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Thursday, 2 July 2020

The Day of the Lasts


It was the day of many lasts. I wanted it to be special, something for all of us to look back and smile about. I wanted us to give each other the tightest of hugs and take the best of photos. So when I went up to that podium to give my farewell speech, I was all set for the audience to start tearing up. I stood there before my batchmates in that moment, waiting for the commotion to die down. Waiting and waiting some more. Until it was awkward to wait any longer and I started speaking amidst the noise anyway.



There was the moment I was longing for, when it was finally supposed to sink in that school was over. The commotion never died down, my 'magical moment' was a flop. What followed was a couple more speeches, a video for the sake of nostalgia, and a little bit of this and that for entertainment. This day turned out to be just another occasion for dressing up and sticking to that friend with a camera.

But that day was the beginning of a turning point, one that I was really looking forward to. It was the beginning of adulthood. A fresh start away from home to start living a bit on my own terms. A fresh start to be taken seriously (finally!) and to holding responsibilities. A fresh start to figuring myself out a little more. 

Four years down the lane as the college comes to a close, I find myself yet again at the same place. The next turning point. Only, this time, there was no farewell day to mark the turning. Our day of the lasts had gone by without our notice. Who would've thought that a pandemic would break loose and shut us in our homes? 

At a certain point, the introvert in me was glad to avoid a farewell. There wouldn't be any obligations for pretence now. But I can't lie about wishing we still knew when our last days were. Maybe we would've done something special, after all. Maybe it would've been the best days of our lives.

But years ahead from now, we have much to look back and smile about still. We'll remember idling away in the mini canteen with a milkshake and a plate of noodles. We'll remember failing miserably in our attempts for a mass bunk. We'll remember being sprawled in the lobby introspecting over our lives during fests.  We'll remember the numerous impromptu trips to the nearest restaurants. And we'll remember huddling in a hostel room to laugh away at nothings.

College didn't turn out as I'd expected it to. Maybe I was expecting a bit too much. I'd imagined emerging as a different person after these four years. A magical metamorphosis that my surroundings were supposed to handle. But I've realized that I haven't changed much, but only understood better what I've always been. I've also realized that I cannot expect the world to push me ahead. That the thrust has to come from me. 

At this point, I feel much like I did four years ago. Once again excited and looking forward to the next phase of my life. But the time to come is more uncertain than ever before. It's nothing like we'd imagined it to be. But hey, once we get through it all, whenever that might be, we will pass on this story to the generations to come. We will remember the days we have lost and they will still be special. We will cherish them even more and be the reminder to the world that what we have right now is precious. For, we never know when the day of the lasts would be. 

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Joining #WordlessWednesday hosted by Esha M Dutta and Natasha Sinha

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