"Darling, come quickly. Go stand in between the U, not next to the boys. I want to frame this very picture in the hall.Don't throw the cap, grandma is here too." " Will you breathe mom? "So many seats were vacant. You could have managed another pass for your chachi. I would wear the medal and go about but it doesn't match my saree. Just kidding, you know am just so happy. Now finish up, everyone' hungry, won't eat without you." Another milestone. It was time to start looking for a groom now.
me: DAD!!! Look what I found!!! Dad: What son?? Me: Dad, isn’t it your convocation day’s photo? Dad: let me check,yeah it is Me: yaaay!! Dad you are looking so charming Dad: hmm Me: Dad?? What happened? Are you alright? Dad: hmm.Actually it reminded me about my friends and memories. Golden days! Me: wow!! Whom you miss so much. Dad: umm..no one specific. Miss them all. And my dad took out his stuck breathe carefully so I won’t see it. He never wants to hurt me by remembering my mother’s memories. He misses my mother and I know
We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as result of getting something we don't have but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have. She writes it down in her diary while she is alone. She wonders how people think she is shy and introvert. She smiles and continues to write"all my life I thought I’m incapable of being like others but through my journey I realised I’m capable of different things. The inner world of mine is important to me than the outer world. I was never lonely I’m ALONE and because I want to be.
Son: Dad! Look I found an old picture. Is it you? Dad: (while reading his newspaper) Which picture? Son: Perhaps, its a picture of your convocation day. I am trying to figure out who are these people with you? Dad: (Tears rolling down his eyes) they are the characters of all those stories, you have been hearing since you were two.
“Look how happy we looked on our convocation day”, Sara said, flipping through the pages of the year book. “Yeah, the naiveté is shining on our faces, all anxiously awaiting our supposedly awesome corporate future! How were we to know we would be stuck in these crappy jobs?!?”I retorted. “Another bad day at work with the morons? Don’t worry, This Too Shall Pass! Until then, here, take this to help you deal with reality.” Sara handed me the tub of Belgian Dark Chocolate ice-cream. I couldn't help smiling. Thank God for Philosophical friends, Hope and Chocolate.
On this slothful Thursday evening, he finally opened new frame. Zooming in on the rightmost girl, he froze. Voila! His childhood sweetheart! “God! She hasn’t changed much in 11 years, just became more beautiful! And DMU Leicester? Awesome!” he thought. After Sherlockishly searching their website, he found her reference in some fundraiser news. His ‘Reva Iyer’ was in reality ‘Revathi Radhakrishan’. Condemning the South Indian naming system, he facebooked her. Coincidentally, her cover photo captioned ‘Aamchi Mumbai!’ was uploaded yesterday. Ecstatic, he messaged his number. She didn’t disappoint. His One Frame Story remained incomplete, albeit another one just resumed!
The race started the moment we stepped out of the campus. We were free birds now we became the caged animals which are trained and manipulated as per the business demand. Corporate was a fancy & glamorous word for us in campus but now it has become a jail where our ideas & individuality needs to be sacrificed. No doubt to find peace we need to visit psychiatrist, preachers and hope the new dawn brings happiness rather than the dreams of horses who though win the race but are still lost in the race.
The convocation of DMU was a much awaited event. Each year a luminary conferred the degree, this year it was the President of India. The university town and the graduating MBBS students were decked up it. DMU was decades of effort of philanthropist and visionary Diwan Bahadur, whose motto was not to produce mere blue collared graduates but inculcate philosophy of 'helping the needy' which was imbibed in the teaching-learning culture. Sahil, the topper was missing in the convocation. He had left for his nondescript village, where no one had seen a doctor ever.
"Real clumsy I was Back then", Kashish said looking at convocation photo. "We all were", Nikesh was smiling. "No, You were biggest", Everyone laughed. "But Somehow, He got the cutest one among us, Lucky Bastard", Shree was grinning. "Thanks, But He doesn't care. He makes me feel like a loser." Kashish Smirked. "We switched places finally" Nikesh said followed by a laughter explosion. "But here you are, celebrating 50th anniversary." "It is the most realistic fantasy I have ever seen. How did you make it like this?" "I don't know. It's just, We believed in happy endings."
Yet another batch of students had graduated. The happiness and joy on their faces completely overshadowed the sadness testing their well forged bonds. The enthusiasm to kick start a professional life masked the untimely death of a care-free life. Yet another batch of imaginative minds would lie untested. I watched with a mixed set of emotions, for, I could never truly fathom the idea of that life. It felt ironic when I received a text from my secretary, telling me, I had not yet signed their offer letters.
I look into the mirror. Hair not in place. Damn! I had straightened them. Lip gloss , liner ; fade away into my reflection. Three years have flown past. First year , it was blissful. I will heart both forever. Calmness amongst the printed pages in the second. New chum in the third. Little like me. Ending: him. Good friend. A little more. I pose ahead of the 'M'. Am I lame ? He poses beside me. Upbeat. Cameraman , "ready?". And it ends with a flash.
