Dust, Sweat, Disappointment & a Musical Rendezvous

I was crying now. After trying hard to touch the land below, I had to finally give up. It all started a few moments ago. I could remember every instance vividly now.

I was with my friends on a beach and we were all playing, making sand castles, carving our names on sand and then watching the waters wash them away. We would try again, carving it deeper this time but couldn’t win over the waters. We then stood up and moved closer to the waters and felt the cool sea breeze and the land beneath us drifting away into the waters.

Ho ho!! Hooooooooo… Shubh started running fast and we all followed him. Soon it became a race about who could reach that huge rock the earliest. I ran hard and to my surprise, there was no sign of exhaustion. I kept increasing my pace and soon I was the leading the flock of racers.

But tThe fun was in increasing the gap between me and the people behind me. So I kept running faster and faster. And tThen, I started feeling lighter. I felt as if I was virtually putting in no effort to move this fast. As if there is no force beneath my feet. And oh man!!! I was flying…

I was flying!! I was not only moving fast but I was moving up towards the sky. My friends were looked amazed but at that point of time I was more concerned about my flight. I started going upper and upper and soon that huge rock was there. I was above. Now it was the time to get down on it…

A few seconds past passed by and I could see the rock behind me. When I saw ahead, I could see the blue waters; but then, when I saw behind, I was not able to locate my friends. I badly wanted to touch the ground now. But However, I couldn’t. All of a sudden I lost control of myself.

I was moving ahead and rising up faster and faster. All effort I was made to stop myself proved futile. Still I saw no sign of any physical exhaustion in me. But I felt as if I am internally exhausted.

I was in a white space. The sunrays got brighter. Soon I couldn’t tolerate the heat and my left ear started burning…

I was sweating. I removed the chaddar, got down, moved towards the balcony and closed the door. I pulled the curtains to cover the windows and prevent the sunlight from coming in.

I was not exactly fresh but didn’t feel like sleeping anymore. It was 10:35 in the morning. I had my convocation the next day and had to get some work done before that.

I took the Bisleri bottle and hydrated myself. Quickly I moved towards the shelf, applied the paste on my toothbrush and moved towards the bathroom. On the way I realized that I forgot my chappals; but then decided to continue without them. Bare foot on the floor felt nice…

It was 11:00 am and I had to be at the station in another 200 minutes. Though my parents felt they could find their way out to IIM, I had my own reasons. Firstly, I wanted them to feel that I care for them and also because the previous night I went to receive Priyanka’s parents and so I ought to go and receive mine.

Well considering it takes 40 minutes to reach the station, I had 160 minutes to clean up my room for one last time… actually also for the first time… I took a look around. But I knew that I couldn’t get discouraged now. So, I collected all the clothes first and dumped it them into the almirah.

All the Mint papers (that’s the newspaper I followed) were collected and heaped outside the door. The magazines (The Entrepreneur, Forbes India, Business India & Business World) were stacked nicely on the top shelf.

The books and case-mats on the shelf below followed by various papers, printouts, etc. And tThe bottom row had books like “Fooled by Randomness”, “The Black Swan”, “Freakonomics” and the like…

So finally, after the books and papers were arranged, I got the rest of the table which was unoccupied all this long cleaned up. It looked like an Indian village with fragmented rectangular patches of dust separated by black rectangular patches which used to rest to the books.

After all the dust farms were shaved off, I nicely placed my Lenovo ThinkPad and connected it to the LG monitor (my laptop screen was broken; but not for long). The bare floor was visible after a long time. I felt proud looking around. It was already 12:40 now. I had to clean the dust off myself now…

I called up Ahmed bhai and fixed up a meeting near the Gurudwara on SG (Sarkhej-Gandhinagar) Highway at 1:15 PM. It was extremely hot outside. , But but 4 years in Nagpur gave me enough training to face such dry heat.

Ahmed bhai was like a farishta to me. A week back, I saw him staring inside my room. I went up to him rather irritated. He enquired if there was a problem with my Laptop screen as I had connected an external display.

I was happily surprised. I told him the problem and that the laptop didn’t have an accidental warranty. He assured me that he will take care of the matter. Though I was not convinced enough, I saw some hope in him.

A couple of days later he called me up and gave a brilliant idea. Due to threat of plagiarism (as his idea is not copyrighted yet – copyright norms are not yet present for these kinds of ideas; though I believe such ideas are driving business at the grass root level), I am nor not revealing his idea here. However, I would like to state that this idea didn’t occur to any of us IIM-A guys.

Well, I followed his words and my screen was set for without me putting my hand into my back-pocket. And it was 1:42 now.

I thanked Ahmed bhai and left for the station. After dialogues like “Mera beta bilkul such gaya”, etc. etc., we left for IIM. Mom was happy to see my “nicely kept” room. I took them to a Bengali Restaurant.

We had a rehearsal for convocation the next day. I consciously decided not to go for it (I know many of you will find it ridiculous) but I wanted to maintain the novelty of that feeling of wearing the gown, moving towards the stage, people clapping around…

So, I spent an hour with parents without informing them of my stupid intention. At 5:00 PM I went to the music room to rehearse for my last performance in IIMA (or maybe in life) in front of a huge audience. It was a big moment actually. My parents (esp. mom) would see me live on-stage for the first time.

After 2 hours of practice, I took my parents to the grand pre-convocation dinner. Then the award ceremony happened (not the serious one). And then at 11:30 PM, the permission to keep the auditorium open was not given.

It was a real sad and disappointing moment for us musicians. We were all prepared and pumped up to give our best. IBut it didn’t happen and we couldn’t accept it.

We assembled at the LKP (Louis Kahn Plaza), occupied a few chairs, we would occupy tomorrow during the convocation and started jamming. People gathered and then sat around us, requesting for more. And it was the best live performance for all of us.

True, parents were not there, but the last time ought to be with this audience for whom we have been performing for the past two years, who applauded our songs for the past two years, whom we would miss the most for the coming years and whom we will see forever whenever we look back to this musical rendezvous.

The gap was wide enough. Some went to become hot-shot I-Bankers, some towards NGOs, some entrepreneurs and some (like me) to support entrepreneurs. WBut we wanted to be together and we were grounded strong to our values and our will to stay together.

I was flying again rather we were hopping together. Flying at times, touching the ground again. We all conquered that huge rock in one giant leap and then stood there and looked towards the endless waters. Moments later, we were returning back; we knew we could move ahead but staying back felt better. We had each other around…

Sourav Das