If given a choice by a Genie, in terms of both time and place, where would you like to go?
With standard 95% confidence levels, I can bet my Boss's (or whosoever decides my appraisal numbers) life on it, that the answer will be one simple word - College! What a time it was! No money, no responsibilities, no work, no formal clothes to wear, and in some cases not even having a bucket to be able to take a bath daily! :D
PS: Since my family reads this blog, so I am willingly omitting the parts about beers and babaji ki booti! ;)
With the same feelings at heart, few months back I took a long detour while coming back from a family trip to visit the baap of all touristic, religious and famous places in India - Banaras! Which also happens to be the place that holds my alma mater in its lap - Banaras Hindu University!
But you know what - after spending a good half day in the holy city, I got utterly bored! I roamed around the ghats, the temples, the roads and bylanes, university areas, classrooms, hostels - but got no emotional response that I was waiting for! Zilch! There were strange faces, new kids, and random visitors roaming around the places, but not a glimpse of the faces I was looking for!
I didn't understand what I was looking for, or why I wasn't happy. But I wasn't!
Today, when I saw the Indiblogger contest by Yatra.com, especially the key headline, "If you could take your family or friends to any place on the planet, where would that be and how would you make your trip the happiest one ever?", I realized what was missing! My Friends!
So yeah, If I could, I would take the entire chunk of people that were present in 2007 back to BHU, back in the same settings, as if Yatra.com is a time machine! Now as some of the pokey readers would ask - Why the nerds, and why not just the friends? Simply because any experience at any place involves both the good and the not-so-good things! You know, as they say, Delhi gaye aur traffic me nahi phase to kya khaak Delhi gaye! :)
Just going back to the place as tourist will be good, but living the life as we used to live will make us the happiest people alive. You know, there is a difference between visiting the famous Assi ghaat as tourists just at the time of evening aarti, and sitting whole night on the ghaats just because you have nothing else to do, are poles apart in terms of experiences!
Khair, dreams are dreams. But if I get a chance to relive just a few of my college day moments with my friends, I would certainly like to spend some time in the following places:
Hostel - Four years, three hostels, four different rooms! I vividly remember each of my hostel room, and its location in the three hostels along with the rooms of most of my friends! Rajputana is 1st year, Vishvasaraiya in 2nd and 3rd and Vishvakarma hostel in the final year! The funny thing is, even after so many years, mess Maharaj (cook) And hostel workers still remembered me with face and name during my recent visit!
Assi Ghaat - Did you guys watch Raanjhana movie? There is a scene on the steps of Assi ghaat. In the background, near the steps, you can see a board painted on the wall - Pizzeria! How I miss that place. We used to visit that place specially to eat its Apple Pie!
Aahar Vihaar - The only place which provides cheap food, and allows you to get your own booze! We had to go through small, water filled bylanes to reach this place. But worth the effort!
Cinema Halls - I miss those days, when we could buy Balcony ticket on the day of movie release, and that too in black for less than 50Rs. These days, almost half my monthly salary goes in buying a gold class movie ticket! :(
Last but not the least Mechanical Department - Where we forcefully spent a lot of hours, gaining attendance, so that they don't throw us out! :D