(Every campus has a set of building, architecture or culture that defines the institution. For IIM Bangalore, it's the 'Stone Walls'; but then, there is one more special wonder in this campus, it's beautiful streets surrounded by mesmerizing greenery. This letter is a tribute to those streets, not only in IIMB but also in the other campuses as well, which shows a path to thousands of lives, literally.)
Dear Serene Streets,
This is the time of saying goodbyes. Nostalgia is the flavour of the season, and everybody is busy in bidding adieu to the near and dear ones. I also thought that I'll say goodbye to something that has soothed my heart for the past couple of years: you, the serene streets of IIM Bangalore.
I've always felt sorry for you, of course, for the obvious reasons. Everybody calls this a 'Stone-walled campus'. Every social media pic, every news article, every yearbook caption mentions or features the magnificent stone walls of this campus, but you've hardly given the respect you truly deserve.
But today, I'll try my best to pay my dues, as you have orchestrated changes in the lives of so many people, that anyone could hardly imagine.
I remember one of the first nights in this campus when I wildly ran over you, in a mad race to find some 10 places, spread over the entirety of your beautiful length. That was our first interaction, but that's not how it should have been. It was like a teenage love affair, a wild rush. I noticed and ignored you at the same time.
But then, we got to interact more gracefully in the coming weeks, when my anxiety was spilling over my heart, and out of a sudden, I decided to take a walk at 5 am in the night. As you divulged in the surrounding greenery and sparkled in the dim light of lamps standing next to you, my heart was mesmerized by your serenity. And as my slowly moving feet traversed the surface of yours, slightly damp because of the beautiful dew in the dawn, you embraced me with your tranquillity. You showed me what true peace and sanity is all about. And at that time, a misguided ghost was born, and midnight walks became a ritual.
But it's immature to call it a ritual, as I was very different in every meet we ever had.
Sometimes I was alone, wandering like a ghost and sometimes with the people I loved and cared about the most. The conversations spanned from exams to placements, and from life to love, but you silently, and pleasantly, listened to everything. Whatever may be the context, you had a perfect setting for it.
Sometimes, the songs in my headphones reflected the jubilant joys, sometimes, they conveyed the methodical melancholy. But you always provided rhythm to the rhyme and a platform for my feelings to dance to the tune.
Sometimes, the hands were held, the love was overflowing, and sometimes the heart was broken, bleeding from the deep cuts. Yes, I had a different mixture and composition of feelings, every time, when I came to you with. It was anxiety at first, happiness at the next, and then fear of the placements that followed. There were flavours of love, blushing, shyness, and there were also hues of hatred, heartbreaks, and animosity.
But you, like always, embraced me with open arms.
I am grateful to you because you never judged me. You accepted me for what I came with and guided me towards tranquillity. Every single time!
If not for you, I'd not be able to keep my mind concentrated. If not for you, I'd not be able to make friends that I wish to last for a lifetime. If not for you, I'd not be able to feel the soulfulness of true love, and get over several heartbreaks, both in personal and professional lives.
And most of all, if you weren't there, I'd never be able to write anything here. You've always added a method to the madness of my childish heart, and propelled the stream of words out of it!
You triggered the writer in me!
Yes, IIM Bangalore is a 'Stone-walled' campus, but it is also the campus of the serene streets, where hundreds of souls brainstorm solutions to the case (and life) problems, hold hands with their dear ones to experience the serenity of love, get over their broken hearts and in the process, try to find the inner peace for their minds and hearts. The problem is, they realize the importance of this serenity once they go out in the cruel world, and don't even thank you before they take the final walk on you as they leave towards the realism. But you never complain. You silently wish them goodbye, weep in the rain, and ready yourself to catalyze feelings of the next batch to come.
But today, as it's probably my last day on the campus, I'll take some time for my farewell with you. I'll silently walk on the streets until I reach my favourite spot behind the MDC (Managerial Development Center), quietly sit down, and embrace you with my trembling fingers.
I'll not care about the world, as the warm, tiny pearls from my eyes, escape the thick frame of my specs, slide on my cheek, to slowly fall on you, and submerge in your serenity.
"Why do you like to take walks on these streets, that too at such an oddly hours?" She asked him with a cute voice, as her innocent eyes slowly gasped the lost soul walking with her.
"Because these serene streets have beautiful stories to tell if you have some courage to listen." The voice was his, but the words appeared to have come from some other dimension altogether.
A dimension, which streets lead him too!!!
- Signing off, Misguided Ghost