21 March, 2013

Final Frontiers - Chapter 8/8

It was a night of lights and music. I reached the place early; he wasn’t there yet. I knew he was busy, but surely he wouldn’t miss his Hall Day. He hadn’t invited me tonight, I guess I know the reason. But I had to meet him today, this might as well be the last time. I waited for a while in his wingie’s room when I heard his door unlock.

Mikunj Nall was anything but in a party-mood. This was undoubtedly the most gifted guy I’d come across in a long time. Sure he was clever and slightly wicked, but you don’t get great things done by playing innocent. I entered his room, or rather his jungle of papers. One thing was for sure, he didn’t have time to clean his room. I can say this because even in the dust and cobwebs, I could see an affinity for an organised life. I could also see that he had not prepared anything for the party, not because he didn’t want to mind you. Mikunj is one of the biggest party-buffs I’ve come across ever. I guessed it’s because he didn’t have the time to plan it. Not that it turned out to be a problem for him, his wingies had him covered. They’d gotten everything ready for him. I could see that they knew this was a guy who could intimidate you if he wanted to, yet this was a guy more loved than feared. He’d accomplished more than any of them and was still not resting. So what if he nicked in a few favors for himself and his friends, after all the hard work he put in, he deserved it didn’t he? So what, if he gave someone else opportunity to someone else just because he could, that’s how life goes. That’s what life gives you. That’s how the world turns around. Mikunj Nall was an extra-ordinary man with ordinary flaws. Flaws, one can learn to live with.

It takes time for him to realise that I’m sitting in his room. If he is affronted by it, he does not let it show on his face. He greets me like he had always for the 6 years I’ve known him. He’s quick to tear up a few papers he thinks I should not put my eyes on. He notices me noticing that, and smiles in return. We know each other too well to talk about it. He goes out to get booze and food from his wingies. I decline the alcohol. He frowns as usual, and forces me to have a peg. I don’t decline this time. This might be the last time he’s making me an offering. I take it.

It’s an emotional time for me. Before me stands the man whom I’ve ridiculed and abused and criticised over the last 3 months and he humbly smiles and chooses not to argue with me over such petty nuisances. I’m grateful. I want to leave before the other PlaceComs come to his room. I don’t think they’ll be as understanding as him. I take my leave and come out. I’m glad to have made it before my time is up.

*          *          *          *          *

And this marks the end of my journey. For those who were reading for Placement Fundas, you may stop here. I’ve something to say to my readers.

For the last 4 years I’ve written about the 4 years of TTI KGN. How a person goes through a Nomadic Existence, trying to find his place in the campus. Then he’s asked to choose an option, where I chose the Second Option. He Pleads Not Guilty for the crimes he didn’t commit and learns something very important, that life is neither easy nor fair. But living is the only option life gives you. Then life gives him the 3rd Finger and finally, at the end your life is weighed. That, is the final judgement day, the Final Frontier. It’s not measured in terms of money, not in terms of the future, but in terms of how much love you’re leaving behind. That’s how the campus life of KGN is, and that’s how life goes.

In the last 4 years, I feel I’ve lived my entire life. I confess that 3 years ago, I started these series with the sole intention of increasing my readership. And I realised something very important. It’s not cheap writing which beckons wide readership and popularity, but the value of what you give. That’s why this year I had the intention of talking about a topic which’d create some much-needed awareness. In the process if I’ve hurt anyone, I don’t regret it. I understand what they were doing was a part of what they felt right. And what I did was what I felt right. I hope that never again would I need to start another 8 chapter story. I intend Final Frontiers to be the last story of this kind I ever write.

It is a strong temptation to me to close the present tale with an earthquake which should engulf KGN and its environs so deeply in the bowels of the Earth that no youthful Schliemann would ever find a vestige of it. But as somewhat melodramatic conclusion might shock my gentle readers, I will refrain, and forestall the usual question, ‘How did it end?’ by briefly stating that all the placements (including mine) turned out well.
And now, having endeavoured to suit everyone by many stories, few puns, and as much exaggeration as the eternal fitness of things will permit, let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall forever on my story of KGN.