Coming to college was somehow not real until the very last week before I moved to Bangalore. I was really happy that I was leaving home, actually. Independence is luring before you understand how much of a utopian concept it is, isn’t it? But the last few days, it just all became clear to me. It was not going to be as fun and happy as I thought it would. At least at first. A new city, new people, strangers that too. What would I do? The fear was big and monstrous in my head when I waved my parents goodbye at the Bangalore airport. My heart was beating faster and faster as I took a cab home, my bad, hostel. I felt kind of forced into this, even though it was very much my own choice to come to Srishti.
I was not ready for this. I should have stayed back home. I might as well have gone to one of the colleges in Kolkata that I got into. I should never have left my comfort zone. This was, very certainly, not for me.
A Few Days Later
I am walking down an empty street in Yelahanka, I know now that you don’t call this part of the city Bangalore. I have just finished my dinner at the dining hall. All my friends are at this party that I refused to go to because I have assignments due. The street is so very empty that you can hear the howl of a dog from kilometres away. I am feeling really alone, lost, out of place. I think of calling one of my parents, family member or my best friend. I take my phone out of my pocket when I see that it is dead. My forehead starts sweating despite the cool breeze that blows against my face.
I’m halfway to my hostel. I hear footsteps behind me. At this point, I am genuinely terrified. My animal instinct tells me to run, but before running it also tells me to look back once to check who it is. I decide not to act on either of my thoughts. I just keep walking, not looking back. I am almost there. My hostel is right around the corner or so I convince myself. I hold my breath and attempt to walk faster as I hear “Jishnu!” from behind. It is a familiar voice! I turn around, involuntarily almost, while I keep walking. My heart drops. My body just becomes cold somehow from the sudden relaxation that has engulfed it. It is my hostel mate, Jonathan. A smile lightens my face up and I give out a gasp of relief. As I wait for him to join me and we walk together towards our house, I feel a little more confident about life here. I feel a little less alone. I am still scared, afraid and nervous, but not so much. Tomorrow is going to be a better day. I am going to make it. I am going to be fine.