I will leave Kolkata in 2 days now. University beckons. I shall leave by the Saturday morning flight to Bangalore, then on by bus to Manipal.
The last week has been spent in frantically meeting friends. Time has suddenly past by very quickly. It seems just a while back when I knew had 2 weeks in hand. I was calm and collected about the whole deal of going. And then suddenly, here I am with two days. Meeting old friends and new, at different CCDs everyday, bidding goodbyes as nonchalantly and stoically as possible.
Its strange how each last meeting with different sets of friends has been uncannily similar in several aspects. We meet, and some one or the other is always late - once it was me, other times its been the other party. You talk over coffee about utter nonsense. Then its time to leave. Goodbyes are said a little too quickly, and you push off in your direction.
Its only after I move away that I become aware of the parting - that I shan't be meeting that person for a long time now. It makes the return journey very grave. Solemn. I'm morose, so to speak. Head bowed down slightly, I sit crumpled in my shuttle. That's not just because I'm in an off mood. Three others - blessed with supernatural powers of perspiration - sit in with me, spreading noxious fumes and consuming as much seat space as they can scrounge.
I transcend up, up and away from my physical discomfort. My mind involuntarily reflects, on my friends. It goes back to first encounters, meetings since, the phone conversations about absolutely nothing at all, the rendezvous that just ended. A drowsy numbness pains my sense... I permit myself a bodyshake, however much I can manage in my crumpled existence (a co-cheapskate passenger on one side, and the door-handle poking my thighs at the other side) . The odours of my fellow passengers, blending together, combine to make a potent camphor-substitute, bringing me back to life. I grin to myself, the cocky self assurance (that I'm going to be back in circulation here every now and then) comes surging and I feel the bitter taste of caffiene in my mouth, a last reminder of time spent with friends.
I will be gone in two days. Out of my home, out of my city, away from Gautam's Coffee, away from the escalators at Forum, the samosas at Tiwari's, Durga Pujo celebrations, the stone steps of my school building - away from it all.
All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...Damn. There's no one's door to stand outside, when the dawn is breaking in early morn, or a yawning Kolkata taxi-driver waiting at the porch. Lets not even go towards the hugs and kisses due to me.
Goodbye, Kolkata. I shall miss my city. I dont know exactly how much, as yet. But I shall know that very soon too. Tra la.
Next post from Manipal. It shall come off the new keys of my new laptop, kept neatly on my new study table, in my new dorm room...in my new home.