Have you seen the movie ‘Yaadon ki baarat’!!
Well I haven’t except for that famous song ‘chura liya hai tumne’ where a strange looking actor cracks dialogues like
‘hum jis mehfil me gaate hai waha log sote nahi jagte hain’ in midst of his laughing mandali and the gorgeous Zeenat Aman, plays with the guitar as if auditioning for ‘chak de’.
And so also this title that reminds me of the year went by – that the Mighty Mamallas are destined to traverse, that we as Spartans would carry around like the billa number 786 hung on the ‘Deewar’ of our memories for time immemorial.
Cut to scene 1 act 1:
Present: Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Sitting on the edge of the kumayun range of Himalayas, in the hills of Ramgarh at around 7000 feet above ground (Great Lakes is at sea level), in the abode of gods I find a speechless invitation on my mobile – a text from my mentor inviting me to write a final blog for the college website.
As a writer, I have been on a journey of sorts in the last one month gulping every ink of the novels I had missed out in the past year due to the MBA program. The serendipity of the place is such that it doesn’t take a Sherlock Homes to dive in the memories and recollect the best of the last days of the finishing school we dearly called as GLIM, an oxymoron to the bright and cheerful feelings of all its stakeholders!!!
Scene 2 act 1:
Imagine hordes of cartons piled up, everyone scrambling for that extra box and the tape and the scissors playing hide and seek, the jury meanwhile from ‘Gati’ ( perhaps high school pass) unleashing a tight discipline on the business graduates!! The corridor between the anna shop and the clinic was a testimony to the chaotic feelings that every Spartan was witnessing. The lucky amongst us were busy transporting ourselves to the other world while the few left behind were sitting tight on the shores of Great Lakes with a fishing rod, waiting for that exclusive catch to come their way.
Everywhere we met to everyone we met, there were tearless drops, hugs and promises to keep in touch. No one was spared: from the security bhaiyas to posing with Profs, everyone was ticked and cleared from our wish list. The last supper in cafeteria, the last coffee in bistro, the last meals in every restaurants of Mahabs mixed with those crazy talks, the last sunset on the beach of Radisson and that last stroll in the college campus were all rehearsed like some ancestral rituals.
The best part of the farewells for many was the numbers that came to say ‘goodbye’, for some groups it was the most awaited day of their MBA life (lol, although they would disagree now), for many it was the end of the world (magically many cynics fell in love in their last days) while for gypsies like me it was just something that was meant to be. I knew we were leaving never to meet and share our lives in ways that we did here. It was sob sob, gift wrapped and plastically smiled away in our departures.
Scene 2 act 2:
Vote your Caste!!
They say old habit dies hard. True.
Everyday checking the secret group on the facebook Spartan page, waiting for some interesting updates from people I knew and lived with for the past year, I tried falling back on the old days. When would the daring someone challenge the system, when a savior would show his patriotic genes and breakaway with his freedom speech or that satirical genius who would hold an opinion on everything that’s posted with his turmeric and salsa spicing the whole conversation. It was getting boring as however much I wanted I had to play the witness.
Fine the facebook page of Mamallas helped a little to hold on to our roots but you tell me, what would a kid know of his parent’s dreamy encounters and the legends thereafter??
The mails though helped with news of Spartans cracking good jobs every week. I felt responsibly relieved for my friends, my batch mates.
Scene 3 act 1:
“Are you coming?”
“Have you lost your mind? What kind of a question dude, wouldn’t miss for the world da”
Every conversation revolved around finding out who all are on the list for the convocation, females desperately seeking opinions on their attires for the farewell party while the men lots worried more with the arrangements (if you know what I mean!!) than about the venue.
The night before the d-day, we received a mail declaring a list of the meritorious students with announcements of certificates and scholarships running in six digits!! Gosh I never knew that our college gave away so much cash, else perhaps would have been a lot more serious huh.. the 3 idiots scene running firmly in my mind, ‘dost fail ho jaye to dukh hota hai par agar dost first aa jaye to aur dukh hota hai’!
Scene 3 act2:
Yaadon ki baarat nikali hai phir…
‘The next speaker is Shashwat Rai who would recollect his time at Great Lakes. Please give a round of applause’
As my name was called out, the other host lent her wild fantasy in my ear.
“Dude, go leave a mark, tell them about her, the love of your life”
Damn, all the rehearsed rhetoric of the great speakers that I had heard, the great speeches talking on how management was the most noble profession of how it was the only antidote to the failed international politics, the excerpts from Steve Jobs’ Stanford dots and all of that went for a toss.
Satisfied and happy after luring the next batch with promises of bounty placements and fun on the beaches of mamallas, rightfully theirs after the namesake!
Scene 4 act 1:
Farewell party: The End – a new beginning!!
Suffering with a habit of reaching early to places which are foreign to me, I happened to crash the venue of our farewell party with my better half, long before any other Spartan arrived. The crime scene was bustling with energy, music in the background and people celebrating their togetherness. But was it our farewell or a fresher’s party for the Mamallas.
Suddenly the Guruji in me rose to the occasion. Catching hold of the nervous few I enquired,
“I don’t believe this! Is it a get together for you guys or a farewell of Spartans! Bachaji we have a tradition to withhold!!”
Prompt came the reply, “Sirjee kya farak padta hai, enjoy karo dance karo.. Chak de phatte, nap de killi, sau chuhe khake Haj ko chali billi”
I knew the time had come to move on. I lend my brain to every soul in that party who wanted to know what to expect – their future, shook my leg with the Spartans who attended the farewell and gladly packed my bags for a place that was far far away, away from the maddening rush of a place we fondly called “home” at Great Lakes.
“Manzil mil hi jayegie, bhatakte hue hi sahi.
Ghumrah to who hai jo ghar se nikle hi nahi!”