Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Single in the City

BITS happened in the summer of 2005, and ever since I reached Goa I have felt like a nomad. I felt at home at home and also, at BITS - my new home. Before coming to BITS I always traveled with my parents who ensured I was comfortable wherever we went. In BITS, I had many journeys and sojourns, without my parents, and they taught me how to make any place my home. The latest in the list is Bangalore.


Back in December last year, before I left the campus, I knew coming six months were going to be in Bangalore- thanks to PS2. I knew that after spending every single minute I was awake with friends, for the past three-and-a-half years, Bangalore was going to be difficult. without them. Even for someone like me who loves(loved??) solitude. That is the effect college, especially hostel, life had on me.


For those readers who don't understand the closeness and deep bonds of friendship that you develop in college, I don't know how to explain. I can just say, try staying away from your home, away from family after being dependent on them for more than 15 years of your life. Try being surrounded by hundreds of people sailing in the same boat as you. And then try to explain the complications of your day to day (happening?) college life to your family members sitting hundreds or thousands of kilometers from you. Try to stay fresh and alive and happy and perky as you move away from your loved ones. Try it. You will understand. Trust me.


For those who have the experience, well, what can I say, you know the feeling. Those of you reading this, who are still living this rosy period of life, my advice is live it to the fullest. And those of you who are out, you could join me in raising a toast to the days gone by- the golden period of our lives.


Ok enough! I am going off the track... So my campus life is over. It has ended and has brought me to this new stage-Practice School 2. The PS2 program is a weird feature. Actually it is a good entry into the world outside the campus- or a good introduction to the working environment. You are out of college and don't have the option of bunking or sleeping till after midday. You can't or at least wouldn't want to disappoint the host organisation, the BITSian ego in you will make sure of that. Yet, you are not into the corporate world. Unless you are really unlucky, chances are you will have a dozen BITSians for company. Your weekends will still be spent eating out, catching a movie and sometimes sitting on the footpaths (though less often now), with familiar faces. The only change is the background of the image. The objects remain the same.


Now out of the campus, it is a strange feeling of independence. This is the first time I am staying away from the sheltered environment provided my parents or BITS. No restrictions what so ever(except that I need to come to PS everyday!). And I am liking it, as I am sure most others are too. This freedom is even sweeter for my committed friends who can spend more time with their gfs/bfs without the fear of being caught by anyone(of course everyone fears the moral police). There is a lot more for them to do, and many more options to hang out, and more freedom, thus more demands on their time.


So, what happens to me when all my friends are busy with their bfs/gfs? Well, I am alone on the streets of Bangalore(after a point its boring to sit in a 12X12 feet room with three beds). I see many things around me which I hardly notice when I am in a group. I simply love the tiny bird hopping on the wet grass, the small helpless boy in tattered clothes selling tea to get some money for his dinner, the bright yellow shirt a wannabe metrosexual guy is flaunting, the speed at which Honda Civic crosses me, the look in the eyes of the pink faced one year old in his mom's arms, the look of affection in the mother's eyes, the smile on a pretty girl's face as she is busy typing on her iPhone, the assurance of protection that a father offers his son who is firmly holding his dad's hand, the happiness on the face of a young boy of five when his mom gets him a Happy Meal, the fascination on his face when he plays with the toy, the group of people standing on the road to cross the road, in a rush to reach their destinations on time, the guy wearing white shirt and stylish sunglasses at night, waiting for his girlfriend to come and sit behind on his CBZ, the girlfriend who is walking with great difficulty in her high heeled shoes, the last few rays of sun giving a brilliant glow to the sky, the big strong trees disappearing into the darkness of the night, the autowala haggling with two guys for ten bucks...and a lot more.


Sometimes I feel that silence and solitude are the best things in the world. It makes me look at things I often miss in my everyday busy schedule when I am hanging out with my friends. Things outside and inside. I absorb my surroundings better. I just sit at CCD with a book and cappucino. I get to checkout books in Landmark for hours, without having to worry about someone else. I eat what I want, when I want and all I want. I watch the stupidest movie ever made and laugh very hard. I go off to sleep contented in my heart-a weird kind of peace. I don't understand the feeling myself- I wish for more time alone.


And this new city has given me a lot of it, which I have used to reflect upon my past, savour the present and dream of my future. At the end of each day I feel that being a single ain't that bad. At least not in this city full of life and with a head brimming with thoughts.

20 comments:

smilingassassin said...

hey i totally relate with u... as in there was a phase in my life when i was forced to be alone and put up with life.. i was scared to be alone after having been surrounded by ppl all the while... and after a while i had grown to get accustomed with the solitude and the freedom that it provided... yet after sometime..it became a habitual need.. i longed for solitude even when i was hanging out with the best of my friends... i found company with self more rewarding than anything in the world... well those r the times u learn more abt urself and u learn to respect and love urself more than ever cus u probably realise y u r the way u r! and u get to change if there is something YOU dont like abt urself... and basically u can remodel urself.. wen u r in a grp, u constantly have to remodel/behave according to the tone of the grp.. and somehow u end up not being who YOU wanted yourself to be.. :P

i dont know if it makes sense at all.. but this is precisely what i learnt from my solitude... :)

KK said...

bas.. yahan wahan 2-4 bacchhe kya dikh gaye, koi panchi kya dikha, koi Honda Civic (!!!!) kya dikhi... bhool hi jao matlab humko, hai na? :P

nevertheless, i totally hate being alone.. even when i am, there's always the cellphone! when i'm all by myself, its scary, u know it na :P

and Honda Civic!!!! :D :D

Anonymous said...

