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I guess definitely I„m one of‟em. Therefore when I had a chance to select a date between 15th & 25th June to return back to Kolkata after more than a month long summer journey it had to be 21st.
Exactly 10 yrs back an unaccompanied child boarded a flight from Agartala(Tripura) which ended his Summer vacations & flew him to the “City of joy” , probably out of his childhood.
There have been disastrous & heartbreaking moments in between which I might want to write off & there have been moments which like things of beauty would live forever. Nostalgia was at its peak as while boarding the flight back, once again it made me realize 10 yrs passed away within the blink of an eye. From „FIFA World Cup 2002‟ to „Euro 2012‟; things have gone upside down, so many new people, changed outlook & relations, new friends, forgotten friends, so many career attempts & yet it seems just yesterday.
I remember 21.06.2002 pretty well. It was a day I wished not to come; a day that ended a wonderful summer. I’ve always been living with my mom as her company didn’t have a branch at our hometown. But after spending a typical childhood at a nearby place; her transfer was taking me far away from dad, friends & everyone I could call by name. Not that it was an instant change as in between the 2 yrs spent in Assam were quite melancholic, but just when I was getting used to…I had to go even further, to see the world beyond North Eastern India & live in it.
Naturally I was upset. The shift from closely knit small town life to the fast-paced metro was never going to be easy. Things were not smooth to start with; either at school or at home. Classrooms were much bigger & for the first time I understood the importance of the blank given next to the “SECTION/DIVISION option” in the name-plates. Competition was much tougher & teachers didn‟t know every student by name, especially not someone who hardly talked.
Kolkata built my craze for football, anyone who has lived in the city for sometime would know how it does! The impact was such that I now wanted to be nothing else but the next “Michael Owen.” Someone informed me of a sports academy near our school & I just had to go & enquire when I could kick-off my career. But sadly, it turned out to be a cricket academy instead & the next Michael Owen had to make way for the next “Jacques Kallis.”
Cricket was a familiar game & I started enjoying learning it in detail. With time things became serious & we were up for the CAB Under-15s at Siliguri but it didn‟t go accordingly. We had a rocking unit & though after spending almost 3 yrs, things ended on a bitter note & split the entire club & today in spite of not being in touch with any of them & having lost a lot of my interest in cricket; I can gladly recall having my first bonding with Kolkata from there. One funny incident was that as I‟ve always been quite shy in nature & never talked that much; during bowling practice sessions the coaches would ask me to turn around &
Even the security guards whom we often gave the maximum trouble have been unchanged for so long & still remain friends. I did make very good ones. It always feels good having a chat while coming across on the road. The feeling of my story published in a news -paper for the 1st time was amazing. blocking lifts & scaring so called enemies. We even had a great football team & few things in the world beats the experience of playing in rain & then going back flaunting your mud-dyed uniforms to everyone…well. Having mastered at home. Table Tennis. There were further friends who came in as years passed on & we had our famous RED BRIGADE. using banned crackers during Diwali. That’s exactly how it was. breaking glass panes. I was heartbroken when had to leave & now that our generation has checked out completely. And then another guy joined in further couple of floors above 6 months later. until reaching home. Another memorable experience was being awarded 1st position on popular basis by all my . I always enjoyed writing & there were opportunities in a big city. The early link-ups with “HINDUSTAN TIMES” were fruitful. It was awkward but I still have very high respect for all the coaches in the academy. probably the best of the friends I’d ever make were just a staircase above in the same building I was living in. each & every individual belonging to that group is extremely special. stealing keys of the community hall. We come across sometimes on the road & exchange a smile. I took up “learning craftswork” as a vocational subject without understanding what it meant & then when I realized there were only girls who had taken it. Thankfully soon some boys joined in too & it was fun making Christmas trees. it makes me feel as if it misses us almost as much as we do. Afterwards I did make a couple of attempts towards football too but 1st time I didn‟t show-up. It was the time I learnt another new sport. almost everytime made an excuse of headache & bunked. Studies went on satisfactorily in school & after struggling to find friends for a year. spending day & night trying to figure out video games. Often your mates are just waiting next door & you don’t see them until the time comes.scream “HOWZZAT” after each delivery as if there was an umpire standing. glass paintings & other stuff but the teachers ultimately gave up on me while trying on pottery & stitching. whenever I pass by the building & see it standing quite in the dark. hanging tubelights upside down. The 2 next years were probably my most enjoyable ones as eventful things kept on happening. 2nd time I quit in a day realizing after early morning practice that cricket is indeed a gentleman‟s game & it‟s much easier wearing football jerseys & supporting your team rather than sweating in the field yourself professionally. accidents. We did every crazy thing that could be done. And that’s how the golden days of friendship in MAYUR NIKETAN(Salt Lake) began. It took me long to realize. bullying kids & many more. I‟ve always been lucky to have had excellent English teachers. it was a huge ego-boost being the unbeatable player in the class. until I lost to a girl whom I thought couldn’t play at all & decided to become humble.
