The Poetic Encounter
Image: MICA Badminton Court (baddy court)
I was sitting on a bench in baddy court area, lost in my thoughts. It was rainy season in Ahmedabad and the campus was a beautiful green island in middle of nowhere. It had rained in the night and then again in the morning. But rest of the day was rather clear. During the day-time we had a little dose of sunshine. It was around 6 in the evening. I had already finished my evening snacks (never to be missed at MICA). I could not get my afternoon siesta as my mind was little occupied.
The new batch is supposed to organize a Culnite (cultural programs on a particular night) for the senior batch. It is kind of talent show minus any awards. This is a good way to showcase your talent early on, also an opportunity of informal interaction with seniors to create a friendlier atmosphere. This happens during the first month itself. I’ll present the nitty-gritty of the our Culnite in a separate article, sometime later.
I was puzzled about what to do for this Culnite. I hadn’t performed on stage for more than a year’s time and had no idea about what I wanted to do. Initially I thought of helping in organizing the event but then dropped the idea, seeing the craziness around it and also wanting to focus on performing something. I had been thinking about that performance only. Poonam was also busy with some group dance preparations and hence we were getting lesser time to spend together.
I was soaking in the soothing weather on that beautiful evening. I knew it would rain in the night and the pleasing breeze before that was quite a nice feel. Some people were playing baddy and that time of day is always laden with activity on baddy court. But I was sitting all by my own trying to focus on getting some ideas as nice weather always opens up my mind and helps me think.
Suddenly someone came and sat beside me. He was my batch-mate from other section. I knew that much only and we hadn’t been introduced to each other. He introduced himself and started making small talk. I really suck at that but I went along with it as he was doing most of the work. He spoke in chaste Hindi which was a little surprising as most people spoke Khichdi lingo only, dominated by English. I liked that. Then he told me that he was a poet. Poetry is his passion and he writes in Hindi. I was delighted again as I write too and had started with Hindi poetry only a long ago. I’ve tried my hands at various things now but writing Ghazals (Hindi poetry with a generous helping from Urdu) is still my favorite. I’ve a small collection of my Ghazals and I keep adding to it as and when I feel the need to express me poetically. In fact, this was one of the attractions of my application and personal interview and I guess helped me stand out in the hobbies section.
We both connected on poetry. He recited some of his poems. He asked me recite some of my own too. I remembered one of my favorites and recited that to him. He seemed to like it. We kept talking about random things and discussed poetry at length and before we knew, we had spent hours on that bench talking to each other. And this was the first time we had even spoken to each other. This was the poetic (literally!) beginning of an interesting friendship for me at MICA. We have had our fair share of good times, not so good times, laughter, tears, understanding, misunderstanding, break-ups, make-ups and what not. The good thing is that so far we have been able to sail through all of this and still remain friends. When we look back at our 2 years of friendship at MICA, it’s been full of surprises and there has never been a dull moment.
I’ll share more about this interesting friendship, straight from the hell (pun!), in future. But this was the beginning of a great story of two very emotional people, who connected at many levels, suffered from similar tragedies, felt each other’s pain quite deeply, tortured each other with the emotional extremities and still their paths always kept crossing. The poetry had just begun on that fateful evening. And we’re soon going to start another important journey together. Looks like we are not done yet, my friend!