“The work ethic remained, but we learned to laugh a little, to let go a little and to let others in a little”
The constant refrain “These are the best years of your life” keeps surfacing as the days inch closer to leaving Pune forever. It certainly wasn’t easy, growing up never is, but it most definitely was worth every second of it. I remember the first screening we ever had, nearly three years ago – Almost Famous. And I remember being thrilled to be in a place that shared the same values that I always grew up with. What I don’t remember, is knowing that my life was about to change forever and how.
We came here wanting to change the world, the system. ‘Media students’, they said. We thought we were invincible, we knew it all, could do it all. We were just seventeen year olds running around, fighting for something, searching for something, anything at all. Soon enough, we started growing a little; as people, as humans and as professionals. ‘Career oriented’ we started calling ourselves. And somewhere in the middle of all this, fooling ourselves into believing that we didn’t need anyone. But here’s the thing about eighteen year olds, we viewed success through a much skewed lens. We thought we could do it all alone; work ethic was all that mattered.
Until we realized otherwise. We started appreciating the value of friends and mentors. Away from our parents, we started building a support system to sustain ourselves. The work ethic remained, but we learned to laugh a little, to let go a little and to let others in a little.
As nineteen year olds we found ourselves. Who we really were, separate from what we wanted to be and we found the courage to be unapologetically so. This space never really forced us to make the right decisions; it merely built us so that at the end of each day, we did. We don’t know how or when it happened, but we made ourselves a home here. The umbilical cord tying us to our past had been broken. We no longer wanted to change the world, beat the system. We understood the value of being a part of a larger picture, start with one step.
After all this time we were content; happy.
“I have to go home.”
“You are home.”
And then it all ended. As twenty year olds, we’re back where we started. The only thing to guide us as we step out into the real world, leaving the ‘best years of our lives’ behind us are what we learnt throughout all of this. It is now that our life begins. SCMC took a bunch of children and molded them into almost adults; almost. The rest of our journey is on us now; what a circus. Every day, every minute, every second – this is the rest of our lives; and I sure as hell hope we’re ready.
“It’s all happening.”
Article by: Labanya Maitra (Batch of 2017)
Photograph by: Akhil Reddy (Batch of 2019)