1. a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.
2. having no settled home.
That is one word I love. Because it explains so many things about life presently. The two definitions of the word speak two different stories. The second definition explains the general situation here at this ancient- since 1926- and mighty- I don’t know why I am using this adjective- Indian School of Mines. In truth, people have been wandering from place to place ever since they heard the name ‘IIT-JEE’.
The first definition, though, is very specific and explains the ‘jaw-dropping’ (even face-dropping) situation of many of my batch-mates, with specific reference to the job part. They call it ‘Placement’ here. But it should be renamed as “Predicament”. Of course, there are people with dream placements, but then the majority are people with only dreams of placements. But who cares? And anyways, placements make a dry topic for what I am trying to write.
So as I was saying, ‘vagabond’ is a beautiful word. During the past week I have had a rich diet of ‘Into The Wild’. That movie just doesn’t leave me alone. Even a few of the gypsy songs by Blackmore’s Night took me out of this coal-bitten city. And talking of this city, I think the best part about it is, that it is just four hours away from Kolkata. It could have been more, but then I guess, we just got lucky.
Yesterday they beat that guy with belts, hands, legs and whatever things they could lay their hands on. He deserved it. Besides, friendship is always deepened by frequent kicking and punching. And when you use belts and sticks- it becomes legendary.
You may think that I sound a bit sarcastic. But then rarely do people use sarcasm at ISM. I mean, who uses sarcasm when you can abuse a person right to his face with the choicest of slangs? Sarcasm is for intellectuals. We, ISMites, are a distinctly evolved breed.
This winter vacation, I had stayed back. During the early January the winter was just setting in. And when I woke up in the mornings, it amazed me to see that ISM can get really beautiful at times. The sun used to be soft and bright, bringing out myriad colors all around as it shone upon the grasses, roads and the trees of the campus. There were trees with so many shades of green on them. The massive shadow of the main building often covered half of the Oval Garden. It reminded me of Charles Dickens’ lines: “It was one of those days…when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Even the cycle stand looked different, with many rusted and punctured bicycles fallen on each other. And then there was the wind. Not cold, but cool. And it blew very smoothly, almost caressing, as one strolled in the empty campus. It made the trees rustle and sway- their leaves already bubbling with a cheerful sunlight. The entire campus with its red and pink buildings, became alive with a seasonal life and color. Even though the entire campus was empty, it hardly got lonely. In fact it was during this winter that I realized, that ISM never gets lonely, it just gets crowded.
(to be continued…)
P.S. : Inspired by Jeffrey Archer’s “Prison Diaries” (irony intended)