When I was studying 6th standard, my uncle once told me that he will get admission for me in a hostel if I don’t study well. I use to imagine how would my world, if I join hostel. First of all I couldn’t imagine that. The love and affection my dad, mom and my sister had never let me imagine a world out of home.
Years passed by and it was during my 12th standard vacation time, I never had any plan until then; about which college I should join and where am I going to study. Rajesh Anna, my cousin, my friend and my mentor told me to join any college, but out of my hometown, where I’d spent all my years until 12th standard. I’d decided to join a college in Chennai & my uncle got me admission in Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Mylapore.
Before the commencement of my college and before I’d left Hosur to Chennai, I’d visited all my childhood friends house. One of my friends mom casually said, ‘Hey, Raju! So you’re going to be a city boy now. Leaving our place permanently! Take care’. I’d no idea why she said like that & my smiling face had paused for a while and my mind was blank.
I’d not thought that I’m going to leave my hometown, I was thinking that I’m going to join college. I didn’t think what would I do post college, I didn’t think about where would I work post college, I didn’t think how often I will visit home. It all ended up in my tears. I still remember the night I’d started from home to bus stand, my dad took one of my bags in his hands & I was carrying another bag. My mom and sister walked with me until gate, my mom couldn’t stop crying and my sis too. I didn’t react anything and just waived my hands and started walking with my dad. I kept turning back until I reached the street end and kept waiving my hands to my mom and sister.
My dad guided me on how should I behave in a new place as I won’t be home from that moment. I got a window seat and my dad stood near the window from outside, there was sometime left for the bus to start and I kept thinking all the instance I made my dad and mom worry & all those moments I’d raised my voice against them and the days I’d made my sister cry. I couldn’t stop crying. Bus started and I kept flagging my hands to my dad until bus moved out of bus stand.
From that moment I was on my own. No one to wake me up at early morning, no one heat water to bath, no one to restrict me if I don’t study, no one to scold me if I roam out in the streets late at evening. That was my new phase in life which I never expected until then. New place, new climate, new friends, washing, ironing, sweeping room, keeping shelf clean, waking up on time at morning, everything on my own.
I didn’t had a mobile phone to call home, I use to visit a nearby telephone booth and started making friends with them. I’d saved the telephone bills in a empty Mysore sandal soap box & I use to see that once a while by remembering my mom, dad & sis. For almost one year I’d wept my pillows at night by not making any noise there by not disturbing my room mates, Thamu & Kamaraj. Illayaraja songs in the 25 rupees FM radio was my best friend at nights. I use to sleep listening to it just like how I use to sleep listening to stories my dad use to tell me and my sister.
My dad & mom got me a cellphone without even I’d asked when I was in second year. I started feeling better as I had a phone with me and that I can make a call whenever I want to talk to my parents & my sis. I’d started to explore the various opportunities I’d in the city and joined several courses in Bharathiya Vidya Bavan & through a senior made my first debate in All India Radio & was so excited to listen to it in radio after a week. Later I’d started visiting All India Radio, Mylaplore and through Sarojini madam I made 3 programs, two on standup comedies (but in recording theater & being alone & no audience in front of me other than the technician who recorded it), a short story. I felt so happy when I’d received my first pay check Rs. 250/- for the 10 minutes program.
This new place gave me so many opportunities to participate in inter-college cultural events and made me win so many trophies and certificates and made me come out of stage fear (not sure if I’d it after my 8th standard ).
I’d enjoyed my hostel days and college days (which will need a separate post), which gave be best friends in my life Praveen, Vikky, Vijay. This new place and the college gave me new life when I got selected in campus placement at Accenture, Then moved to Bangalore for joining Accenture, after two months moved to Pune for new project which gave new friends and new experience & back to Bangalore which made me feel that I was back home as my hometown is an hour away and I can go home any time I want to.
It was in 2005, I’d first left home, It’s been 10 years now, my mind still wanders each & every moment I’d spent at home. Happy moments needs to be cherished always.