Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Picking up the pieces

An evening spent in reckless almost-abandon after long. Time to meet old friends, reconnect, feel blessed, feel loved and feel the spirit of Christmas in Pune.

As we told stories, retold anecdotes, made new ones and packed some away to relive when in sweet solitude, the smiles grew wider and my heart grew fonder with every passing moment.

Saturday night was spent in revelling being together, some dancing, all the camaraderie rushing back to make everyone feel right at home. Just like old times, when home was wherever even two of us got together - the street side, a store, the tapri, the canteen, our classroom, a discotheque or the quadrangle.
Early on Sunday morning, I walked down memory lane; this time without the banter of familiar voices guiding my memories. There was something so intimate about this solitary walk. Down the tree lined Bhandarkar Road,  the frosted sunshine playfully peeping through the drooping boughs made heavy by age, I remembered my numerous walks with friends and confidantes, the umpteen times we would gleefully waddle back home after a scrumptious meal at Panchavati Gaurav or Sharvaree, diligently working on group activity outside Kamala Nehru Park, the somewhat raucous but well-meaning laughter following some restricted viewings in there and what not...

I turn around the end of the road. The familiar walls to some of the most well known institutions in the country fall behind as I walk step after step towards a place that has shaped me. I walk in through the gate. I climb the stairs leading to the main door. I find a place on the top step, sit down and lean against the wall to feel welcome, rested after a night of indulgent and maddening fun.

As always, this physical closeness to the edifice drives me to think - about myself and my life. I do. I set some personal goals, about the person I want to be and where I want to go. I look back upon my recent past to be able to steer my future. I think of all the people who have made a difference in my mundane life by just being there. I check off habits I should get rid of. Things I should learn; only because they will made me happier about myself. A pleasant calm settles in a restless heart.

Something that Dr. Bhupatkar had said to a classroom full of then would-be MBAs on the first day of college has guided my actions ever since - "Make a choice and stand by it, despite the consequences." I may have made foolish decisions, but they are my own and I do not look back with regrets. For, unless I make a decision, I will never know whether it will shape my life for the better or for the worse. If I am on the edge, I would rather take a free fall than step back. What's a life without risks? And the last thing I would do is to just stand there and wait for something to happen.