Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stranger in your own backyard

The feeling of nostalgia and the feeling of being a stranger, in surroundings that you were once dead familiar with have a bizarre connection. I found this out the hard way…went to my Alma Mater; Assam University after about 2 years, just wanted to reconnect and try to have a feel of things as they used to be. First, the university is completely unrecognizable these days…with constructions going on all around the campus. The entrance gate is beautifully erected, and with all the security there, makes you feel that you are in some new place. During my days the facilities were not that good, but things definitely look bright for juniors.

It was pouring heavily that day, perhaps an indication of things to come. I went to my department, anticipating many things. There were lots of students filling in and out of classrooms, but none of the faces were recognizable. But that’s understandable given the fact that everyone has moved on, and new people have come to take over. A new lab has come up in the room where we used to sit and belt out the latest chartbusters at the top of our voices. It suddenly felt as if I was in some other place and I had never been there before. Change they say is the permanent thing in life and things surely are changing. None of the professors or lecturers was present in the department and the people from the support staff were also missing that day.

The very nook and corner that we used to lord over once suddenly seemed unknown and unreachable, new people have entered there. My attempt to feel and savor what my classmates and me had at one point of time fell flat. I just went around the department trying to see the places where we used to hang out, where we used to have classes and where we grew up. Yes, there were traces of my memories and that was enough for me. This is the place where I spent the best 2 years of my life. The place that brought in lots of fun, laughter, tears, frustration, misery, joy, failure and success in my life.

Whatever little I have achieved today professionally, I owe that all to this department of mass communication located in this remote place. This is a special place and even though none of the students here recognize me here, the traces of memories that I could find here is a pleasant feeling. It’s an eerie feeling to actually go and see that your territory has been taken over and you are a stranger in your own backyard…but it is worth the effort of just going there and having a glimpse of the place.