There are some things in life, the memories of which we always cherish, right from the scratch, right from when we begin to experience them, because, we are aware of the fact the these days are going to be missed terribly once they get over. The golden memories of school days can be cited as the perfect example of such. There are also some things in life, which have always been close to our hearts, but we never realize it, until we are confronted with the task of having to let go of it or stop being a part of it altogether. And, I, at the moment happen to be a victim of such a predicament.
The memory of the day I had stepped through the gates of Darrang College into the premises is still fresh in my mind, my heart thumping loud, apprehensive about the life ahead of me, and trying hard not to stumble or trip anywhere (as that’s what I’m pretty good at). I remember myself, along with a few friends, feeling lost, trying to find our classroom, and ending up being late for class the very first day. After that initial first day, the first year in college was a wild ride. I just let go of myself, allowing myself to get carried away, making as many mistakes as I could, breaking as many rules as I could and messing up my life as bad as I could. But, as I got deeper involved in the messy situation, the more hatred I started developing for the college, for the people around me.
Yes, it was tough, to face it all alone. And, I probably would have given up for good, had I not been blessed with a few angels in the form of friends. They took me through, they rescued me when I was in trouble, they brought me back to life when I was depressed and they made me smile. The college canteen (which used to good at a certain point of time), the long verandas, the open fields (during winter) and Avijit Stores used to be my solace, and the only places that made me want to come to college. At that time, I had no plans of studying in this college for more than two years. I hated everything about the college (except my friends, of course)… Everything, starting from the classrooms, the classes, the ones who took them, the ones who attended, to the gossips and the people I couldn’t stand. I had managed to polish out a long list of people termed as “enemies” (who hated me as well) in the very first year. Even though in the second year, I steadied down, decided to mend my ways, concentrated on my studies, attended my classes regularly, vowed to get good grades and did achieve the desired result at last, I was still dying to get out of the college as soon as possible, all the while. The change in me had appeared only as a result of the desire to show my worth to those people who got on the wrong side of me, for all the wrong reasons. I was on cloud nine the day my results of H.S final exams had been declared. I got what I wanted- awed stares and a big question mark on the faces of those people who had made my life hell which gave me a sense of satisfaction that nothing else ever could.
It was at this point that my life took a whole new turn. Though I had enough opportunities to leave the college and get out of Tezpur for my graduation, and I had good enough marks to get admission to any good college I wanted, for some odd, weird, out of the world reason, I decided to stay back in this tiny little place and complete my graduation from this very college. To add to my absurdity, I gave up the idea of studying English literature, which had been my dream since long back, and for a reason I could not identify till date, I took up Political Science as my major subject, the only subject in which I had not scored a letter mark in the H.S finals. I had very poor understanding of it and I had no idea why I decided to choose it. And it’s only now, in my last days in my college, that I’ve realized that it has been the best decision I’ve ever made in life.
When I started being a part of the Dept. of Political Science as a student of B.A Part I, something told me that life in the college would be better now that most of the people I hated were no longer around me. I made very few new friends, and I was suddenly happy being on my own, with the remaining handful of my old friends and spent two years of utter bliss, being the good student as well as the good friend. However, even amidst this sheer bliss, the college let me down several times. Like the time, during the Fresher’s function, when I had been waiting backstage, for my turn to perform, and a huge fight broke out, destroying the whole show in a single moment, and, unlucky as I was, the rest of the function was cancelled. Or the time my mobile handset was abducted by the authorities when I was caught using it for no wrong purpose, but at the same time others around me who were putting theirs to no better use than listening to music, escaped unscathed.
The major turning point came only in my fifth and final year of being a student of Darrang College that I’ve actually come to be attached (emotionally) to the college, and especially to my department, which became like a second home to me. I probably would have never learnt to look at teachers as something more than “people who love to eat our heads off”, had I not encountered the gems of our department, who are the best mentors I’ve come across in my entire life. I couldn’t have found a better training ground to prepare myself for the world beyond the grounds of Darrang College. And yes, even though it sounds absurd, I loved being the Teacher’s pet, though I’m not geeky at all. I loved the friendly environment of the place, where I didn’t have to bother about what I’m talking about, or to whom. I didn’t have to count my words or double-check my behavior.
And as I found myself facing the last few weeks in college, everything that I used to hate about The Wrong College (as I had been desperately trying to prove since those last five years), had dramatically turned right for me during the last year of my college life. The last few months spent in the college are the most cherished, most memorable. The place that I had been dying to get out of a few years ago seemed to be pulling me back more and more into its depth, making me wish that year never came to an end. Over the years, Darrang College had given me a number of reasons to cry, given me a number of reasons to loath the place but it has given me even better reasons to smile and incomparable gifts in the form of relationships that I shall forever treasure.
I am no longer a part of Darrang College, and I miss every bit of it dearly. I miss preparing the Wall Magazine for the department, taking part in activities, the strolls we took between classes, the endless gossips, the celebrations, “raksha bandhan” (when I always come home laden with goodies from my dear brothers), and of course the classes which we kept wishing for to get over soon. I realized my love for the college the day I couldn’t stand some outsider criticizing “my” college and snapped at him for talking rubbish about my college (even though every word he said was true). I’m sure every Darrangian reading this will somehow or the other will be able to identify himself/herself with it. At least for me, “It was definitely the Wrong College, but nothing more right ever happened to me.” Long live Darrang College!!!
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