The sojourn began in the middle of 2009. Bags were packed and I was sent to Pune for studying Law. No teary adieus – it was a cheerful start. As I have never been away from home, staying 1000 miles away was an adventurous start. Here I was – yet another ‘fresher’ at Symbiosis Law. As rebellious as it may sound, my new-found freedom was a prized asset. I loved staying away from my flat for several hours. It was the discovery of sudden liberty at first but times have changed now.
Initially, my ‘daddy dearest’ was kind enough to provide me with unlimited funding. Later, the noose became tighter. By the second semester, I started becoming broke by the middle of the month. Amazingly, I never understood how easily the money disappeared. Then, it seemingly became a routine. You do get to hear the word broke’ very often at college. Some days, you are so broke that you even have to ‘hitchhike’ to college. (Yes – people do that too!)
Food, which was a granted provision at home, does not have the same standing any more. Our taste buds yearn for some home-cooked food. Cheap street food that was earlier shunned by most of us has now become a delight at several occasions. Mess food at times is so ‘amazing’ that we find pleasure in visually admiring it only. Why spoil the way it looks by eating it? Any fellow mate coming back from home is bound to get loads of food – you don’t want to be boycotted, do you?
Hygiene is another aspect that has taken a complete toss. Once you enter college, you’ll surprisingly find yourself developing a high level of tolerance to dirt and the cutlery and utensils served at the college mess. Dirty chai glasses are no big deal now. Spoilt or dirty clothes are just another aspect that one should learn to ignore.
However, the best part about college life is how caffeine works wonders on one’s body that one has the capacity to ignore that fat hell-of-a-textbook until the last hour. We all sit all night contemplating how to study and surprisingly, time flies by! Yes – instead of revising, this new breed of aspiring lawyers that we are, we relax and then casually walk to college, chit-chat, write a few lines in our answer sheet and walk out of class. You see, your friends have surpassed your IQ level (hint: they’ve left the answer sheets blank.)
At the same time, the college life that started off as a vacation for me has found a new meaning. Pune has now become home for all of us. We have become more responsible and have carved a niche for ourselves. I have realized that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how influential your family is. What matters is who you are. And the best part? The journey has just began.