what if

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Here’s to the what ifs

The ones that got away

The roads not taken

The regrets over yesterday.

The coulda woulda shouldas

The cliches that rationalise

Every piece of luck, good or bad

And the unaccounted irregularities.

Here’s to cold comforts

And the numbing familiarity

Of slow days, blending into blurry years

And wondering what could’ve been.

A toast, to the doubt that plagues

Every apparently well-reasoned decision

To choose the safe option, yet always

Seeking the deep end’s adrenaline rush.

For the 0.01% chance

Of you being the outlier

Will always make you second-guess everything.

That minuscule possibility, which

Defeats every pro/con list,

The irrational, that romanticises

Labours that would never materialise.

These questions must be for daydreams,

These worries are the folly of youth

For how could we know, we are so young!

All we can do is to just sit back, and

Enjoy this show.

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the circle game

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I stumbled upon Joni Mitchell’s music while trawling through playlists on 8tracks, sometime in the second year of college. Listening to ‘A Case of You’ on quiet nights in my room, hushed all restlessness and enveloped the atmosphere in tranquillity. She wrote these simple, melodious songs, and true to her iconic legacy, they still rang true, decades later in the heart of the Facebook generation. Music is the closest thing we have to a time machine; put on a song and you’re instantly transported to a feeling, an identity, a physical place even, years ago, that we thought we had said goodbye to.

Back to college after a hectic winter break, in the last few months of college, my peers and friends are trying to make peace with the vagaries of the last five years and preparing themselves for adulthood. Some are quite sure that these were the best years of their lives; some feel that they’ll probably never recover from the trauma of law school in a dry state. Others are trying to figure out exactly where they stand. As soon-to-be adults and future ex-students, we are trying to understand and begin adulthood by avoiding others’ mistakes. Each of us has consciously begun this process – getting fit, racking up brag-worthy accolades, making that buddy trip to Goa, mending and/or burning bridges. (Or it’s just the third week of the new year and folks are doing a really good job of holding on to their resolutions? Let’s see.)

Everyone is also trying to collect all the good, bad and ugly lessons that half-a-decade stuck in this near-apocalyptic wasteland (which is surely a twisted human experiment in a parallel universe) has taught them. They hope to remember these lessons and apply them with the maturity becoming of a responsible 23 year-old member of the working classes. Also, in their own way, some people are waiting for a catharsis, an epiphany, or just some divine revelation that will make sense of their own personal version of the existential crisis, suffering through which seems to be a rite of passage in college. Unless they have sensibly chosen chasing tail instead of chasing tails. (I am allowed one instance of obscure innuendo per blogpost.)

Meanwhile, i was surprised at how the farewell-goggles hadn’t taken hold of me yet. Probably because i feel about as euphoric as a jailbird nearing the end of her sentence. What the last five years have been to me shall remain described in great detail in my private book of grudges. For now, i think that no matter what my unresolved issues with my college experience may be, as time passes, the regrets will efface, and i will come to remember this place with some warmth, fondness and gratitude. The resentment and bitterness will fade away, and only the recollections of hours spent in solitude or raucous 90s tapori music will remain. Memory is a fascinating, fickle thing, and subsequent events can greatly change our perception of the past.

I think that with time, you just learn to forget the bad parts. Maybe that is what they mean by ‘time heals all wounds’?

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