A farewell

'The Last Convertible' by Anton Myrer.
It's rather strange that I should find this book to read at this time in my life. It isn't a pre-meditated attempt to lend some meaning or poetic backdrop to this phase, all I needed was a book to help me with my vocabulary and sentence building for the GRE test next week. I went to my room looking for something non-fictional and resplendent in critical thinking like Dawkins or Freud but when I spotted the red hardbound, slightly torn cover of this book, I knew I had to take it out, if only to sniff the yellowing pages and smile at my favorite passages.
I've read this book before, one and a half times, I think, back when I was in school. Back when we were in school. It was the beginning of an end then. It is an end today. That was the winter of dreams, the fervent excitement of the endless opportunities awaiting gripped us into a state of perpetual hopefulness. Anything could happen. We were at the threshold. We knew that when we met each other again, whenever that might be, everything would have changed. But the thought wasn't scary. I don't know why. Maybe it was the eagerness to explore...to experience change...
Optimism keeps you happy.

Today, everything has changed. This goodbye is different. The eagerness has been replaced by a weird kind of wariness. It is because we know, for sure, that anything is, in fact, possible and things do have a way of changing, forever. With this wisdom comes the realization that we have, unmistakably and irrefutably, grown up. This is the end of student life as we know it. It is time for realism to replace optimism.
I must admit it scares me sometimes, when I think about it, about myself, about all of us, as adults, out on our own, for as long as we can go on. The safety net has been withdrawn. But where there is fear, there is also a source of courage and we have seen and learnt enough. We are equipped.

The saddest part, of course, are memories. Not their content, but the fact that they just can't be made again. Not in the same way.

A convertible is a car which has a top that can be removed or folded. They were popular more than a century back. The book talks about one emerald green beauty, 'The Empress', as they called it. There were four young men from Harvard. There were girls. There were stories. And memories. Memories etched in every crease of the car's metal, every cut of the seat's leather. There; a cigarette burn, there; a stubborn stain- all with their histories. And then, before they could make any sense of what was happening, they were out on the field, a part of the second world war. From boys to soldiers to men. The girls waited and prayed and became women. Youth ended and life moved on.

It's funny that I picked this book up. It's almost like I want the emotions that this goodbye can conjure to overwhelm me. We've been prepared for the end. We made plans for it.     We anticipated it. Heck, we'd even wished it'd happen sooner just so we could get on with our lives and get some respite from the messy hostel rooms. Yet we clung on to every passing moment, counting the lasts. The last exam, the last viva, the last altercation with the staff, the last friendly chat with the lab assistant, the last request to the hostel attendant, the last joke with the guy at the canteen counter, the last bag to be packed and boarded on to the car waiting downstairs, the last hug, the last glance back...
It is the end.
There are regrets: things left unsaid and roads left not traversed, but none of it matters now.
It is the end.
It is also the beginning. Of the rest of our lives on the paths we've carved out, with the people we've chosen and the beliefs we've adopted.

There is one sentence that has been resonating in my head ever since I started on the journey back home...
'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'.

I think it's a perfect description.


  1. u made me sort of nostalgic...nicely put down... :)
    GOD bless u... :)

    1. Well, nostalgia was the intent of this post. Thanks :)


  3. "It is time for realism to replace optimism."

    Good one :) Your post just reminded me of these lines from Grey's Anatomy.

    MEREDITH: [narrating] "Remember when you were a kid and your biggest worry was, like, if you'd get a bike for your birthday or if you'd get to eat cookies for breakfast. Being an adult? Totally overrated. I mean seriously, don't be fooled by all the hot shoes and the great sex and the no parents anywhere telling you what to do. Adulthood is responsibility. Responsibility, it really does suck. Really, really sucks. Adults have to be places and do things and earn a living and pay the rent. And if you're training to be a surgeon, holding a human heart in your hands, hello? Talk about responsibility. Kind of makes bikes and cookies look really, really good, doesn't it? The scariest part about responsibility? When you screw up and let it slip right through your fingers."

    MEREDITH: "I guess we're adults. The question is, when did that happen, and how do we make it stop?"

    keep it going;)

    1. I like the things Meredith says, they always come back to you when you face a situation. Thanks for reading :)

  4. Very good. Heartwarming. You've rendered me speechless. Sigh!


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