Life then, was a cakewalk for me. Life for me was academic excellence. Life for me was unrestricted attention. Life for me was STHS’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, my performances – on and off stage. Life for me was winning academic accolades every year. Life for me was quiz contests and extempore, and the victories associated with them. Life for me was a Teacher’s Day party with less of teachers and more of DJs. Life for me was bunking coaching classes on a Sunday morning to watch Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na at INOX. Life for me was cooking up stories at home to attend the fete of DBL. Life for me was Dia, and the numerous têtês-à-têtês with her over the phone. Life for me was a 7 page long message which PJ had sent me to study before asking a girl out. Life for me was my 1st date which AG n PJ were hell-bent on spoiling but somehow failed to do so. Life for me was useless discussions with AG on womanizing. Life for me was the useless fights with PJ that started and ended nowhere. Life for me was texting Suman whenever I felt low, knowing full well that he won’t be able to find any solution to anything, yet seeking in him, a shoulder to rest on, notwithstanding the hour of the day. Life for me was the long chat sessions with Dodo over the phone, almost everyday, till I ran out of money or someone else called me. Life for me was the love to hate Howrah and its residents. Life for me was counting on Dodo to take me out of every little problem that I had. Life for me was chocolates, pastries, movies and most importantly, friends and a guitar. Life for me was Linkin Park. Life for me was Fossils.
Life is now staring at the Orkut screen on a tedious evening, expecting to catch up with a friend. Life is now taking the futile tests on Facebook. Life is now sitting back and contemplating upon my next step. Life is now retreating myself from all those things, all those people who had once been my life. Life is now success, career, and ambition. Life is now giving up on friends owing to geographical as well as emotional distance. Life is now a platform to cope with jealousy and hatred from the people outside, as well as the people inside. Life is now giving up on all values, all feelings, all emotions. Life is now just nostalgia – a platform to stand and look back at those endearing moments spent with Dodo, Suman, AG, PJ… at the DBL Fete, INOX, Belilious Park… on Saraswati Puja, Durgapuja… Life is now reminding me every moment of the pros and cons of falling in love. Life is now striving hard to keep the friendship alive with the same old emotions. Life is now a broken string of a guitar. Life is now screaming like Chester:
“In the end, it doesn’t even matter…”
The different similarities and the similar differences:
The public attention is still there, but now it intrudes into my personal life. PJ and I still argue in vain, but on different contexts, on serious issues. AG and I still discuss womanizing, but that is done to keep his lov- life strong and sustaining. Suman and I still text each other, but that has become too topical, not whenever we feel like… SMS balance has become one of the limiting factors. Dodo and I still talk over the phone, but the frequency has declined way beyond expectation. Both of us are too contemporary now… that fervor, that affection, that expression is missing from both of us. We want to talk, but cannot. Something bothers us. I still look up to him even when I’m in the silliest of mess. But somehow, I feel he is too preoccupied to focus on me… and perhaps that makes him unapproachable to me. Who knows, even he thinks likewise… There is no more pastries and chocolates, I’ve become health conscious. We still freak out on movies, but that’s only when the tickets are sold at Nandan at a maximum rate on 50 bucks. The guitar is still there, but it is not tuned for months. Shamik Da is no more. LP is there as well, but sometimes, Chester’s screams get on my nerves, unlike a couple of years back. Even Rupam da is there with his Fossils, but his one quote has become one of the finest lessons in my life:
“Buddhiman chele-meyera prem korte shuru korar agey eta mathaye rekhe prem korte shuru kore je, je kono somoy ei somporko shesh hoye jete pare…”
Everything is still there; hollowness amidst everything is the latest addition...