Maybe it is to do with my phone being literally spammed with wedding invites. Or maybe it is to do with the status updates on social media. Or maybe it’s just about conversations in the group changing from ‘Happy Birthday X’ to ‘Happy Wedding Anniversary X&Y’. Irrespective of whatever it is…I guess that on a rather laidback Friday at work, these reasons compel me to revisit the ‘slippery’ slope that has probably seen more action than what we’d see in a Mission Impossible movie ( I love the series btw)
It was a curious little hummock of a place and somehow I believe that this slope was probably the conduit between the illicit and the legit in an institute where mistakes were permitted only on this slope. What about helmets?? I hear your indignant voices!!Well I am not talking really about helmets, I am talking about other protective gear whose absence could lead to bigger accidents in one’s life. Anyways moving on…let us talk of the ‘one to many’ platonic relationship that the slope shared with its inhabitants who waltzed in and out of the premises every 2 years…
For unsuspecting first years, the slope comes across a necessary evil which had to be surmounted for you to reach your classes on time. Well that’s what I thought back when I was in my first year…say for the first 1 month or so. For second years however, the slope was everything but evil…presenting a world of opportunities waiting to be seized. However having being taught that elders walk a path worth following, first years slowly began tapping into the potential of this awkwardly angled 45 degree slope.
It could start with the most harmless of indulgences in your project group. Atop the slope you crib about the amount of workload in the group projects. As you however begin your descent down the slope, with her by your side, you realize you have it in you to not just finish your share of work, but hers as well. Needless to say the grades latch themselves to you and seem to enjoy this steep descent that hinges on the magic figure of 4.4.
No pain no gain they said. Here you chose to say No rain no gain. For the rains here were as sudden as heartbreaks giving you no time to recuperate the fierce onslaught of the clouds. Hence it always helped when you were armed with an umbrella to save that damsel in distress who was caught unawares in the rains. By the time you open the umbrella and squint through the drops of rain to give her a charming smile, you hear the gentle rumble of motor on the road and as the engine revs up, you realize that while you were busy getting wet, you lost your sunshine to your senior who was better equipped to handle the wetness. Not a cause for worry…first years had to be ‘vetted’ to know what was expected of them a year down the lane.
Humor aside, the slope was privy to the most discreet of kisses and the most passionate of affairs whose futures were wrapped in fifty shades of grey refusing to opt for a black or white conclusion. From the late night strolls to the early morning ‘pickup and drop’ routines, in many ways relationships were synonymous to the slope. Representing a steady incline or a steep decline. For some who wished for the best of both the worlds, they had both Hostel 1 and Hostel 3 serving their needs while the Computer Lab acted as a waiting room for these passengers who were in the transit of a ‘one to many’ relationship.
Yet I believe that however rave a party, however spiritual a visit to the temple, however strait the gates, it was at the slope that we forged things that really mattered. For all the drunken brawls at the pubs, he remembers nothing but that hug under the stars by the slope. For all the hours spent toiling at work, she remembers nothing but the steaming cup of coffee prepared by Gopi Anna waiting down the slope. Today the couple enters their third year of marital bliss. Yet their discreet kiss by the bushes on the slope undiscovered by their batch-mates remains special and serves as a reminder of how long they’ve come in life. For the star crossed lovers, the past shines between the two mirrors at either ends of the slope. One reflecting all the promises of eternal love while the other reflecting all the deeds that swerved right away from those promises. As far as friendships go, many a tie was forged here. Many a farewell bid, right under the stars leaving us all naked and exposed for the world to see the best and the worst of who we were.
Today no matter how slick our suits and how polished our shoes or how posh our workplaces might be, I think once in a while it pays to look back. Not because you are missing anything, but to understand that the present and the future we see were earned by climbing that ‘slippery’ slope. Chained by the otherwise strict rules, freedom was granted to us on this tricky conduit. Freedom to hate, love, be loved, be hated, hurt, be hurt…and the choices we made back then…lead us to the stories that we think of or write today. Maybe it is true for some of us, maybe it isn’t. It is the difference between what was real what was perceived. Between what was shared and what was experienced…
On some dark lonely nights crushed by bludgeons of fate…in a world that perhaps boasts of greater freedom than the one you enjoyed there…looking back probably would not make you love the world more, but you might hate it lesser….. Because some feelings are so intricately wrapped in the depths of your heart that…only solitude helps you find them again….
For life surely seems to be a more slippery slope than the one we traversed for two years…