the passion, or maybe I should say, their newfound passion is the kind of stifling, safely pragmatic, career centric (as opposed to calling oriented) vision that will make all of them reasonable men leading reasonable lives.
I should say our.