[originally written on the 22nd, posting today for various reasons.]
i sit in a plane this saturday morning, and i think back to a saturday afternoon nearly two years ago; when i tentatively poked my head out of a similar aircraft. i look out the window, across the two seats separating me from them… and see an airport that looks the same.
it seems like yesterday.
as cliched as it may sound, it was a rare bright sunny day when i landed in aberdeen all those months ago; and i remember coming out of an airport wondering what i would find. i remember being struck by the classic scottish scenery, and looking at the winding roads as i rode to a hostel that i had been told about by a guy i was yet to meet. and today, here i am, having explored nearly everything there is to see in this place.
today i don’t know when i will come back. but come back i will. someday.
so many things have happened to me here over the last two years. and all those memories come back now. the life my friends and i led as independent students. struggling together those initial weeks. none of us knowing much, but not wanting to appear clueless. finding out exactly how clueless. looking for part-time jobs. celebrating when we got them. me, actually finding out how every minute in an hour can be valuable enough to earn the five pounds.
starting this space as recreation, and finding the outlet that i may have been looking for. finding people who can relate to it all. finding how weird daylight timings can really be so funny. or so depressing. celebrating that first diwali. marvelling at our first white christmas. a chaotic new year. realising why poets go into raptures over spring. summer, and the real aberdeen finally coming into view. road-tripping for the first time, and discovering one of the most beautiful countries in the world at our doorstep. finally attending rahman’s live concert.
and suddenly my course was over. we were all, technically, “done”.
heading back home for the first time in year since i came to the UK. realising just how much i missed it all. graduation. discovering london. experiencing the coldest winter in 50 years in scotland. and the hottest summer. both seasons the longest possible. road-tripping again, this time trying to see everything. applying for a US visa, to go the next step.
and i’ve finally got it. i’ve spent 2 long weeks winding up. and i’m going home. before i go away again.
all these months later, i think of the things we did. we worried. we looked. we applied. we lived it up. we lived it down. we wondered what would happen to all of us next. we watched movies. celebrating everything under the sun. discussed why that porn star did “it” that way. as well as about the principles of economics. and theology. relating all three topics. i remember going from hopeful and focussed to frustrated and cynical… and finding i was never alone.
we were like a family. we said it jestingly, but thats what we were. there for each other. all the fucking time. and once you’ve seen a guy in his underpants, there’s not much left to hide. and i know we guys will probably always be there together, all the fucking time. docboy, with his gentle smile and that nod of understanding. probably completely corrupted the poor chap’s vocab. richybaba and his practical attitude.. love it or hate it: you have to accept it. i’ve never wanted to throttle someone more. and get away with it. dhiru showing his drive, and mostly irrefutable logic. and one person who cusses even worse than me. i learnt :). toro, or “william”, getting things done, cooking up a storm. one of the guys you’ll be lucky to meet, luckier to be friends with. all of them. i could just go on about the times spent together; the parties, the craziness, the joy, the frustration… life.
and yet there were so many more. ashwin, a gentle giant of a man. bijay and the widest smile i’ve ever seen. lakshmi, her cherubic face. rajiv, a fellow movie addict. mithun, a dude who just hits it off with everyone. the list continues. subrato, a crazy depth of so much.. and crazier about so much more. kunal, ashay, neha, bharat, rajesh(s), harsh… and others – all of us coming together in our little highland city of aberdeen.
i know i’m going to miss it all. a lot. its become like another hometown. the beauty of granite. westburn park; one of those places you never get enough of. the beach: two degress colder than the coldest water you can expect. union street, the VSA charity bookshop (the cheapest books ever !), ASDA, Morrisons, the sprawling campus of my uni, my homes at urquhart road and seaforth road, our “own” merc showroom… and so much much more. its finally sinking in now. its finally over.
its finally goodbye aberdeen.
i’m going to miss you.