Pilani, oh you beauty

There were glimpses. Glimpses of the past that was beautiful. Beauty in an isolated hamlet amidst dusty, hot afternoons and frozen, chilly winters. Both could be endured without hassle, for ingrained in its psyche was the most important element — its people. The people that infused meaning to this existence in near desolation, away from the humdrums of perceived modern habitation. An enchanting one too, that will forever be impinged in the depths of our souls.

Then there were memories. Remembrance of a past that seems like a blissful dream in soothing halls of the timeless bhawans, echoes of wandering souls lingering in its corridors. Of ages gone past and winds of change bellowed over again and again, yet the essence of it standing its place like mountains through weathering of time. Treasured memories safely locked in the secret corners of our hearts where will seek escape to solace when everything else falters to instill hope.

Memories of seniors striking awe in our glittery eyed freshman year. Memories of deep conversations into the wee hours of the morning evoking an understanding that perhaps surpasses those shared with parents and siblings.

The first glimpse, the smile of your first crush that stole your heart. One that gave many sleepless nights that you would endure with unfailing hope, only to be betrayed by the innocence of it. Standing by your new found blood brothers in a sport that you are fanatically passionate about; ever eager to miss out tuts and labs for the sake of putting those extra hours at practice.

The crowd, yes, the crowd at anc. Where more hunger of the intellect was ever satisfied than that of the belly.

Of incomprehensible revelations and startling awakenings encountered over conversations during food. Of the first sneak out through the temple gate to Nutan for the first bout of the 3 am tea. Of the wing trip to Kheer Ganga; the eleven pair of bewildered eyes watching the Milky Way painted white admits the million twinkling starts in the snowy backdrop of the Himalayas, impervious to the chill cutting to the bones amidst the warm company of the wing. The pesnti sem, swaying like an old boat in a sea of melancholy and profound wisdom accumulated over an eternity of four years. Then the inevitable, tearful parting with loved ones. The ones, you would hope to share the same blood in a different life.

Then the irony of home coming, after leaving the one where your heart lay. The feeling of never having to go back again sinking in, slowly with its melancholy. The impossibility of ever being again with the beautiful people at the same place and time, hitting your bewildered self out of the dark. The dread of all of it, engulfing you, making you weak to the bones. Nostalgia seeping into the cogs of everyday life, stopping time in its wake while the humdrums of everyday life went on.

Then the flashbacks. Of places resembling your niche habitat in the hamlet surging a yearn for a return in your hearts. Of unfamiliar faces creating the urge to escape back into the world of smiles from familiar ones. Every single one of them.

Of the simple things in life that seems to lack its luster now, for once this simplicity had magic in it. In a magical place, far away.

For we learn the value of things only when it is no longer there.

For Pilani will be always bear testimony to our enchanting journeys borne through bizzaire obscurities and soul searching awakenings that molded us through the myriad labyrinths of our intertwined destinies.

For the magical journey we all took together, till eternity.

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