As the farewell season at MIT comes to a close; it’s time to say good bye to the young lads that walked into the gates of the prestigious institution 3 years ago.
We ask the question- “What do you bring in a bag? What does the bag take back with you?”
Of Bags and Other Heavy Things
What does a place do to you?
What do you do to a place?
What do you bring in a bag?
And what does the bag take back with you?
I recall, my earliest memory, is of my father
Leaving me alone, among strangers
And as the auto took a right
I turned back, all alone
With eight thousand other people
The stench of fresh bleach
Or the grasshoppers
Springing in the grass
In a maddening crowd
Late for the 8 a.m class
Maybe not alone after all
An arm reaching for the stars
In a smoke filled room
Trying to remember
Something you came to forget
How strange to be seventeen and a know it all
How strange to be twenty two and knowing no one’s got it all
Maybe it was the rain
That reminded me of you
Maybe it was you
Who reminded me of the rain.
For a thousand footfalls echo in these corridors
Smiles drenched in sweat, and dripping umbrellas
The warmth of company, the loneliness of windy afternoons
Of songs written on desks, and loud drunkards innocently scribbling
Their names on the wall of a dingy bar.
Of people singing songs in the bathroom
Or the housekeeping staff of your first hostel block
Who shared a tired smile at the end of the day
The last person who remembers you, in a town that doesn’t forget.
And as I look back, standing on the same gate
With hardly anything in my bag
I take back a lock and leave the key
For If we meet again, sharing a park bench quietly
And reminisce the days of our life
You will always remind me of the gods of thunder
The innocence of knowing the world, and not being scared of it.
You will remind of a barren hilltop
Where strangers met, lived as they could
And disappeared, like the mist hanging above the Ghats
Which feels cold, but fills your heart with humility
So now I leave
Without a lock
And some eight thousand keys.
– Peeyush Chauhan for MTTN
Photos: Samar Dikshit for MTTN