A personal post after what seems forever. In my
third fourth year of PhD, and that number is definitely scary. Makes you feel as if you are supposed to know something after this long in grad school, only everyday you are learning how much you don’t know
The recent trip to India has been a revelation in many ways. When I left for Wisconsin Madison for graduate school, I had just stepped out of college, fresh. Now when I went back, everything was different. Friends have changed. Good old CEG has changed. The way people look at you has changed. You are suddenly looked upon as somebody who is responsible now. Only the question What do you want to be when you grow up? comes to mind. Well, apparently, people of my age have grown up And we still have no clue about anything
I don’t get how people suddenly assume that after a few years out of college, we become mature. Let me tell you what goes in these three years: every friend I know is trying to get stable in their job/school. Any time apart from this is spent in watching series and hanging out with friends If there was something in there that is supposed to bring maturity, we seemed to have missed it People are still the same silly folks who danced for Kodana Kodi around a campfire on an industrial visit.
Some close friends are getting married, and a few are looking to get married in the very near future. One of my favorite cousins has gotten married, and now has a child. Ah, marriage. That topic that was all but a giggle three years ago and yet is a standard topic of conversation with any group of friends now. And yet, we have not changed at all. Vaishnavi had written a lovely post here about how you never really grow up and it is completely unreasonable to suddenly assume that you can support another person.
Our gang’s bachelor days will be all but over in another 4 years maximum. Glamour and I (who will quite probably be the last members of our valibar sangam) were talking about this at lunch. The days of sitting at a table and discussing the cute girls in your class, and the chick that your friend is putting line to, will soon be gone. Going to the mall, waiting for 45 min to get a juice while sight adichifying that cute girl with the ponytail will be history too. I do know some really cool couples who basically never changed after marriage. But the general consensus (which means Glamour and I) is that this is rare.
A lot of folks are starting to make big money, buy large houses, and fancy cars. It is a strange feeling when you realize the same people who are buying BMW were footboarding a 21L just three years back. People are investing in stocks. Joining startups. Things are changing, and changing fast.
My little brother will be off for higher studies soon. I will face the question of where to work, and what to do. Competing desires to make a ton of money and drive a sports car, and do the de-glam thing that you really want to do. Complicated questions that you never thought of while sipping a moar at CEG and thinking about the bright new world outside the college campus.
But the plus point is that I have had a very clear realization: there is an expiry date on youth. Go out there and enjoy it while you still can. The dream of countless evenings sitting with friends by the lake sipping coke is just that, a dream, an illusion. Spend time with them while you still can.
P.S Apologies if you came here looking for a short story, and ended up being treated to my melancholy ramblings instead. The short story programme will be back in the near future. Have a couple of ideas. Will put blog post soon.