The longest distance between two places is time and in 2010 I wanted to traverse this distance quickly. Being a Pisces, I am an escapist, back then school was on the verge of getting over and I was ardently looking forward to college. Apart from the academic benefits, college seemed to offer a beautiful proposition to run far away, from the habit of never saying no, the let being taken for granted habit, the not putting forth my stand habit and the agony aunt habit. Basically I wanted to be myself and it was too late to start with the same set of people, so college was going to be a fresh start.
December 23rd that year was the last day of my Maths class. Till class 12th, I possessed a deep-rooted phobia of Maths, I could never trust myself with Maths, however in 12th I found a brilliant teacher who helped me transform the phobia into an affection. Thus 23rd brought with itself the realization that I am never coming to back to this class, be taught by this teacher again and will never get a chance to do what I have come to love so deeply. I remember the minutest detail of that day, it was so significant for me. It was a Thursday of a pleasant weather, it rained later in the evening, we revised three dimensional geometry and the class started off with a question on calculating distance between two parallel lines. Somewhere in those 90 minutes I had longed for time to freeze, maybe because I enjoyed the class, maybe because the teacher was fond of me or because I had an amazing partner in that class.
Last year my mother was scheduled for a surgery on the 25th of December. She had not been keeping well for a month and the surgery had assumed an inevitability. On the evening of 23rd, my father had taken my mother for a few tests. A few hours passed, I began to worry because they were taking longer than I expected and their phones could not be reached. I am scared for the people I love, afraid to lose them-a trait that I developed after my grandmother passed away in 2009 and a series of nightmares that are still following. Thus a couple of unpleasant thoughts kept swinging back and forth in my mind until my parents returned. It was a complicated surgery and it was a complicated time loomed with anxiety, so I wanted to skip multiple days to find her safe and healthy again. After ten days, she recovered, her reports were normal and it was time for me to go back to Delhi again because another semester had begun. My mother was sad that I was leaving, sorry that my month-long vacation had basically flew away in the wake of her illness and was already making plans for me to come back. She wanted to hold time then while I had been hoping for time to move swiftly.
This year, I spent the 23rd of December watching Back to the Future, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the first two installments in the Harry Potter series. In the end, I was left wondering when did I become so
old grown up. There once was a time when the biggest disappointment for me was not having been able to find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s DVD. I had spent a long time thinking if Hogwarts accepted students from India (seeing Parvati was so reassuring at that time). The time when you are aloof from the realities of the possibility of a time machine, when you believe that 2015 will bring flying cars, when even arched highways seemed a magnificence; where has this time gone?
I have always looked forward to my future, it’s like hope wrapped in golden and red. I wish to race time and come out ahead of it but then the smallest of things make me crave for a halt. It is such a contradictory notion to count on the future and then resisting in giving up what I have known to savor. I want all this anticipation about life after college to come to an end. At the same time I know that this is officially my last long vacation back home, I have no clue if I will ever have the chance of reliving these days. Sometimes I want to steal a glance at my life eight years from now, to see if I end up in corporate or as a teacher, to see whether I will have a big fat Indian wedding (I love weddings and the festivity around them), to see if I actually become an atheist (as a lot of people believe) and a set of other things. And then I still I want to go back to December 23rd, 2010 again, to be in that class again and to cherish something so deeply again.
Does that make any sense to you? Or the idleness lately has actually rendered my mind vacuous?
This post is written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past.
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