As I was ushered into the impressive auditorium hall by a sophomore I felt a sudden rush of adrenaline. The one hundred and fifty so students that stared back at me were to be my peers for the next fours years.
Naturally, my mind like everyone elses’ present there, started making it’s first impressions; making a mental list of the ‘would be friends’ and the ‘never to talk to’s.’
As I scanned the lot of girls seated towards the left side of the ‘audi’ I noticed two girls in particular who seemed to be commenting on- me-. Thus from the first day that I stepped into ‘uni’, I heartily pronounced them unreachable, and in the politest possible way………unlikable.
Next came my first ride home via our very own ‘green lines.’ I hope I don’t sound like the ‘maim saab’ that my present roommate calls me, but I hadn’t had the bus cum point experience before, so I remained a mixture or excitement and worry throughout the trip. One look out the window would force me to start reciting just about all the ayaats I had memorized in school, but what else was I supposed to do for the ninety minutes back home? Much as I wanted to talk to someone I was annoyed when a boy from the first year tried to talk to me. It wasn’t so much making conversation that bothered me it was the mannerism of dialogue we had. I quote.
Young Fellow: Hello how are you?
Me: I’m fine. ( long pause…….didn’t know whether I should be making conversation on my first day…….mommy told me not to talk to strangers……=> )
Young Fellow: So where’d you live?
Me: Khi…..( duh…..yikes…………why the h*** is he asking me? )
Young Fellow: Where in khi?
Me: uMmmmmmmm…….aAaaaa….Why’d you wanna know? ( I’m gonna get kid nappeEeeeeeeeeD)
Young Fellow: You seem kinda worried…tow uMmmm………do you want some help?
Me: Phew…..eRrrr yea ……hMmmm…..kind of ( yes yes yeSssssssss……..I have no idea where I’m supposed to get oFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Unquote. After almost considering him a decent, well mannered young man………
Young Fellow: Do you have a cell phone?
Me: eRrrr…. yeA…….. ( ulloo kaa…………..tow yeh baat haY)
Young Fellow: Who’s coming to pick you up?
Me: My brother……..(what the h*** is he tryng to get at??!!!! )
Young Fellow: Does he have a cell?
Me: ( while skillfully rolling my eyes in an irritated manner) Your point being?
Young Fellow: woh…… actually I was thinking…..bla bla bla
Here too, I made a mental check to avoid, if possible, any contact with this young fellow. Leaving invalid heartbreaks ( definitely not IN the ‘uni’), skirmishes, and drastic changes of opinion, I see myself smiling at my scribblings henceforth. The two girls I’d mentioned that I’d never get along with are two of my closest friends, and two of the loveliest people I’ve met, and the ‘young man’ is one of the best forms of entertainment & solace for me.
So changes of opinion is what I’m trying to get at here. University has taught me to love yesteryear friendships, specially those formed in school. There’s no alternative for ‘old friends’, and it’d be next to impossible to find people that are even half as close to who you are, or who your friends were. Fifty percent of the people don’t get who you are and forty-five don’t ‘want’ to get to know why you’re different. Out of the remaining five percent, some comprehend your persona partially, while others ‘accept’ you the way you are. If you’re lucky, you might end up meeting one or two people that remind you of ‘yourself’. You’d be luckier still if you friends belongs to the same sex, otherwise, be prepare to be paired with you ‘friend’ for as long as you remain in T.I.P.
There’s one issue I particularly wanted to write a bit about. I remember a designer from second year saying ‘ loog hamey burger boltay thay…. Yeh first years to hum sey bhee aagay hein.’ The label’s kind of cute so I’m not going to comment on that, but for the life of me I don’t get why everyone has a habit of categorizing people. Huh….. but it’s a pretty contagious habit though, I caught on to it a bit too. I remember getting together at lunchtime discussing who is and isn’t a mela ( someone I wouldn’t want to associate with initially). With time though, I’ve begun to respect some of those too ( not those that molest or torture you! ), for individualism, is something I’ve begun to respect from the bottom of my heart. I can’t possibly say this better in English so I’ll revert to minglish “ Bas dil ka acha hoona chahiyay.”
Continuing with the theme of changes and changing it’d like to quote Sonia B, “ There’s no constant in life but change.” I still remember the look I gave Tehniyat and Naeem when they asked me to sing “ Babu jee” on my second trip back home. ( I never used to listen to Hindi music an considered BJ veRrrry cheap). And now that I’ve become a faithful addict of the horrendous song, I curse the two heartily for having made me listen to it .
A must mention in my write-up are the resident scholars. Amongst the first few to befriend me were Fareeha ( of second year) and co. Contrary to my pre- planned opinion of the resident scholars being rude, evil beings ( well….not really), I got along with the second years remarkably. They would not only help me with my basic techniques, but would spend countless hours talking to me and advising me. The water fights ( which I never took part in ), Fakeha running all over the hostel screaming that I was being electrocuted when the washing machine’s timer went off ( neither of us had washed clothes before so my friend mistook the beep), Wajeeha presenting me with a scrumptious guava from our hostel premises and the previous wardens child screaming outside our doors till two a.m., have all become valuable additions to list of memoirs.
Thus I’ve become a firm believer that first impressions do not, and should not influence our attitude towards people. First impressions should remain till our first encounters.