There were so many of us, A liked B and B liked C and C didn't like D ad infinitum. A and N were best friends until N never spoke to A again. The little petty intrigues and the bitter fallouts- the winter morning coffee and the endless semester exams, the smoke rising in sepia clouds, who can arrest the motion of time?
The old Milonda's/Ashirbad/jheelpaar. I fed the kaatla who fancied themselves to be dolphins. Bloody fish loved fish chops...what could one say to these performing animals? I remember going there with my first "crush" and moodily chewing the bread myself while he dusted a crumb off my nose. I bet he didn't know how excited that made an 18 year old feel, and how does it even matter, now that the contours of the faces have receded into the abysses of memory- who is he, and she, and they? Only certain friendships stand out- the ones which transcend the minutes, hours, days, months, years- and you forget everything about a span of three months other than your glorious drunk moment- garlanding Herbie Hancock. Yes THE Herbie!
Then one fell in love and it was beautiful, that first surrender of the self to something greater than the self- who would ever know or explain what that felt like? Language stops short, language cannot hope to contend with love or express it- i.e., the language that we are used to and who can claim to know a greater universal language than love? That first, imbecile love is madness- it happens without cause or effect, it is. It is a great moment of being, there is nothing to surpass this first step to self knowledge. So it happened to us. And we learnt.
It has been more than four years since we've been growing in this place and sometimes a dislocated moment can come and dislodge one from one's state of ease and tranquility. That is not to say that most memories are uncomfortable or exciting things. But two things happen simultaneously. Firstly, this is a bubble world. The real world is not like this, will never be like this. And the memories created in this world are even more unreal. They are fragments nay angles of a crystal, each is assimilated into a composite whole, we remember some, we associate others, but we cannot remember every detail- that is humanly impossible. Our bubble world is one that must sustain us through the most difficult and darkest hours of our hitherto adult life.
As the sun set over a glorious football field, as erstwhile friends and acquaintances and closest friends huddled over yet another bubble victory, one had a tipsy and giddy champagne moment. This then is life, the gradual accumulation of memory over memory, memory qua memory, and this insane need for that unreal and transient happiness. This is why we need love and appreciation- time is unkind, my friends. Time is a bitch. It kills you, and yet teaches you to love.