The Chennai Mail races through the tracks, I get down from my ‘Honda Activa’ to gaze the starry skies and the train compartments rushing on the tracks. It’s an ‘almost psychedelic’ experience, gazing at the compartments while the moonlight fills the sky. The LED lights’ trail creates a little illusion of a straight endless yellow line.
I was returning home from a friend’s place that day, stoned out of my skull. Jo said while leaving, “Bro, take care, be happy time will heal everything.” That’s the hundred millionth time I hear those words spoken. Sometimes I snap out and say, “Well I didn’t expect it coming.” I was home for winter and the only thing that I believed in was weed. It’s not the weed that I need, it’s the ‘high’ that I need. Jo is an easy go person, he knew how to ‘walk the talk’ and he never gave a slightest f*** about anything. A typical south Indian, post-college, job-goer.
Sometimes I feel worthless while calling up dad for cash. Most of my past college mates are doing well with high paid jobs. And me—I’m a trainee journalist with dreams of changing the world but broken in the inside. For the first time a bad break-up revealed myself to me— weak, stupid, selfless and dramatic. The words, “Pull yourself together young man” keeps buzzing in my ears when I see Mark, my professor every morning.
The other day I found myself in a hotel room wasted and moaning alone. Devdatt knocks on the door, I open it wiping away my tears. “What the f*** is wrong with you looser, get over her,” he takes a seat and continued: “Look at me, I have gone through a lot, don’t call her now.” Such were the words of a 19 year old who has just got into a journalism college after “SCHOOL.” I need school kids to tell me what to do or what not to. Nevertheless, I make the ‘call’ and up being more miserable than I was. Dev was right!
Devdatt and I were out drinking like mad pigs, we had just knocked down 20 shots of Tequila. My memory is dark beyond the last shot glass. I remember waking up to Mark’s phone call, he was yelling out: “Where you, get your ass here for the next class or you are in trouble.” I met Mark in his office the same day when I got back to the hostel. “Pull yourself together young man” he said, I wish I could tell him: “I’m trying Mark, I’m trying!”
Every night, I visit B4, the mysterious room in the hostel that everyone knows about. As I enter the room Koustav is seen dribbling the ball around, he looks at me, takes stance and shoots the ball at me. It almost misses my face; this is the kind of welcome I get, I’m not complaining just saying. Roy and Shekhar are fiercely starring into the laptop screen. It’s FIFA 14 and Shekhar is clutching to his joystick like his whole life depends upon the game. Roy yells out now and then when he misses a goal, we ignore and puff on our nicely made joint. Soumick, with a smile that touches ear-to-ear says, “Salman, did you complete the ethical and legal issues assignment?” I stop whatever I’m doing and turn towards him—“WHAT THE FUCK?” I just realized that I have to do a 2000 word assignment due tonight.
Life at IIJM (Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media) is different, and when I say different, I mean it. We are a family and we aren’t treated as students, the faculty is experienced the facility is satisfactory and everything is fine except for me, I’m confused as always, lost in thoughts that I shouldn’t have. Now that I’m home, I miss the place. I miss waking up to Noah yelling, “Dude its 9 get up” or Abhijith with his quirky Malayalam accent— “Da, eniku da, class undu (Wakeup we got classes).” My roommate Himadri says that I’m a paying guest to B7(my room number at hostel), he might be true, but B7 is where my bed is and bed is where sleep is and sleep is where dreams are and ‘dreams shall always remain as dreams.’
Sometimes while I’m working at my PC in the media lab, Shameen drags her legs up to my compartment— “Let’s go to Akkas.” Akkas is where IIJNM students’ second life is. Akka is an Indian slang for the word “Aunty”. Aunty owns a shop and feeds us with Maggi, tea, coffee, etc. for a mere price. One day while Shameen and I were feasting on our delicious snack and she goes like, “You know Truffles?” “What’s that?” I ask. “It’s this amazing food joint with great burgers and stuff.” “Let’s go!” I exclaim, “I don’t have money” she says. “Then why do you say such things Shameeeen?” She continues hogging her noodles with an evil smile.
Friends like these are the reason why I have got a life, I can never imagine IIJNM without such people. There are more such friends whom I haven’t mentioned here. For them: Sorry that I couldn’t include you people, you all will remain as sweet memories when I leave. I hope you forgive me for the sins I have committed against you guys and for the sins I’m about to commit.
With just 4 months remaining off my first hostel life, I witnessed change, I rant about change in all my previous posts. But this time I’m vulnerable, I haven’t changed for good, I was forced to be this. I wonder if my fellow Trainee Journalists feel the same, because none of them seem like. Wake up, bathe, dress, work, sleep and repeat. This routine that we follow, do you really think you can change the world by doing things that someone asks us do? Really? I know I sound vague, but these are the kind of thoughts that infiltrate my mind. Merely shoving it off and continuing doesn’t help; I react to my thoughts and sometimes it’s helpful and sometimes it kills me.
I know I still sound vague, can’t help it peeps but this is what I’m.