[With due apologies to Philip K. Dick]
For some days now, every morning I find a bunch of emails in my inbox from some friends who are graduating from IIT this year and the mails bring back so many memories, happy and sad !!
It was around 2 years back when I was also busy writing such mails to all the people I knew. The world still seemed very small and every fellow IITian a close friend. It was beyond imagination that I wouldn't keep in touch with that guy living at the end of my wing whom I hardly had any interaction with. I wanted to get every address, every phone number, every email id. Yahoo groups were formed, mailing lists were created and with all the fan fare we marched out to the real world. And yes ! I also got all those "Friends' " episodes, all those songs, all those movies. How could I ever live without them?
Today after 2 years, I have never talked to or mailed to R, my roommate for 3 years. I have little idea how M is doing,my next door neighbour for 2 years and the mails to our dept yahoo group draw a blank. Keeping in touch with guys has reduced to occasional calls in 1 or 2 months and did I mention that I never got a chance to see all those movies I brought along?
No! the life has not been bad. I have moved on, have met new people, people who can speak a full sentence without bringing in your blood relatives in between, have been living in the lovely city of gardens and have been working in a job that gives me satisfaction. It's just that at times when I look back at myself collecting all those addresses and writing all those CDs, I laugh at my naivete. So many of the guys left and I couldn't even say a good bye because I was busy, taking away with them so many memories that have even slipped my mind now. Perhaps in trying to get more, I missed out on whatever was on offer. Wouldn't that one parting hug have been better than all the useless information I was busy collecting? Only if I would have known at that time !!
And today when the details have begin to smoother out, the faces have started to blur and names a little forgotten, those 4 years seem like a dream. Yes ! it was a dream and it still is. A dream that constantly reminds us that it is possible to do better, that dreamlands do exist !!
I can say this today looking back at all those years. And I can see how all those coming out in to the real world will soon realize that what they left behind was a dreamland. I don't know how it must feel like to suddenly walk out of a dream. It was a little different for me. I stayed back at IIT for one more year after graduating. Things happened, lots of them, some good, some bad and when I left IIT, I really wanted to go from that place. Somewhere in that one year, the dream had turned into a nightmare.
I can't tell you why I feel this way now. I probably don't have any coherent answer. But that one year made me understand why no dreams are ever dreamed in full and why we always wake up at the most interesting moments. Dreams are not meant to have logical endings, they are not supposed to end because what ends, no longer remains a dream.
But still, even nightmares qualify for dreams. Don't they?