A chapter from a simple book of memoirs, of growing up, by P.V. Shaji Kumar.
Book Title: Itha Innu muthal Itha Innale vare ( Here, from today ; Here, until yesterday)
Side Note: Tongue-in-cheek nostalgic take on an iconic movie title
The Wind Blows As Yet
The wind which comes harrumphing like an intoxicated elephant raises its trunk when I recollect my MCA days in LBS College of Engineering.
The wind was everywhere: in the classrooms, canteen, boulders, side paths…It never abated in its fury. Like a lover driven mad due to a tragic affair, it wandered incessantly, unable to sit still.
When I arrived at the campus, I was like a leaf caught in the wind. My mind struggled free from my grasp and went flying. I had never been a regular student even during my pre-degree days. The proclivity to skip classes increased during my degree days. And when MCA started, the tendency went overboard. On the rare occasions when I did sit inside the class room, the wind would rip in, seize the windows and bang them against the walls. Almost as if the wind took offence at my presence inside the classroom.
Within a few days of joining the class, I came to realize that computer science was not the path meant for me. My mind resolved many a time to drop out and study some other subject. But it was all in vain. The wind took away three years. I would start from my home in the morning; spent some time inside the campus, before catching a bus to Kasargode.
I was lost amongst the mountains of self-contempt. ‘Why am I so worthless?’ I would constantly recriminate myself. While my classmates studied whatever they could, I would remain alone inside the circle of zero.
That was how Jayashankar and Rauf came to befriend me. Jayashankar, who hailed from Palakkad and studied in Coimbatore, and Rauf, who was educated at Sulli, knew the fundamentals of computers. Jayashankar was least interested in continuing his studies. He would repeatedly tell us that he would not be completing the MCA course and would take up a job in some IT company. Rauf was eager to agree; but the anxiety about procuring a job made him attend classes. I became a companion to Jayashankar who avoided going to the classroom. The tender-hearted Rauf could not resist the pleasures of our vagabond style and soon joined our tribe. Both of us affirmed that we would be taking up jobs without completing the masters course too. I had no clue about bagging an assignment since the A, B, C, D of computers remained unknown to me.
Jayashankar got a job when the first semester came to an end. I can recollect, as if yesterday, the horror with which Rauf and I stared at the examination schedule. I cannot remember what I scribbled on the answer sheets.
It was with my friends that I watched the first adult film of my life. Inside Kanyaka Talkies ( Virgin Talkies). Terrified of being espied by the locals, pretending not to be natives, we sat hidden at the very back of the theatre. It was an English movie. After watching it, when Jayashankar asked, ‘How was it?’ I replied, ‘The music was good.’ Really, it was a harmonious melody!
After many years, when I wrote the story 18+, the Kanyaka Talkies, the audience and the movies played inside my mind. The story evolved from the thought that the church and theatre were similar in looks. Afterall, men lay down their sins in both the places. The name of the theatre in my story was ‘Kanyaka Talkies.’ The theme was how a theatre, which played adult movies, transforms into a church and the hallucinations of the newly arrived priest.
The story was made into a movie called ‘Kanyaka Talkies’ later.
If I had not studied in LBS College, the story would not have been written; neither would the movie be made.
My LBS days were chaotic, to say the least. As I meandered within the rebellious chaos, the cowardly me, proclaimed himself to be brave and strong. That increased the inherent anxiety and insecurity. During the examination on ‘Pentium’ during the third semester, I sat there unable to write a word. Everything vanished from my mind. Dread swelled within like a sea at high tide. I stared through the window at the sun scalding the rocks. When depression encircled me in its entirety, without further thought, hardly five minutes after the examination began, I left the hall and walked out. I would have collapsed at a mere touch.
My shirt, which had space for two more humans, became wings in the wind. As I boarded the bus to the railway station, I could hear the hungry, greedy beckoning of death.
My mind kept whispering, ‘Death while being run over by a train is so quick…’
‘This damned world will end with death!’ Some voices rained furiously from inside.
As I stepped down determined that there was no answer but death, a rain came holding the fingers of the wind, stamping down the sun. As the other passengers took shelter in nearby places, I stood in the rain, getting drenched. It was raining within and without.
The rain danced in the wind.
‘Death is easy, it is tougher to live.’
The rain within spoke up.
‘Live…miracles are waiting for you somewhere…do not let go of your mind…let whatever happen, happen.’
I found myself jumping inside the bus to Kanjagadu.
There was no death inside me then.
Somehow, I passed the MCA course.
I am still playing football with life.
The wind blows as yet.
Like a leaf torn away from the branch, I am still flowing in the wind.
Not knowing where…
Not knowing where…