Rummaging through the forgotten pile of debris lying around in my room, I came across my admission letter to IIM Ahmedabad. It was a nice little thing to look at, the mustard-colored envelope reminding me of Ahmedabad’s swirling dust and burnt bricks. My parents had kept this piece of memory tucked inside a folder full of certificates and it occurred to me as I was peering at the jali-window logo that my eyes were welling up sooner than I had thought they would. Right from the start, we have been taught to not let ourselves become prisoners of tears but the strange tryst with the land of the Amdavadis had left a stranger void inside me. I had tried hard to bury the feeling under loads of activity, family gossip and friendly chatter on Whatsapp but this one look at the forgotten envelope brought it all back. I wonder why IIM Ahmedabad has become such a strong memory. I can’t remember ever pouring tears over my undergraduate institute which had been home for 4 years. Now suddenly the past two years fly across the breadth of my mind, numbing my present and aching for the campus again. Was it the dalliance of the bricks and the green foliage that drew me back to the memory again and again? Or was it the quiet contentment of a schedule filled with library and tapri and back to back classes?
I tossed back my head and closed my eyes for a while, hoping to nail down the thought that became the symbol of IIM-A for me. It was hard enough to get on with the world and a new life as if I was completely ready for both; but when your memory warehouse knocks on your door umpteen times a day, the former task crosses the threshold to become impossible. Images of the night sky outside the library flitted across my mind; with it flashed the lush green, winding path behind Falafal, the faces of people who frequented CT and gradually seemed to fuse into its surroundings, the confident footsteps of a Placecommer in the IMDC auditorium, the memory of a happy section D group gathered outside the mess, waiting for the ‘quiz paper wale uncle’ and just when I realized it was over, I felt like I could go on with this forever.
Some people say time heals everything because of course, it moves on and on, whether you move along with it or not. But like an entranced lover, I still don’t know whether this memory is something I would like to let go. After all, it is due to this memory that I decided to write for the blog again and I am sure it will be due to this memory alone that I will remember the past two years for all the awe-inspiring events it brought into my life. Whether I would like to live a PGP life again, oh yes! I would. Whether I would like to change anything about the way I lived, yes , I say at once, thinking about the several embarrassing instances that I would gladly delete and those forgone opportunities that I will seize at the right moment. However, the image of Ahmedabad is like a spotlessly clean photograph which is not yet properly developed. True to the very core in all the experiences it has rendered. And I realize how these tiny imperfections create the perfect memory for me to hold onto in a forgotten pocket of my mind.
Swasti is a member of LSD, an ex-member to be technically correct. However she hates to use the prefix. She wrote this piece while cleaning up her room and suddenly was reminded of the fact that she can write! She is considered to be at her creative best when ravaged by nostalgia.