Feels good to be back
I returned to a second home on 13th September. After 1.5 years.
The reception, umm well, it wasn't the warmest on the part of the authorities. But the campus was just as inviting, if not more.
The grass at almost all places has grown taller. The sheets of flowers on creepers along the walls extended themselves. The fauna is just as excited seeing hordes of students making their way towards Vishwakarma Bhawan. Weird insects surround us while we lay on the grass as the sun goes down. The parrots and peacocks are just as carefree as we last left them. The dogs stare at us in amazement during the night and relax on the lush greens during the day. In a way, may I admit, they are not very different from us!
Our unexpected hiatus from the campus has only increased our love for it. Regardless of how hot or humid, it may be, whatever be the taste of mess food and some annoying restrictions, we absolutely love it here.
We feel a strong need to do so because most of us only have 3 months here. Moreover, all the final year folks are given accommodation in a single hostel, and most of us know each other over the years. We are very keen on meeting the few people we missed out on, so that evens everything out.
A lot of people are already placed so they have the entire semester for themselves. They are trying out all the different sports. In two days, we played good hours each of badminton, cricket, football, basketball, volleyball, frisbee and some random callisthenics. We also plan to go back to our home base — table tennis and try out pool and squash in some time. You'll see a lot of folks limping from pain for the next 1-2 days because their muscles have yet to adjust to the intense physical activity and their brain to odd sleeping hours!
In a way, a lot of other things are old and rusty. Some shops shut themselves down, while some are slowly coming back to their feet. It doesn't feel new, but very fresh and familiar. Most importantly, a sense of relief clouds us all, just as the dense cumulus and cirrus clouds paint the afternoon sky in blue and white.
Coronavirus restrictions were being followed on-campus entry but it feels pretty 2019 when you're around the hostels, sans the number of people roaming about. The nightlife doesn't feel as much "alive and kicking" as it feels "quaint and relaxed" right now. We expect that to change soon with the incoming of the second year students.
Nevertheless, some things will return to what they were back then. Aside from losing valuable time, traditionally the most active seniors don't themselves know the campus. This change in culture should be acknowledged and worked for and not against. How about we bring in something even better than things ever were?
All in all, I find myself happier than I ever was here. I left the campus in March with a muddled mind and now I feel well-rested after the entire circus the world had become for some time. There are good reasons to believe that the pandemic is on its way back, giving way to a normal, often underrated life.