The second benefit is that suddenly when you're alone, you start looking back at yourself. You contemplate. You think about your life. The deeds you've done. That's when ghosts from your past return to haunt you. It's an eerie feeling, but a feeling I've started to love.
But for me the most special thing about being here is that it has made me a more caring and sensitive person. A person who cherish love. Cherish being loved. A person who wants to belong somewhere, because I know I don't belong here. So I look around for familiar faces. Faces dear to me. Names special to me. Luckily I found one here. That's `Adarsh'.
Adarsh was my student from my not so illustrious career as a teacher. In fact my whole teaching experience can be summed up in a few phrases.
- Irregular (regularly irregular in fact)
- No subject competency (I knew nothing about physics)
- No self motivation to teach (nil I might add)
Hey, but I was not a complete loser. Even though I was not a self-motivated teacher I was good at motivating others. My career as a teacher was not great, with shades of commercialism coming in and all, but I can sure boast of some good friends now, who were my students to start with.
Adarsh is again a little apart from the rest of my so called `student turned friend'. The reason is not because of him. It's because of me. I told you earlier, I was a jerk of a teacher. But I always tried my best to be there for my students, whatever it is. But I couldn't do it for Adarsh. To start with I couldn't even teach him physics, but he's quite cool with that. I didn't even complete the portions for the year for Christ's sake. There goes my commitment. I'm not talking about my commitment to teaching. It's my commitment to students.
Adarsh would've felt the same. I always used to wonder why this guy used to come day in and day out just to listen to me talking crap. And to make matters worse I wasn't even regular. He used to commute a long way for my classes and most of the days return, happy probably, with me not turning up. I guess me not being there was more of a help to him as I couldn't corrupt his mind.
I used to look at his eyes during lectures. They had some meaning. I still couldn't fathom what they meant. Was it a feeling of being bored - No, being curious - maybe, being intimidated - No No. Even he doesn't know it I reckon.
Well this world moves in crazy ways. I always had this guilt in me thinking I didn't give 100% to him. But here he is, with me in this foreign land. He himself an Alien like me.
Now I realise that my boy here and myself have some what similar temperaments, although different tastes. I had to meet him. But in reality I was scared to do so. Don't know why. Maybe that guilt inside. Or maybe something else. But I had to meet him none the less. Because he is someone I know. It's as simple as that. He's someone I know, and therefore someone I care about.
I was late as usual. Punctuality is sort of like my middle name. But I don't have a middle name as you know. Hence I don't have punctuality or rather I've never been on time my entire life.
I walked through the open gate of his college. Loyola, an imposing campus. Imposing and rather charming as there was something inside that was appealing to me. That was attracting me. The gates were fully open as though saying I'm welcome there. He was already waiting for me. When I saw him I realised he hasn't changed. He's still the old boy I knew. We walked through the campus, had dinner at a Chinese joint near by. Lot of Blah-Blah's as usual. It was raining. Rain is something I like, but in this place....Well.... But I can't hate rain. I shouldn't.
``Hate this place instead Leslie - Please.''
Walking back I insisted we walk through the campus. I don't know why I did like that. Maybe there was something inside that appealed to my scorched soul. Maybe the empty corridors that still resonates with the hopes and despairs of young hearts. Or maybe it's the feeling of being near or walking with `Sofia' (wisdom). But I loved the place. I promised myself, I shall return. Soon...
The rain was pouring. I wanted to remove my umbrella and my shirt and just spread my arms and stand, staring up into the falling droplets. The feeling would have been great. But my pal would have felt embarrassed had I done that. See how even I who always follow my inner voice fell prey to social norms.
But I'd again come here. Maybe the rain wouldn't be there but atleast Sofia would be there. Adarsh too. Also the lonely souls and broken verses...
Maybe my heart longs to be back in college again.....
I was upset before going there to meet my pal. But being with him in this palace of dreams, temple of desires, made me relax. I feel as though I've become wiser.
I feel cold walking back. It's not because of the rain, but because I'm leaving the warmth of a friendly soul.......