The clock ticked into the dreaded day of departure. My eyes wide open lying on the bed for the last sleep in the room that I had grown so fond of over the year. But would it be my actual last sleep in here? I found out the answer to this question pretty soon when the tired eyes refused to catch some winks. I decided then that I would live the remaining moments in Manipal by staying awake. Looking around my side of the room, I could see all my packed bags, ready to be wheeled out. But was I ready to actually do that, I asked myself! No… I had one little suitcase right next to me with just a few clothes in it. Everything was packed except that one. Why so, you ask?
My psyche played tricks with me! I felt if I could procrastinate more and not pack the last bag, I could delay my departure from this place I love so much. I felt if I was done packing the last bag, it would finally dawn on me that everything is done and I’m leaving. I did not want that feeling.. just not yet. So I left it be. I opened my laptop and when online for the last time. I told myself I will not be using my ION internet anymore. Would I miss it? I would surely miss cursing it every time it mysteriously stopped working! But that day, it worked just fine. I even downloaded one last movie with the little GB I still had. Just for the sake of it!
I went online on Facebook, couldn’t help posting one last status from over here. People call it cheesy and typical, but I really didn’t care. I felt bad… not bad, terrible! about leaving and if no one could stop me from feeling that, then no one had the right to call it stereotypical either! I immediately got a few comments, likes. There were others awake and probably feeling the same way. Goodbyes are the most difficult part about leaving a place. When you leave a place behind which has taught you so much, helped you grow, given you moments that you will forever cherish, it’s as Joey from FRIENDS says, “It’s like the end of an era”!
I opened the MIT folder I had which contained the photos from the four golden years of my life. All the pictures neatly stacked into every semester. The common birthday name folder which repeated every other folder. The trips that made memories, the random class pictures. I smiled at how foolish I must have looked being the one always ready to pull out my cell phone n go clicking at every opportunity I got. It looked crazy back then, but when gone through now, I’m sure my friends are gonna cherish these natural silly pictures!
Just a few days back, before yet another tearful goodbye, I went with my pals on the click-a-thon I mentioned in one of my previous posts – The memories which someday you will tag as Priceless! We went to all the usual hangout spots, the iconic places of Manipal, the food joints, and we clicked on! Those pictures went into the folder and I realized those would be the last entries into the huge MIT folder which had grown kinda exponentially over the span of four short years! Yes, looking back now, they were very very short. Every semester seemed to grow shorter each time! Strange are the games of time.
With all the musings, tears, smiles and yawns, I looked out of my window and saw the sun rising over the valley. This was something I would miss very very much. It was a usual thing for my roomie to find me standing by the window either early in the morning or late at night, staring at the valley for a long time. I hated the fact that I wouldn’t be here the next morning or the coming days. With that done, I couldn’t help but notice the still unpacked suitcase. It was time I started on it. There wasn’t much time before the cab arrived. Reluctantly I mustered all my courage, and started packing, still wondering, still thinking, still smiling, still crying… yes, all at once!
You can never get enough outta this place, Manipal. As they say, you can take us out of Manipal, but not Manipal out of us!