I was supposed to run the Delhi marathon this past Sunday. And I was really gearing up for it (trying to figure out how I could fake a sprained ankle when I was too exhausted to move any more due to my absolute lack of training) till I received a call mid-week from my new boss in Mumbai. She wanted me to come to Mumbai on Friday to attend a conference in my new division. Now my alma mater MICA was having its annual fest that weekend, and my company was paying for my flight tickets both ways. The decision was simple.
I've been sleeping very late of late, and Thursday night wasn't any different. And paranoid as I am about missing flights, trains and buses, or just generally being late, I got almost no sleep on Thursday night in preparation for the early morning flight on Friday morning. I knocked off immediately upon entering the flight and remained so till we landed. Then followed one hectic day of meeting, reviewing and planning, all with very little food. I was exhausted by the end of the day, a day that finished so late that all my plans of meeting batchmates in Mumbai came a cropper. I left the office, met my 2 batchmates with whom I was going to MICA, caught the bus, and crashed.
The bus hemmed and hawed its way towards Ahmedabad so that we finally reached MICA only around lunch-time. Then came all the hugs and the smiles and the nostalgia. I met batchmates I hadn't seen in nearly 7 months, caught up with my juniors, and got along with my super-juniors thanks to the presence of my brother in that batch. We checked out the new hostel, the spanking new music room and the air-conditioned mess and auditorium. We saw Zero jamming up close and personal. I participated in JAM on a last-minute whim and qualified for the finals, eventually coming in second. Then came evening and a rocking performance by Zero. This was followed by Parikrama, but having seen them many times before, we decided to slink away and drink (illegally, considering Gujarat is a dry state). We got sufficiently high and came back for the closing of Parikrama's performance. Then followed a night of revelry and more drinking and partying. A great night. I finally slept at dawn, just like the good ol' days.
Sleeping high or drunk never gives you a good night's sleep and I was up in about 5 hours. The rest of the day passed in a semi-buzzed state, and I was really worried that I would not be in any condition to drink again later that night, and with the MICANVAS party also happening that night, this was a worrying prospect indeed. I somehow made it through the day, nursing my body back to a decent state. That night saw a performance by Strings. They really got the crowd in and going. By the time the performance closed past midnight, I had willed my body back to accepting alcohol in copious amounts. And that is exactly what I did. The night also saw some tearful goodbyes, as batchmates started leaving to be present at office the next morning.
The next 3 hours saw solid drinking, partying, dancing, hugging, and reliving the good memories. Finally, in a nice high state, I got ready to leave for the airport along with a few other batchmates. I don't know how I managed to pack in those last few moments, but I did a pretty decent job, save for a mistakenly exchanged towel. I had never flown high before, and I wasn't exactly dressed to impress either, with my pajamas and flip-flops. But as before, I knocked off as soon as I sat in the flight and woke up only on landing. I rushed home, got ready for work and left, struggling through the rest of the day.
It was a fantastic weekend. With about a quarter of our batch on campus, it really felt like we had been transported back to our day. The juniors still respected us and welcomed us back as the breath of fresh air they were so used to. The super-juniors treated us as the Gods they had heard so much about and were now getting to see with their eyes, in complete awe and admiration. The staff and faculty were happy to see their old students back. Everybody was generally glad that we were back. I guess it only goes to show that we left a lasting impact during our stay there. And I am glad about that. Guys who had done logistics and security and various other allied functions during our outings at MICANVAS were back in their old roles, volunteering to help the juniors through. A beautiful weekend. Sigh!