The thing about clichés is that they’re done to death but undeniably true.
This apparently sudden expression of love for St. Xavier’s is probably because I re-visited it yesterday. From the moment I took my first step towards college from Mullick Bazaar crossing, it was an onslaught of memories. What struck me first was that I was actually walking, not running; which I’d do quite often because I was late for class almost all the time.
Walking past the Church, I checked my reflection in a car window; had a scuffle with my own bag, trying to find my ID card; walked in through the green gates, peering into the Chapel; listened to the sound of the fountain that surrounds the towering St. Francis Xavier idol, as my senses soaked in the welcome feeling of a familiar place. Everything I did was still the same, only probably, for the last time.
I walked past the stairs – which had become an inescapable part of our daily exercise routine (take the stairs to the 4th floor every day and you’ll know) – and straight into the canteen. Ah! The all-time favourite hang-out spot. Well, besides the Green Benches (in the campus) and Delights (outside) of course. Speaking of which, you cannot miss Au Bon Pain, Cha Bar, CCD & the likes on Park Street which are more often than not, haunted by Xaverians across all departments and batches.
From frequent group presentations, that definitely made friends out of class mates, to uncomfortably-frequent exams, meeting-up-to-discuss was an unspoken necessity. Speaking of which, I’d like to know how much money these cafes made off us, considering we needed their ‘free’ Wi-Fi all the time *wonders*.
The lush college grounds, Room No. 7, the Computer Lab. and of course our classroom, hold so many fond (or not) memories. What is closest to my heart is the Catholic-institute-aura of college. It reminds me of my Alma Mater, Pratt Memorial School, right from the Christmas decoration, the sound of carols emanating from some distant room, the ‘Christmassy’ feeling in general, down to the green & yellow facade in particular.
I’ll never forget the times, when I was still a school student and I’d walk past the beckoning yellow-green building with fervent longing and tacit prayers; while the structure greeted me with stoic silence.
Let me tell you I’ve been a consistently good student but by no means a topper. Frankly, I stood no chance of ever studying in the most prestigious institute of Kolkata, St. Xavier’s College. (Not like that killed me or anything; in all honesty and fairness, I wouldn’t swap my three years at JD Birla for anything in the world).
Nonetheless, if an opportunity knocks, take it because, well, an adage says it does so only once. So, this one random day in the month of March last year, my friend suggested I put in an application for a PG Diploma course in Integrated Marketing Communication at St. Xavier’s. My first reaction was, ‘Yeah right. I’m never getting through.’ Talk about optimism.
It’s an impulsive chance I took, without too much thought, which paid off more than well. I have some sense of direction now, which is definitely better than not having any *shrugs*. Some crazy-fun friends to last a lifetime, the respectable top-brass of the Marketing Communication Industry to learn from and a suitcase full of memories; I’m taking back a lot from St. Xavier’s. Lame-pun alert! Xavier’s is my favourite brand. Get it? IMC? Brand? Not funny? Uhh, okay *sighs*.
Thank you, St. Xavier’s. You’ll definitely be one of my most cherished experiences. Ever. Nihil Ultra! *the feels*