Do nightmares qualify for dreams?

[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?


Gauraw said…
An article that I would like to read again & again ... for the profoundness it has.
We generally don't realize what we have and what we should be doing to live the most of the moment.
In future, we shall look back and realize that we should have done it that way. But by then, it will be too late to do that. Isn't it? Well, probably yes..probably no. There will some aspects of life for which it won't be too late. But for some, it will be. What should we do about it?
Braveheart said…
Woh afsaana jise anjaam tak lana na ho mumkin
Use ek khoobsoorat mod dekar chhodna achcha!

Couldn't have been put up in a better fashion by anyone else.

Though I understand what you mean, I was kind of aware what was going to happen. Didnt need much of a hug or number or email id. I just walked out my way without creating much fuss. Hugged whoever wanted to expecting nothing more than that. I always knew it was an end and I never wanted it to stretch any longer. I dont think anything has changed for me.

- Akshaya
abhaga said…
Gauraw: "Face your past without regret.
Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear." and search for above on Google :)

BH: Yes! I was aware this happens, has always happened and we were no different. But wasn't something inside us said, we could change it? That it could be better if we wished it to be? Perhaps everybody thought that !! Indeed we were no different !!
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
hi abhaga

i think when i was leaving iit my seniors used to say, u all are making so much fuss abt this n that but u will realize that after 4 more years u wont even be aware whr ur frends are, at that time i used to think that how cud it be possible that we can forget our frends so easily, but now only one yr has hardly passed nd things are going in that way only. but its not my fault and its not anyone elses fault either, is it? the thing is, situation changes, priorities change and most of all you change. you change in a way which is very unknown to u and sometimes u dont want to but still u cant help it. how many frends u remember frm class 5th when u used to share everything or frm class 10th or 12th.then why think abt only college, u wud say that we were more mature then, knew how things will go in future and hoped that we will cope with it, but does any one know future. things happen around u and u have to change urself accordingly and if u dont, u will be lost behind. so, just remember ur past as sweet memories and look ahead.

Braveheart said…
Abahya: Thats what I want to underline. I never wanted it to be any different. I knew what was coming and I wanted it the same way. I didnt want anything to continue as it was going. I dont regret anything either. Yes I have changed but I always wanted to change.

I dont miss anything from those days as well. Sometimes I do relive the memories but thats it. I would never want it to carry on even a day ahead of 31st May 2003. That was the end and it was the perfect end.

Jaya said…
Umh... That makes me jealous. I am not getting any mails informing me of e-mail ids. :-) Looks like I have already lost touch to such an extent that even my id doesn't exist in their address-books!
Anonymous said…
just wondering if man is really a social animal or rather an animal who lives in society....
Going through your blog, I realized you answered my thoughts through this one. Sometimes I sit down and think about how have those four years changed me as a person and whether "that metamorphism" or this "evolutionary change" is more emphatic in my life. Haven't yet got an answer; don't think I would get it any sooner. Those four years shaped my thinking and these two years I have experiemnted with those thoughts. Some changed and the others remained steadfast. I won't go on and proclaim those 4 years to be a dream-I got some slight brushes with reality even then. But yeah, they sure don't compare to the big bad world, you get up and face once you march out. I would say-MOVE ON-that's what I tell myself whenever I look back at photos from long back and can't match faces with names.
Anonymous said…
nice article ..apt one since am above to leave iit
Anonymous said…
:) Interesting to say the least....

My philosophy - don't worry about what you can't change, be happy about the future... and then life in between somehow becomes a fun ride :)
Unknown said…
For us(ie my wing mates & close circle), the honeymoon continued for two further years after IIT, courtesy, the fact the most of the guys belonged to Lucknow or Kanpur.

Marriages happened, so we kept in touch. Quite a few of them landed jobs in the same(Pune) or a near by city(Mumbai).

But once people moved to onsite or took an off shore job, or started their own ventures, we too are left just happy birthday friends.

Things are so passe that they don't even reply to your mails.

An absolute shocker senior with whom I use to have longish chats during ride home to Lko and vice versa, who even did M.Tech in IIT so we kept in touch, refused to recognise me.

Too bad.
Archana Ramesh said…
Life goes on....people come and people go. We keep meeting someone new only to lose the old ones.
What you've shared is a good experience....may be I can learn something from that since my friends too will go away soon.
abhaga said…
ashutosh: thanks. I guess aap gupta ji hain. Fir bhi spasht karne ki kripa karen.

pranay: well I guess I can make another distinvtion between life before IIT and after it. It is the difference of living in Hostel. It changes everything. The level of sharing that is present in a hostel is much greater than anything else before. So bonds are supposed to be stronger. Right?

Jaya: he he, don't worry. I guess you are still too close to campus to be missed :)). They will realize in few weeks/months :)

RC: Answers are everywhere, bas dhoondhne vala kya dhoondh raha hai, sab kuch isi baat per depend karta hai. We all know so many things but sometimes the only thing needed is to hear them from somebody else. That is how it works I guess.
abhaga said…
melody: yes, as they say Life is ALWAYS beautiful :). (sorry vibs ;))

ms: I guess this is what is happenig to us also :(. But blogs look like a new hope on the horizon, at least for some :)

archana : glad you liked it but I am afraid nobody learns from anybody else's experiences. It is every person for himself.
Anonymous said…
Well, I heard and firmly believe after five years at IIT that the most precious resource at IIT are people and the contacts here, the lifelong friends is the best thing to take from here.

I am very sure I wont be in touch with all the guys but yes; a few whom I have come to cherish as close friends.

But yes, with one month to go at IIT I am surely looking forward to what life has in store.
Anonymous said…
hi abhaga,
this blog is beautiful and as the top comment says:profound. I read it again and again. The things have not changed.The final yearites still are busy writing cds forgetting abt friends and friendships that in the depths of their memories under the fallen leaves of moments will be cherished some day
when we have moments, we do not feel the importance of living them fully. a mere hug might be a memento for lifetime so that friends might not meet again but some day in the meetings of memories those forgotten moments might echo again.but no: that [b]summer of 69[b] is very important(?) even when we know that it is better to live that summer then to write it on cd n engage our shelves with those damn disks.well we all do crave for reliving some moments and banishing some frm our past. your blog goes deep into this. thanks for this.

ps: I am a 2004 entrant at IITK.they recall you like god there. anecdotes,stories,incidents. What with an orkut community and so many seniors recalling best..


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