Late post. Wrote this on convocation day of batch of 2015.
Convocations are fun. Not only cos there are hats and cloaks (and of course graduation) involved. They bring back seniors you’ve waited months to see again, they probably bring together classmates who passed out, planned a reunion whose date was extended over and over again until finally they just settled to meet for their convocation. (I can imagine that happening with our batch once we pass out of college). They might even be when some dearest couples meet after okwhoamitojudge. I’m sure convocations have other functional facets too, more on that coming up next year cos next in line is yours truly.
Convocation at CET last year was not a very emotional affair for me, save for meeting a handful of passouts. Back then, we were still third years (read: careless juniors), following the paths of seniors (I’m not even going to elaborate on that, and no I’m not winking), we were yet to be acquainted with project work and hectic final year schedules (no mini project for civil, baby). Life was good.
You had to rush to civil canteen at 4 if you wanted to sit by its verandah cos usually seniors would already have seated themselves there. Most evenings there’d be student groups comprising all batches in the civil grounds discussing some intra-department event or program. And in my class, everyone was either co-ordinating something or partaking in some other thing or they were swamped with other stuff to be doing any of those things. CEA and ICI would juggle with dates and time slots to make sure their activities didn’t clash, and even so there would still be overlaps, cos there was always so much going on, big or small, whether it be Hanging Gardens, or some techie engagements.
Then we got to S7, and before the place had livened up, rather fateful things happened. In stead of the tons of heads that filled college front after 4 and the after-college hours punctuated by crowds and buzz at chechi kadas, sanika, core’s front, bus stops and pretty much everywhere, there permeated empty and quiet. All through S7 we waited for things to go back to normal and for college to go back to what it used to be.
It never did.
Today, convocation happened. And frankly, today’s the first day of this year that college felt like CET again. People were shouting and laughing and their uproars rang noisily in the classrooms and the corridors and all around the place. College hasn’t been this loud since last year. So many familiar faces, there were seniors whose names I didn’t know and still don’t, but the mere freshness of familiarity brought happiness. Even that scary chechi who always glares at you, or that creepy chetan who makes awkward eye contact.
The favorite seniors were hugged and kissed, the not-so-favorite ones smiled as if in solemn awareness. In the beginning of final year, it was as though we’d get used to the numbness felt around college but today we realized we really need a batch of loving doting annoying infuriating seniors to make it the CET we knew. They were back and I guess that’s when we realized we’d actually missed these people. Sure, some in particular, but generally just all of them being present here. Probably because they were a part of the carefree years when college was (relatively) lively. When we didn’t have career discussions looming over our heads 24×7, because that wasn’t our burden to bear :P. Because basically they were in charge, and they were everywhere.
Today was like a day from ‘those days’. So when you hear that the dragonfly you once had a crush on has flown back, it thrills for a while, then dies out. When you exchange with seniors pleasantries and what’s going on in your lives, it’s only casual talk. It’s like they were here only yesterday, they’re here today, and they’ll be back tomorrow.
Well guess what? They won’t, and tomorrow will be like the past 7 months have been (because I’m so bloody optimistic). But today was good, tomorrow we’ll be back to being final years, the day after we shall part ways and be gone. And the next year, it’ll be our turn to get dewy-eyed about all that we’d missed (or maybe that’ll be just me), heartily complain about our too loose/too tight cloaks, drown in hugs, pose for pictures, cheer in jubilation, throw our hats up in the sky, and finally wonder why we never realized life here was quite brilliant*.