Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nostalgia- 1

Nostalgia is one of those funny emotions that doesn't hit you, except in retrospect. It's probably more moving or more painful for precisely that reason. You look back on something fondly. It's something you don't experience while you are going through that thing or in anticipation of it. It only happens when a thing is done.

This entire academic year, I have been wondering when I will finally start feeling nostalgic about law school being (almost) over. It hits me in phases, usually when one or the other event induces it. And it is understandable to get all nostalgic because it is my last Legala-SF, or my last installment of fees, or my last compulsory course, or my last examination in college. But the stronger, more breathtaking brand of nostalgia is the one that hits you for practically no reason, over some very ordinary, every day event, which you have simply taken for granted. Because it's then that you realize that the life you had gotten so used to for 5 years, a pattern you had even forgotten could change, is about to be pulled away from beneath your feet.

I saw someone dragging their luggage into their hostel, after coming back in a cab from the airport (presumably from home). And it occurred to me then that I would never drag my luggage from an airport cab into my hostel room ever again. For 5 years, I have resented the task of having to carry my luggage over a flight (sometimes more than one) stairs all by myself. Having to lift a heavy bag when, in most of my life, I had never lifted anything heavier than a shopping bag holding my stuff. I still remember the first time I did it in the second trimester of law school, when I was almost reduced to tears by the injustice of it all. Having to clean my room, mop it even, arrange my things, sort out what clothes needed to be disposed of. Yeah, you can call me spoilt, but I think these small things, more than the larger, more scary concept of "living in a hostel", make us different people after we've lived in one. Quickly, these things that I had fretted over became routine. I'd board the flight from home (whichever of the many cities that was in over the last 5 years) with a heavy heart, watching my chauffeur and domestic help handling my luggage to the point where they weren't allowed in the airport, knowing that come Bangalore, I was on my own, and noone would lift bags for me. And I was prepared for it, albeit not always very cheerfully.

Today, when it hit me that I would never again lift my luggage as a student getting into a law school hostel, it was so overwhelming, I had to come back to my room and sit down. And all the mundane, otherwise forgotten everyday things of the last 5 years came back to me. Because this routine has been developed carefully, incorporated into my life, and become so much a part of it over my stay here, I feel lost without it. I wont know what to do outside of it, I am afraid. I don't even know when a place I took so for granted through this period that I barely cherished and largely only dissed it, became so much a part of me, so much a home for me. And now, I am almost on my way out of here. It's as if this now is the home I am leaving, like I did my home with my parents 5 years ago; going out once again into the world, stepping foot in a new place, with a new set of people, with my law school tag, law school friends, and a little room in law school hostels standing behind me to support me.


Divya said...

I so know what you mean. Most things I do set me off on this train of thought these days!

Ashi said...

I keep feeling for some strange reason that I will miss the parking lot the most. And God knows I have never really utilised that place.

Divya said...

I think I am going to miss the terraces. And the red floors.

Bhavya said...

@ An- Parking lot? Or bike shed? I should be the one missing it. All my sob sessions happened there.

@Div- Yeah.. the terraces were something else. I dunno what I'll miss most though

Divya said...

Terraces here are shut. I think they're scared people will jump off them :)