But the most special thing was the 1st rank for the 1st time in Kolkata. The teachers would provide you . they would be the 1st ones I‟d look up to in any trouble. I changed my school & bettered things remarkably next year. I have been furious from inside but yet all of them are definitely the best of friends I‟ve made in Mumbai & the best part is whether we liked each other or not. Almost every teacher I’ve come across can match most students by both name & face & share a good rapport. the task of professionally learning how to wash dishes & clothes. made a lot of good friends there whom I’m still in touch with. completely unknown & unexplored was a challenge I might have never undertaken if just could do without it. As for the college. Though I lost both the writings. one thing I’ve realized is. To be honest few times my roommates made me go mad & even they know it. Today I‟m happy being where I‟m. Problems on your face look much bigger than they actually are & I screwed up my boards so badly that anyone who had known me by then still curses me as much as I do myself till date. it can’t be sugar-coated always. preparing beds. it has some of the best teachers one can come across & the way of teaching is pretty unique & this I say by self-experience. These were perhaps the worst days of my life.classmates & the teacher combined in a story extension & narration competition. but you take that as an experience & learn from it & move on. news-papers or seeing the face of any known person was like the experience of Bigg Boss house. Even if we don‟t live together in the next years. A new place. I fell to my lowest point in studies & I can feel the impact even today. the shift from “City of Joy” to the “City of Dreams” has b een positive. chopping both vegan & non-vegen delights were simply out of imagination for someone who never filled up a glass of water at home. especially while learning the basics. Identifying someone like me in a herd of 75 is definitely a huge task itself. Yup more mistakes followed & I spent years in wilderness. If adjusting in a new environment & new people was difficult. Living in a room with people from different corners of the country without television. There are people I‟ve known for long & have helped me around in year 1 whom I couldn‟t greet well. all of us understood each others‟ way of thinking pretty well. things can get harsh too. sweeping floors. I do have the prizes I had in return with me for showing off :P 10th standard was bad. sometimes we discussed & laughed about how certain things actually felt. From starting awfully without any pre-knowledge & minimum interest to have now started enjoying what we learn. the willingness to put in your effort in the learning process is more important than executing things with perfection. Somehow 12th boards were not-satisfactory but were good enough to get me a good college. That’s how things go in life. But sometimes bad things happen for a good reason. Receiving the honour in front of my mom was a huge thing. that would definitely be a wish to be fulfilled in the coming year. I tell everyone I did nothing & that‟s how it is. I guess the hera-pheri of my name with surname in the register had a part to play as well! Sometimes they are strict. And of-course the experience of watching the Liverpool match screenings at Irish Pub have been super fun. After going down steeply.
From a small town life.with the best of knowledge & minute details & if not that way. I still tell everyone that I picked a city & not an institute but earning a seat on credit was not easy & even difficult was to stick on in between the difficulties all alone. life never goes according to plan. We all make mistakes & regret them. Every little step whether in personal or professional life is into the path shown by that fairy who I wish returns someday. Do hell with positive thinking. there are days & in between every moment spent with every person is needed to be felt as special. 21. IHM Mumbai was never a choice for me. but actually I never was & that is the reason why in spite of a shaky start. they’d definitely make you learn. A fairy who came from nowhere. learnt taking responsibilities. a metro & then settling all alone in the biggest city of the country. that from being an escapist & quitter. gave a new dimension to my way of thinking. I‟ve experienced it all in last 10 years but almost every person has his decade. It‟s only because of that special person. you can realize their worth only after they're gone. there are years which roll on. it‟s a process of continuation.12 for me is not a beginning or an end. important is to take experience from our faults & execute them in present to make a better future. value time & desire to be busy. when bad things happen it’s natural to feel bad & act worse. So many faces…. rescued me from the days I‟ve today successfully erased from my memory & then like all fairies went away one day.06. approach things with little knowledge with confidence & try to manage them professionally & most importantly understood the struggles of my parents & their constant contribution to my life. today I feel like I belong to the institute & to the city both. mentors. might smash a slab of ice on your head :P but if you are willing to learn. there is one very special person who determines the life I‟m living today. akele hi chalte chalte ghar se bahut door nikal aaye hum kuch chehre aaj bhi yaad hai kuch raahon me ho gaye gum :-) . revived my career from as low as it had gone once. to a city. not even a pause. but in between all. today I can dare to be independent in life. well-wishers & then some people I wish I could shoot at sight.friends.
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