11th October ‘2002:
Eight students with different ethnicity, different nature, different habits and different interests: Three Gujaratis, one from Rajasthan, one from UP, one from Bihar, one Maharashtrian, and one South Indian met at AD Patel Institute of Technology, Anand on 11th October ‘2002. Yet they had one thing in common? All of them were home-away, away from their cozy dens of their home towns, away from those comfy family dinners, away from those fun filled family outings, away from mother’s kisses, father’s hugs and sibling tiffs, away from home, sweet home, not forgetting to mention, for the first time! And that common thing cemented their friendship for a lifetime…!!
13th August ‘2011:
A decade has passed. Times changed, people changed and so did I. Today, most of us are married, settled in life, doing worthwhile in life (something we never imagined of doing in those fun filled college-hostel days). But still, what has not changed is the comfort level, the love, the passion for friendship and the feeling of togetherness though each one of us is miles away and some of us haven’t even met each other for more than 3 years!. Yet the bond is going strong! And I would attribute this understanding to our hostel life of 4 years!
Hostel life has helped me comprehend the profound meaning of friendship. In those four roller coaster years of engineering, we all have had those trying yet fun times, times when we fought over the silliest matters, cried over heartbreaks until we laughed, laughed over the poorest of jokes until we cried, indulged in early Sunday morning walks yapping/gossiping/bitching about anything and everything under the Sun, satiated our hungry taste buds by visiting every restaurant in the town and driving those waiters crazy with our orders, invited ghosts for a chit chat by fooling around with the planchet thingy (am not sure if they really came, but we assumed affirmation as we took troubles to call them), annoyed our adorable wardens by claiming to be back on time by 8 PM during our evening outings (night outs were not allowed!) but never kept up our word only to find them fuming ready to welcome us with a lot of dreadful warnings, infuriated every auto walah in town to no bounds by refusing to take 2 autos and deliberately huddling into one (considering we were 8), and then sincerely abiding by the rules of ctrl c + ctrl v when it came to writing journals….aah! Here, not forgetting to mention, we celebrated our first friendship day with friendship bands, a comedy movie, lots of shopping followed by a scrumptious dinner! And what was so special about it? Home-away and hostel-away for first time, felt like those birds freed from a cage. Only that we had to return to our nest before dusk! And yet, nothing could beat that feeling! Nostalgic memories…happy moments…carefree life..when only family that existed in reality for us in that campus was this circle of friendship…!!
And then the day came when this family of eight had to bid adieu to the wonderful 4 years of togetherness, the day we graduated that also marked the day we vacated our hostel. We couldn’t stop staring blankly at the spacious well furnished rooms that contained the most beautiful memories of those best laughs, those worst fights, those one day matches of preparation before exams, late night tea & gossips, tears that were shed on each other’s shoulders, and those giggles over stupidity of each that reverberated still in our ears! Memories are sweet and they are painfully sweet especially when we know that, that particular time window has lapsed and we desperately yearn for them, knowing the fact that no time machine in the world can bring us back those moments again! Yet, I thank my stars and the Almighty for giving me that wonderful phase of life which helped me adjust in all those times later when living away from home became more of a necessity and when a need to be independent which required tremendous patience, tolerance and adjustment was indispensable! Yes, teachings of hostel life are priceless.
P.S: I know am late in wishing a happy friendship day to my friends. However I don’t need a special day to remind me of this wonderful relationship as I don’t have to be reminded at all. Each day, each one of you is there in my heart and home is where the heart is, isn’t it? Love you all…Cheers and God bless…!!