Friday, February 24, 2012

On Nostalgia

To be honest, there is no easy way to describe the bittersweet emotions that one experiences as they relive a reasonable facsimile of their past life in the present. To be back in the school yard where you played your first game of basketball; the classroom on the second floor where your heart first felt the pangs of a budding infatuation for the girl, your feelings forever unexpressed; the canteen at the university where  meals were hastily scarfed down; the hostel rooms where many a lazy afternoon were whiled away with a good book or by a visit from Morpheus, all bring about a rapture that can only be delineated by memories and never by words.

But as much as nostalgia appears to be a healthy longing for the past, it can pose hazards as well. One can become disillusioned with the present as the past becomes more and more of a sturdy reality. The revulsion to change becomes a classic highlight in several individuals. This is understandable because often memories are attached to not only people, but also places. Alumni have often struggled to come to terms with the fact that the wing that they were educated in for nearly a decade is no longer standing on their visit from higher education abroad. Or that the canopy-covered quadrangle no longer plays host to the school's cultural events; the university where we became young thinkers has so many new buildings and made so many changes that the life we lived there seems non-existent. There is yet another way that nostalgia can skewer the heart. Your friends are no longer at University, your teachers have long retired. One might almost hope that he bumps into his friend at the food-court or just around the corridor when he's fully cognizant of the fact that they are halfway around the world in countries with mild summers and frigid winters. This ultimately leads to a paradoxical sense of belonging and alienation: he belongs here by virtue of his experiences, yet he realizes there is nothing for him here now.

*This post is incomplete, but I couldn't bear the thought of the blog going stagnant, so bear with the abrupt end. I will make suitable edits later.


Saru Singhal said...

This post made me nostalgic. Reminisces of good old days...:)

prateek mathur said...

hey nick..
remember my post in 2009 after college and our debate on iRobot ? :)
one of the best post-college memories I have ...