The Moment it Hits
Photo Courtesy: Ram Sharma
I believe that everyone knows the truth, but few are ready to say it and fewer still to think it. The truth is that the world is only so round and we may never share a room again, and this troubles me just a little. The truth that I’m finally a little worried again – it’s liberating, and it’s that time of the year again. The time when friend circles break just a little bit, for one question more than the usual, but not enough to do anything. It’s this pretense that leaves me with a warm heart and heavy head and still nothing to show.
An eventful time often comes to end in the weirdest of mannerisms – with tears, smiles and shadows all alike and the idea that the end must justify the process is only so accurate.
“I believe that humankind is on he brink of something remarkable: we are finally ready to do what we were always supposed to – claim responsibility for the cosmos”.
Memories, dreams and thieves all fail to the largest testament of time and I watch again, how everything I believe and call home falls from my hands and there’s nothing I can do. As I often do, I will stand and nod to the tune of the music.
There is a time when it suddenly hits; and goosebumps and shivers become one and the same.
“The Bohemian is an intellectual who has not found his place in society. An intellectual, of course, is a type of pragmatical and mechanistically minded man man, product of mass education [who isn’t?] whose sole criterion is ‘Will it work?’ ”
The question then remains, why was I here? What is the justification I can provide myself with to explain the madness of this place? Am I an educated person, and insomuch what does that even mean. If education is the creation of a system that lives on knowledge and is in the constant search for more, all in the mind – I might be more educated than I was. But I strongly believe that learning is the real essential outcome – and that is as personal as it gets. What now tells me, that travelling halfway across the world (all the way will get me back here [?]) is where this mind will fuel itself further on knowledge in an alien context and alien narrative – but why, then, am I so excited?
I am not far, and I love being here at night especially, when the reflections make it obvious that my entire universe (small ‘u’) is visible to me without even a tilting of the neck. I wonder the merits of both genuineness and niceness, both constructs that seem incredibly beautiful from the outside, but I don’t believe they exist at all. I think they are tools to hide behind, as I hide behind my books. How uncomfortable is the idea of not knowing.
After a reasonably long margin of time, I woke up to realise the depth of both my timing and the length of my conception of god are both horribly flawed; and everything is made to be awed. The return of the heat to provide some calm to an atmosphere calm for a short year. As I turn a leaf over and over, I realise that the leaf has only two sides, and I have only two minds and an ego that is borderline endless. As I return to the topic at hand; I am surprised by how lost I was; how eager now to stay after experiencing the opposite just yesterday. Rain brings an outpour of memories, smells, spells and insects and it’s only hail that hurts anyway.
“We have a choice; we can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us, or we can squander our 13 billion year heritage in meaningless self destruction. What happens in the first cosmic second of the next cosmic year depends solely on what we do, here and now, with our intelligence and knowledge of the cosmos.”
—Quotes (In order of appearance): 1)Harold Rosenberg, 2) Carl Sagan
Ram Sudhir Sharma (Pune, India)
Class of 2015
So in two weeks exactly I’ll be in the airport, waiting to board the plane, trying really hard not to break down, because everyone will be looking at that tall girl with the huge suitcases and on her face they’ll still see the traces of the tears and of four nights, no sleep.
And it hurts. Next to me, a few friends are talking and they are all from different places and they wear different clothes and have different opinions (they have opinions) and in two weeks they won’t see each other again, no never.
In two weeks I’ll travel 8500 kilometers back to a reality which I have so consciously tried to escape in the last two years, and I am scared, scared, scared. I’ll host friends and family and family friends and though their embraces will lift me up and carry me towards bright sights of the future, at night when everyone is gone I’ll stick my leg out of the bed to let it rest on my roomie’s bed, which won’t be there. And I’ll think that, if such a celebration would have happened here, there would have been tea in dirty cups and pyjama shorts involved. I’ll message one of my friends but I won’t get an answer because it’s 4 pm there and who checks facebook at 4 pm anyway.
When I’ll be walking in the streets with my friends talking about our favourite candy, I’ll see the word ‘united’ somewhere and I’ll think of the dozens of times my friends and I sarcastically laughed at how we “united” the world. I’ll see nescafé instant coffee and will be reminded of the last month we spent all together in the AQ. Studying, but really just sharing our last tea bags and taking naps in our effectively designed napping-room.
This UWC-thing is, in a sense, unethical, highly unethical. Taking young people out of their context without them realising it. Raising them in a culture of big dreams which are slowly carefully turned into reality. Then, two years later, throwing them out. Catapulting them back to their homes.
And yet, grief grief grief. And gratefulness. And laughs, many laughs. When someone asks “what are you laughing about”, I’ll just say the woman on the other side of the street looks funny, while thinking about that time when I was laughing so hard that I fell on the ground and my feet accidentally hit my friend’s nose, which made our stomachs ache for the next 15 minutes.
14 days left. Already gone, but never gone. It’s not like ‘home’ stays here and I can come back whenever and be home again. Next year it will be half home and the year after it will only be home in the recognition of trees and buildings and paths.
Home are the people. Home is whenever I’m with you.
Louise Van Damme (Belgium)
Class of 2016