Between the Start and Now

Some of the roads we take 
Some untold ties we make
Take us to places we’ve never seen
To make us the ones we’ve never been. 

August.

Misty air. My alarm rings and I know I am a wee bit nervous, because its my first day at university after getting admitted. I am not exactly home alone, but still home alone. I know I cannot afford to be late. So I keep a buffer margin time of 30 minutes.

Just before breakfast, suddenly a tap explodes. Panic! I don’t know what to do? Shall I just let it be? Find the valve and close it, my mother says over the phone. Where is the valve? Even more importantly, what is the valve?

I know there’s a compartment right over the tiny library by the living room, so I open the   door to the compartment and start closing each one of the valves. Each time I turn one valve, I run down to check if the tap had stopped flowing.

First valve. Second Valve. Third Valve. Finally, the tap stops flowing. I look at my watch, my 30 minute buffer has already been blown! Panic Part Two. I hurriedly have breakfast and catch the first tempo that comes. I can’t be late! I can’t. But it seems like I was. Heavens!

I see a dusty road in front. I guess this must be the stop. I had never taken a tempo to university before today. I get down. Suddenly the view seems different from when I had seen it the last time. NO! THIS CAN’T BE! I could not have taken the wrong tempo. NOT NOW. Panic Part Two and Three Quarters! Thankfully I had just gotten down slightly, actually a lot earlier than my intended bus stop. Phew!

Finally, finally I get there. Not on time. But I get there. I know which valve to close and which stop to get down. The second one particularly, very important.

***

December.

The cold air hits my cheeks. My mother is slightly agitated that I have blown up the 15 minute time buffer all over again. Black robes everywhere. Everyone looks good, surprisingly everyone does in that black robe. May be we all just look funny in our oversized robes and that is why we look good. Or may be we’ve finally made it, and thats why we look good. Whatever be the reason, everyone looks good.

There’s a big commotion going on. Over a thousand students are graduating today. Phones on each hand. It’s a big day, no one wants to miss a single moment. It’s a big day.

And as the start would have some how foretold it, it took me a little longer than expected to reach the moment.

***

Faces that seemed strange 1095 days ago have filled my phones and I have filled theirs. Our caps are flying left and right. And words fall short to describe what came between the start and now. I would not dare call it the end, I’d just call it ‘Now’. The Start and Now.

Its like a jigsaw puzzle, it is almost impossible to predict the final outcome without having all the pieces placed. So, lets just keep on adding the pieces one after another.

I wish you luck, love and happiness my friends. When we meet again, it shall be a new space and a new time. And still it will be now.

The now that keeps on expanding. The now that never ends.

Everything between the Start and Now.

This journey’s gonna end someday
But you’ll find footsteps on every way
That lead you to me
Lead me to you
Lead us to the ones we used to be, 
Lead me to you
Lead you to me
Lead us to the ones we used to be. 


Photograph: Class of 2017, with many many people missing, in front of the main building of our Alma Mater. 

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