A Tryst with Life

A short essay about my life in Manipal.

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As a young child, I was fascinated by the sublime nature of numbers. The contrasting jugalbandi of gregarious evens and demure odds; the occasional round by idiosyncratic primes; the relational hint at the existence of celestial and transcendental numbers. Their chaotic elegance being so perfect, that to the unseeing eye, they are just inconsequential members of a mundane infinite series, but to the scrupulous eye, they constitute an ocean of mysteries. Those who are fortunate enough to observe it, cherish the experience for a lifetime. Is there a parallel to such beauty and quirkiness?

Is there a parallel to such beauty and quirkiness?

An_Evening in Manipal

It was three past twelve on my eager clock when the train whistled into the Udupi station. It was the day (or night) when I was going to see my college for the first time. But my enthusiasm was inundated by the unrelenting water from the heavens, a lesson that I should have heeded to that day. The ensuing days brought a series of ‘first experiences’ with them. Being a native of the Northern Plains, the undulating roads of Manipal were a bane. Everyday, while pacing up the Sisyphean road beside the food court, I could hear the conversation between Cooper and CASE -”Its impossible! No. Its necessary!” Just as the beauty of the flower specially grown for an exhibition slowly fades, we could feel the declining quality of our food as soon as our parents left; or was my stomach aching to meet something else cooked thousands of miles away? The monstrosity of the 8 o’clock class was evident through the dark halos around our eyes - as if in defiance to the morning sun, symbolizing the moonlit nights spent drawing EG graphs.

An_Evening in Manipal

Oh! The rain! It is quite ironical that in a region blessed with such abundant rainfall, our semesters are cut short due to water scarcity. Due to my unfriendly nature towards an umbrella, I was frequently drenched in rain, which resulted in religious attendance at KMC, followed by a truckload of antibiotics. In my early days, I felt like Dada from The Postmaster by Rabindranath Tagore, forced to migrate to an alien place, with no other companion. In the loneliness of my exile, I yearned for a tender motherly touch. The absence of the metaphorical Ratan was filled by my enthusiastic friends, who became my new family. It is truly said that the friendships that are formed in college live life long. Can you ever forget a person who amuses you with jokes about the doctor, while that doctor stitches your torn finger? On the slippery rocks of Kaup Beach, I experienced the real essence of fear, combined with the power of mutual support. While exploring this historically vibrant and picturesque side of the Western Ghats, a certain awe for nature grows in our mind, that keeps us attentive to its beauty, and in my case - alive. My love of adventure could have proven fatal in the first year, but after surviving it with a fractured shoulder, I understood mother nature’s advice.

Kundadiri

The brandishing roads, swelling with the pride of the mountains they scaled, were not to be messed with, but respected, just like our end semester examinations. Personally, the energy tapping assignments and the short stabs of sessionals were more hurtful than the shotgun bullets of end sems. The former ones being diabolical signs of the rapidly approaching future, and the latter, just a fatal shot from which we went back to home to recuperate.

But life continues to run along like a number series, and we are entrusted with the duty of finding our own primes.

In the past few years, I have also felt another parallel with the movie Interstellar, and our lives in Manipal. No one can deny that time does fly faster around these hills, indicating the presence of some awesome gravitational force. On pondering, I can count some spots that seem more enticing than others, but I should let you discover them on your own. As we draw closer towards the closure of our tenure in Manipal, we feel more and more attached to it. But life continues to run along like a number series, and we are entrusted with the duty of finding our own primes. As I gallop through this penultimate semester, I can feel the rats in my stomach mobilizing their chariots, preparing for the next year, when I shall again be leaving this home to search for another abode. Will it be as fantastic as Manipal? Only the gossamer of time will tell.

Kundadiri