July 11, 2007

Learning to move on

While I was returning home after class today, I felt a gulp in my throat. It was a sense of loss I couldn’t decipher. A lot of things filled up my mind. Was I unhappy, shocked or just getting emotional, given the moment? I don’t know what was it that had gone wrong, but atleast I realized that something had definitely gone wrong.

It was her last day in college today. She is a professor that came across to me as a rebel, as a dreamer, as a person who always wished to accomplish something more each day. There were many who didn’t like her - called her a snob or selfish. But I knew from the first lecture that I attended that I wanted to be her. It was a secret desire and I did keep it a secret till date. It's only now, as she leaves the college that I choose to reveal it.

Indian writing in English - that's her field if specialization. It's a subject constantly surrounded with issues of identity, authenticity, and of the sense of 'Indianness'. It was not a safe subject for a college professor, I thought. Then why did she have to take it? Perhaps, she liked to do the unconventional.

As and how days passed, I felt an urge to know more about her. She taught us poems of A.K. Ramanujan. "Memories like a snake slither away at the most unexpected moments," she said while explaining one of his poems. The passion with which she taught the subject made me wonder that perhaps even she has a past that comes back to her and makes her feel uncomfortable at times. She talked about the identity of Indian-English authors but deep within she was questioning her own. It was reflected in her initiative to investigate the dilemmas of Sindhis who fled from Pakistan during Partition and settled in Gujarat.

She is a Sindhi married to a Gujarati and realized that in the bargain Sindhis had lost a lot - their land, their traditions and now are even losing on their language. I saw her battling for identity. I saw a self burning from within, wanting to break loose and make a mark for herself, a self ready to take on challenges and show to the world the person they had been underestimating all this while. In her voice, in her words, in her look I saw myself…

She made me realize that to learn something from life, you need to move on. There shouldn’t be any guilt in leaving something behind because that's how you grow. The many talks with her enlightened me, pacified me and encouraged me to take the steps that I did. She instigated the desire in me to make my dreams come true. And today, when she was leaving I couldn’t react. I saw the me in her moving away. But then, she has left a bit of her in me to keep the fire burning…

4 comments:

Gauri Gharpure said...

I know who u r talking about and perhaps I might as well know u too... Is that u, Bhumika??? shit, the world is such a small little place!!!

bhumika said...

yessss...it's me - Bhumika Udernani :)

How have you been? never thought we'd get back in touch like this! Glad we did. Hope to cya around :)

varghese said...

Oh man..i so no who ur talking about...id like to share sumthng..i too ws in awe of her...but i ws more in love with the way she ws thn wht she taught..never had the time to look at tht..hehe..good post..it made me remember those Xavier's days..which have now started to fade away unfortunately...

Devendra Yadav said...

Hi Bhumika,
My name is Devendra Yadav. I met you at Triton Communications, Ahmedabad. You might not remember me, but i do. You took my Copy Test then and i failed to make it to Triton. Anyway, it's nice to know that you are working at Oglivy & Mather. Best Wishes... :)