Saturday, May 29, 2010

One Down

One year isn’t a very long time in one’s lifetime. But when I met my batchmates after a year, it seemed to be quite long considering the cumulative vicissitudes of their lives. Some gained weight while some remained the same. No one seemed to have lost weight, though. Some lost hair while one showed off his rejuvenated scalp. Some got married while I heard, sadly, a few are already heading for separation. And others like me are still sitting at the fence unsure of the kind of person to tie a knot with. Some became parents while one lost his kid. Those who were deafeningly silent during training spoke at length about their experiences in the field while those who were passionately argumentative failed to even make it to the batch reunion. A Teetotaler who despised our late night revelries during training was found clinking glasses with utmost gaiety. Some complained about life while some showed contentment. Some were so eager that they came two days in advance and left two days after the reunion was over. Some were so indifferent that they neither bothered to turn up nor offered any reason for their absence. It was fascinating to see what one year could do to a person.

We talked, talked and talked. Sometimes with our batchmates, sometimes with our faculty, sometimes with the support staff of the academy. During the day, during the night and into the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes with our mouths and sometimes with our eyes. Sometimes from the heart and sometimes from the mind. Sometimes in inebriation and sometimes in sobriety. Sometimes aloud, sometimes in a whisper and occasionally, in silence too.

Some emotionally went back to the doors of their erstwhile hostel rooms which were now locked as the present incumbents were away. Some like me wanted to but failed as their laziness got better of their emotions. Some donned their sports gear and went back to the sports complex in the evenings. Others like me just sat back surfing. Some trampled every inch of the roads in the academy recollecting their moments with those inches of space. Some faithfully went back to Poonam Chambers, the nearby shopping complex which catered to our day-to-day needs during our training days.

Someone said that when you look through the prism of nostalgia, everything appears beautiful. But one year is too short a time for nostalgia. So, I must admit, everything was not beautiful. Personal tragedies were too close in time to forget. Professional rivalries were too recent to forget. Comparisons, and the consequent envy, were not too subtle to miss. Some, unfortunately, still could not solve their issues on personal front. Contrary to the popular belief, selection in civil services is not a panacea to all the problems in one’s life.

But I believe, in the long run, we all get even and in the longer run, we all are dead. Till then, stay happy and keep smiling.