Very much similar to what i'm going through currently... though i'm living with my parents currently... the friends part is true...e1 i spend a lot of time alone... instead of sitting somewhere, going on long rides on my bike.. or just sitting in crossword for hours...


But the only difference is i'm hating it all now...i like being alone for sometime... but after some time it gets to me... really waiting for june when i will be joining my company in a new city... with a hope of a new begining all over again... :-)

Punky said...

Chweet :P

On the other hand, being in your home town is totally different. i get almost no time alone. I don't wanna leave home in the morning, and in the evening, more often than not, there is something to do. On the rare occasion that I am alone, I feel ALONE!

There are times when I want to be alone and I love the solitude. At others, I just wanna talk with people, and get very irritated if people aren't free to talk.

Aah! But you know all this already :P

NAL'I'n'I' said...

@ashwin: even though convoluted, it did make sense(guess we are both weird ;)... and ya you can really work on yourself when alone- on your perception of yourself, think things through...

@kk: i didn't choose to be alone here :'( ...and I love Civic... amongst Indian cars... in fact I like all three Honda cars ... and thank god u have low sms rates, otherwise your parents would have shelling out twice the tuition money on your phone bill :P

@anonymous: i guess most of us can't bear being alone for long... after all man is a social animal... may the new city not be so lonely for you :)

@punky: i am aware of how you switch personalities... one moment you are animatedly discussing some new technology(yes you are a nerd :P) and the next you want everyone to leave to alone...

prats said...

you have penned this thing beautifully.. this is what bangalore does to you :P.. last sem wz in ur shoes, so knw wt u goin thru..

being single rocks \m/ and observing ppl is so much fun.. u'l get lotsa time to introspect during PS and it is a real nice thing to experience fr a chng..

KK said...

i didn't choose to be alone here :'( ...and I love Civic... amongst Indian cars... in fact I like all three Honda cars

well, the first part... :-/ no one is alone, with all the "technological" advances... and do you think i dont know about your love for Honda cars, and in particular the Civic!! ;P B-)


anyways... treat to banta hai!!! \m/

Tanaya said...

hey dear nallu,
being single is not bad at all!! u have all d time in d world to do whatever u want to... i felt a sense of deja vu reading ur post... being in a new place, away frm family and frnds, its a totally new experience... but trust me, its one hell of an experience..!! u discover urself... u learn to do things which u were earlier afraid of doing, u learn to face ur fears head-on, u learn to appreciate solitude, u learn to live all on ur own.. most importantly, u learn to appreciate urself...
believe me, PS2 has changed me in so many ways, for d better!! i am a much more confident, focussed and independent person today. i enjoy my solitude as much as i enjoy being ard ppl... i feel i know myself better.

i cant say abt committed guys, but being single defnitely gives u a lot of time to do all of d above and more... hence, enjoy and appreciate d present for now... u wont be this free of responsibilities ever again... let life take its own sweet course :)

Tanaya said...

just to say.. ur post made me miss my PS2 days...

KK said...

i second tanaya's views.. (the Big post of course)... :)

NAL'I'n'I' said...

@ tanu: I know it one hell of an experience... and i am loving every moment of it... wouldn't want to change it :)

and for all my sweet friends who thought i was lonely- I sure miss you a lot, but I know you are just a phone call away (as kk so rightly said)... and these moments of 'being alone' are not lonely... and they don't last long... just as long as some of you are busy with your better halves :P
but its good to know you care so much :)

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KK said...

omg a spam too long? the last nail in my coffin? :O i hope not... :)

Tanaya said...

@KK: yoyo
how r u finding Hyd? where all did u go around?
i had a real blast in hyd for 6 months... one of d best times of my life... absolutely miss dat place!! :|

NAL'I'n'I' said...

ok... why do ppl keep chatting on my blog??
and stop spamming kk!!!

Tanaya said...

@nallu: just to bug u :P ;) :)

KK said...

Hyd is good... but not many close frnds around, and too many things happening.. so kinda not-so-great out here.. a good city though, but the traffic sucks!! went many places, and i'd been here thrice before, many relatives stay here na.... :)

and Nalini, we love you so much that even chatting on this page is like heaven!

hai na, tanaya? :)

Deepak Pareek said...

It's good to be lonely, because it makes you realize the importance of being in a company.

You find your own self when lonely.
You miss those who are close to your heart.
You miss what you want to do.
Loneliness lets you prioritize.
Loneliness makes you discover.

If company is like a heavy Butter chicken diet... loneliness is the appetizer that prepares you for indulgence, AGAIN !! :)

Tanaya said...

@KK: absolutely..!! nallu's blog is my favorite webpage in the world ;) its my home page too.. lol

@nallu: :-* :D

KK said...

lolz...