Homeward Bound

Over the 3 years that I’ve lived here, I have seen endless events take place in this college, but never had anything like this happened before

The first stark memory I have from college is that of Vaividhya 2015, the cultural fest of Symbiosis Centre for Media & Communication. And understandably enough, the last memory I have is also of Vaividhya, but in our last year.

I do not mean boast when I say that I have been part of stage performances since when I was a little kid. Be it on stage, in the wings or even the light room, I have always been around the proscenium. Like water to the thirsty, the stage gives me a sense of inexplicable composure that is beyond my understanding. I’m not a good actor, I’m not the best singer, and god knows I definitely can’t dance to save my life! But none of that seemed to matter when I went on stage with my best friend, for what might easily have been our last time on stage together.

In our college, top students from the top schools are selected after rigorous tests. However, when you’re in a place where everyone is as good as you, if not better, it is easy to get lost. It is easy to forgo your talents because there are people who can do things better than you. It feels convenient to never try because you feel so stifled by competition. It comes naturally to be hard on yourself and judge yourself before somebody else has the chance to. We end up setting standards in our own heads and tell ourselves that we’re nowhere close. I wasn’t any different; I had subconsciously done the same thing to myself. I couldn’t remember the last time I had made an effort to compete individually because I knew I wasn’t good enough. But this one time in the final year, during our last cultural event in college, my friend and I decided to take part in the music category not to compete but to have fun. We cared not about our pace, rhythm, melody, harmony, but just our energy levels and the fact that we had to give it our all, because we were never going to be on that stage together again. This was for everybody we’d been close to in college over the 3 years, everybody we’d spent time with, everybody who had believed in us, everybody who was with us on stage, and this was for the fact that no matter what, you cannot give up on your roots, which for me, meant the stage. 

Half a minute into our performance, I look up to see every single person in the audience had their flashlights out, waving and singing along with us, cheering for our last performance together. All those top students from top schools, all those super talented people, all the people amongst whom we felt lost, were up and about, cheering for us. I felt weak in the knees. A warm current ran down my spine, and I felt myself choking up. 

Over the 3 years that I’ve lived here, I have seen endless events take place in this college, but never had anything like this happen before. It was the most overwhelming thing to have ever happened. That evening was as perfect as could be. The stage, the music, my friend, and those lights. I guess it’s true when they say “lights will guide you home”. They sure did.

Article by: Utkarsh Bhushan Goel (Batch of 2018)

Photograph by: Bharat Madan (Batch of 2019)