It’s 3 am and sleep evades my lashes like the water droplets on a raincoat. The window is fully open, the cold spray of the pouring rain wetting my face and the fat joint that I hold. Careless about the water seeping into my drags, all the while shutting the heat of the joint slowly from inside. I still see the moon, flittering amongst the clouds, slowly peeking out and disappearing again. I cannot sleep nor can I study. Typical night in Lavale. Ghostly winds, absent electricity, shouting girls, fighting-with-their-boyfriends’ girls, sounds of the barking dogs. I can see the long road leading up to the main gate from within the mist. Two days to my finals. I have been left alone in my room. The sound of the dripping water from the tap in the bathroom catches my attention in the silence. The electricity keeps shutting down. On my way to the bathroom, a chilly wind goes over my ears. Spine chills, goosebumps and an arrhythmic heart.
“Chulli, I can’t sleep. It’s really scary in my room” called up my friend on the floor above.
“Fuck you Choudhury. Let me sleep”. End of conversation.
To keep myself sane throughout a night where my coffee had run out and the hash way too potent, I decided to set up my speakers and listen to psytrance. Astrix, Rinkadink and Crazy Astronaut put me at ease. Still no sleep. I decided to take my sleeping bag to the terrace and set it up at the driest place and star gazed till 4 am. Not a star visible in the sky. Still trying to catch a glimpse of something. I see our group. 4 of us laughing our hearts out, gossiping to our hearts’ content, eating and drinking to the very core of glorified gluttons that we were. Too many feelings involved in a girls group. Never needed men. Distances, annoyances and sharing bath products. I have loved them too much.
Scene change. Where was I? On a terrace filled with half naked girls on a cold night and I was snuggling inside a plastic sleeping bag. Checked my phone for messages and calls from a jittery past. No notifications of anything at all. Happier with myself for moving out of a murderous phase. Got out of the claustrophobic sleeping bag and leaned against the railing. Below was a swimming pool, with SIU in bold. Above was a starless sky. Looked at the time, 4.20am. Thought this was a good time to smoke 3 cigarettes. Marlboro lights, wet from the seeping water. Felt like tiny caterpillars all over my body. Felt like cold hands on a winter night in Pune. Coffee was missed. Nothing new in the scene except for my missing clothes.
It was like any other night that I had spent in a city that refuses to walk out of my being. A city which messed me up, brought me back from the dead and set me up again. The same city which is as much a part of me as the love of people who were being destroyed while they stood tall. Strange place, this city. I love it to the core like the missing donuts at Peter Donuts whenever I visit. Knowing every small alley and road better than the people living there. Call me back.