‘Tryst with God’s Own Kampus V2.0′: Looking for Home – Vishaal Pathak shares his initial experience at IIM Kozhikode
What makes a home? Brick and mortar – four walls and a roof? An elaborate garden, a plush room to yourself, the aroma of a home-cooked meal that makes each day feel like a lazy Sunday afternoon? Familiar faces you’ve seen all your life – faces you wish you could see each day?
Eklavya’s sense of home had faded, post his mother lost a gruelling battle to cancer a year and a half ago. Unsure of where he belonged, he backpacked for a year, losing and finding himself in the wilderness, wondering if homes and belongingness were fleeting, just like our time here.
Having never set foot in God’s own country before, he was contemplating if it was indeed the right move, while his train from New Delhi chugged along, making Calicut seem like a far-off place.
The campus was beautiful with scenic views galore, but the celebration of its charm was short-lived. The drudgery of groggily getting out of bed, queuing up to have meals, exhausting lectures and sacrosanct deadlines made him look around for solace. Birds flew and chirped outside the class, a guy scribbled frantically in his run up to the institute’s gold medal, a pretty girl wouldn’t get enough of biting her nails. Eklavya wondered what it’d be like to go up and talk to her, but unskilled in small talk, he kept to himself.
To come to everyone’s rescue was Roobaroo – freshers-cum-section-war, three days of battle where friendships are strengthened or put on a hiatus, depending on your allegiance to sections. There were events ranging from fashion parade and dance competitions to sledge-fest and the ‘electric’ JAM – an event he crashed out of – it being completely outside of his comfort zone. As the competition gained traction, the battle got fiercer, with section mates burning midnight oil to practice for events. A pat on the back, a helping hand, a simple compliment was all it took to push one’s limits. It wasn’t just the time for section rivalry, it was also the time for section bonding. People would adorn similar t-shirts, bang snare-drums, and full-throttle their vocal cords to cheer for their section-mates. The atmosphere gradually caught up with him, and the mellowed soul became one of them. His section emerged victorious and broke into celebrations.
In that frenzy all around him, in the section-photograph huddles, in the fox-inhabited greenery, amidst the gabled-roof buildings, in a place where it rains by default, a place where students happily chased submission deadlines, he had found something. Walking back from F-Top to his hostel, with the deafening music fading behind him, he thought about the last three days, about the sixty-odd unique yet similar people from his section, about that girl in his class who wouldn’t stop biting her nails, and about the countless deadlines to come. It was then when the realization hit him “Homes can be transient, memories are timeless.” A smile contoured his lips, as he closed his eyes and murmured “I’m home.”
The above article was written by Vishaal Pathak, 1st year PGP student at IIM Kozhikode and was chosen as the winning entry for the competition ‘Tryst with God’s Own Kampus V2.0‘ conducted by Media Cell, IIMK.
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