"Sorry mam, we are having a toppers only session now. Would you like to come back later?" "Oh! I am so sorry, I didn't mean to intrude. Thank you. I will see you later." Gone were the days of good old fashioned working. With advanced times, there was a need for an advancement in technology as well. Nobody would remember the quiet girl who kept to herself. The elite organisation now had an advanced research graduate amongst them. Getting hold of components would be easier than an assembled weapon.
He stood on the sidewalk opposite the Main Gate, wistfully looking at the Graduates tossing up board hats and celebrating end of their grind. He though back to the day, his father scraped enough to put him thru the first year here. He was a middling student and plodded his way thru Freshman year. Alas his father got pink slipped. He looked around for a scholarship; but they scoffed at his grades. He thought: I would give an arm and a leg to do the four years and here; these guys are celebrating their exit.
My college, my alma mater. It's been ages since I've walked these corridors. I ran my fingers along the walls, feeling those moments when we'd leaned against them and woven dreams. Everything has changed. The classrooms, their paints, the students occupying the seats, the teachers at the boards, everything. What hasn't changed is the fragrance of the time I spent here, with my friends. I wondered, if the heart bearing the names of the four of us still exists, on the wall, under the paint! The canteen, the library....the entire campus was steeped in memories of those glorious days....deeply etched in the heart."Time flies but memories remain".....thankfully!
This picture doesn't remind me of my college. I swear....not. It reminds of a dream I saw sometime in teenage. I studied in a Government college. I'm not complaining. But those days even I wanted to be in a fancy college, the one where who's who of the town study. Big colleges give not only degree but also ego to flash on others. And one such flashcard left me because of my college. He was ashamed to make me meet his oh-so-sophisticated friends. I know I'm writing it like a blog, but this is my story.
Zooming on a picture and wondering which one is she... He liked her tweets on tweeter, but her display picture was one from her graduation probably and, wondering from the tweets she could be any of the four girls in the picture... Why do women confuse with multiple choices.
A perilous ragging period, A senior who hated me, ragged me, always cracked some in digestive jokes , forced me to show "Dental chair salute" . At one point I wanted to drop out & got caught with typhoid. And the First person who came to meet me was him, took me to the hospital and whispered "you are my favourite junior" back then he treated me like a younger brother.
"De Montfort University has scheduled its convocation on April, 24." "DMU's part-time course in Applied Criminology did nothing to sharpen your faculties. They conduct their convocation in July." "But, this invite?" "In this invitation card, the background has a striking resemblance to Baker Street. And the alphabets D-M-U..." At Sherlock's behest, they both opened their redundant twitter profiles to find a singular Direct Message waiting for them. It read, "Did you miss me? -M" "Is Moriarty back, Holmes?" "My dear Watson, we must broaden our minds to understand the queer ways of nature. The game is afoot.."
Virek, Samson and a few other guys from the same batch huddled together for a click, flashing their certificates, spiritedly. In their overenthusiastic fervour, the half wits seemed to leave out, Manvi. She was busy filling an application form to get her security deposit back. No matter how much they denied this fact, a cloud of uncertainty loomed over their heads. Theirs wasn't an institution like any other, being more than 100 years old, but the course offered was still a mystery to people at large. Given that it was an old aerodrome, belonging to the British Era.
In the midst of countless faces, his eyes continuously seeking for her, everybody celebrating their graduation day but she was nowhere. He crawled into a chair and observed those lives which were going to be transformed radically. When it comes to matter of future, there was hope, trust, stability in their innocent eyes. The feeling of liberty can be trenchant and comforting at the same time. He glanced at that inscription DMU. “MUD, One day I had planted my tiny sapling here for her blooming future.” He promptly strengthened his shoulders. “Dad” She lilted. Sudden happiness made him trembled.
Their mysterious group puzzled everybody in the campus. Always happy, nice, optimist and ready to party. How could 5 women stay in the same room without fighting? Why didn't they need others’ recognition? The answer had always been there, among them: HIM. Their best friend, but also their secret lover. He was the king and they were his special harem. Graduation morning came with emotions and butterflies. He woke them all but not to send them to university, but to tell them he was going to marry. A blonde, while they were all brunettes. They split that day. Forever.
She saw the twenty year old self in the mirror. “Are they here?” “No.” The girl had answered this tenth time in the hour. “Call Betha. We are supposed to meet today. Everyone is coming. Farhan may be a little late though, like always.” “Betha is dead Nan. And Farhan is in Karachi now.” The old woman contorted her face scowling at the girl. ‘She is lying. Betha can’t die’ she thought, as she held onto that picture tightly and smiled looking at it. Alzheimer’s had wiped away everything, Except for friendship.