As any college student who lives away from home is undoubtedly aware, going to see the folks is an enterprise that can clearly be divided into a before and after stage. This is of course subject to the condition that your parents stay in a place that is different from where you were when you last stayed with them. Hence the entire purpose of the visit is to meet Mom and Dad only. Right, where was I?
The before stage, which usually lasts anywhere between a week to two days before you leave to see them; is when you are overcome with feelings of guilt for having done anything that you feel would have compromised your standing in front of them, excitement over seeing them again and a wild and stupid sense of hope that you can convince them to be a bit more charitable while dishing out funds.
The after stage is characterized by your return and a solemn resolve to get wasted, stoned, high beyond belief, blitzed out of your skull, laid and incarcerated, just to prove a point.
This begs the question: What happens in the middle? Why does a visit to the folks make me go even more insane than I am right now? It’s not like I can’t stand them or something. Hell, I’ve tolerated them (and vice-versa) for around 18 years in terms of mere existence, 12 years in terms of personal memories and around 3-4 years in terms of cumulative actual time spent with them.
But parents have no place in your collegiate life. They do not fit in a college-going, idealist, pseudo-intellectual, “I’m-going-to-change-the-world” outlook which we all get after our first semester and that lasts until placement interview time. During this interval, we’re too busy trying to figure out exactly what kind of people we want to be in life. We spend our days trying to “discover ourselves”, perform some intense soul-searching, meditate until we find our true inner spirit – a being unblemished by peer pressure or experience and put to ourselves some of the most profound questions that anyone will ever ask us in our lives:
- Is South Park better than Family Guy?
- Nothing’s going to happen if I take just one more shot of Vodka, right?
- Psst… Ankur… question 4, second part… Kya hai, yaar?
- Ww… Will you… Can you… Can I… take you… on a date? Er… please?
And we also make some very important discoveries that can forever alter our self-image:
- What do you mean fat? Sure, I don’t have toned abs, but I’m not fat!
- (someone else to you) “Dude! You SUCK at CS!”
- Jessica Alba did a sex scene? In 2003? AND I HAVEN’T SEEN IT? I AM NOT WORTHY TO LIVE!!!
- Oh, right! She’s crazy about Daniel Radcliffe, but I scar my forehead on purpose and I’m too masochist! Hypocritical bitch!
This phase ends with, as mentioned before, your placement interview. After getting placed, you begin to start appreciating time spent with Mom and Dad. Even if you never did before. Which is strange, unusual and very freaky, but also something I have personally witnessed first hand. This happy time lasts for around a few months until either:
- You realize that your job sucks. You have no aptitude for it whatsoever and you should never have taken up <insert course here>
- Your pay sucks ass and you’re back to begging for funds from Mom. Or Dad. Or both. Usually both.
- You meet and fall in love with someone whom your family will never accept but you are sure you want to marry this person and no-one else. You take the trouble of convincing them, and once they’re sure that you ought to marry this person and no-one else, you start getting doubts.
Either way, I did my best at being a good little boy this holi. Which is very difficult and I normally can’t maintain the act for longer than a day, but I had a very good reason this time. And I have this weird feeling that I did something really stupid, but I don’t know what it is. I think I’ll find out very soon.
So! I shall return to college and life in Noida/South Delhi/North Campus/CP where I am sure I will be greeted with some bad news, as is customary. I am also missing someone and am looking forward to meeting them soon.
The purpose of the trip has also been achieved! I have a cheque that is to be spent on getting myself a Desktop PC! At last! At the age of nearly twenty! My first computer! That’s right! I never had a computer! Ever! This is my first one! w00t!