I vividly remember the gloomy evening when
I boarded Suryanagri Express for the first time.
Three large suitcases, a bag on the shoulder,
and a million scattered thoughts.
My whole family had flooded the Platform 3
of Vadodara Junction to bid me farewell.
12480 slowly eases onto the station
amidst of all the chaos!
And why not? It was a routine halt for the train.
As I rush into my coach, tears start to flood my eyes
as that one step marked the end of a beautiful chapter of my life.
I was leaving for Jodhpur to attend
my undergraduate course at IIT Jodhpur.
For a family that seldom expresses their emotions,
seeing them cry made me realise the magnitude of the occasion
I was no more a child.
I was growing up. We were growing up!

And then it happened. It might be cliched,
but the best days of my life begun.
Four years is a very long time.
Jodhpur became a home more than my home
And the people there became a part of me.
Seniors who guided me, classmates who walked with me
and juniors who made my experiences worth sharing.
Those years made me who I am today, and
taught me how to live, how to fail,
how to cry and how to have fun.

Time indeed is a treacherous clown.
It slows down when we really want to get through tough times
and it speeds past the memorable days
leaving behind some amazing memories.
My undergrad just flew past me,
without any space to breathe.
It so happens, we just live for the time to pass
without realising the importance.
And when the days got numbered,
I realised all the things I could have done,
all the conversations I could have made,
and the moments I could have actually lived.

The day came. It started.
And it was the toughest day of my life.
10th May it was. The day when we parted,
the day when I changed.
We had stayed up all night because
4 out of the 16 of us were leaving by a morning train.
A planned sober night, which turned into
a night of a couple of BP shots.
And for the final time, and
maybe the last, we 16 were together in one room.

Promises of meeting again,
tight hugs to show our love,
and moist eyes trying hard
to hold back on those tears.
And as the clocks neared 5 am,
we took a final walk of our home,
laid down on the misty grass of our garden
and watched the stars in silence
a silence filled with a million of
conversations and emotions.

Railway stations, airports and bus stops
are a mecca of goodbyes and farewells.
I finally gave up and let the tears flow
The final hug, the final glance
and the green signal
We were 4 down!
It should never have been this tough.
But then if we had the guts
to build a friendship this strong,
Tears ought to come.

Finally, in the evening my time was up.
We had somehow gotten used to saying goodbyes.
So with simple hugs and a wide smile on my face,
I boarded the same Suryanagri Express,
on which I had started this journey.

So dear me,
This is how it ended.
A big part of us died that day,
a part that will be remembered, cherished
and missed for the days to come.

Life completes a full circle.
I cried on the first day,
because I was scared of what lied ahead.
And I cried on the last day,
because I was leaving a part of me behind.