An evening in the campus

A graduate student with no classes, no research who is just settling in has a lot to explore and do around the campus. I had thought that I would be having fun in the campus, but never imagined that things could be so good and so funny!

I had come back from my lab, when my roomie suggested, "Lets go play something". We had a basketball at home, and so that was picked, another interested guy found from another apartment and off we went into the evening campus! Deserted-looking streets, dim white lights in the sideways and warm dry winds greeted us as we passed so many imposing buildings and shiny marked-out roads in the car. Once parking was taken care of, we headed for the university basketball grounds. But then classes have not really begun, and so the whole of the university is still under some sort of slumber. The basketball grounds were closed, the flood-lights turned off and there was no-one around as far as we could see. Well, almost no-one around, since there were people jogging around a synthetic track surrounding a green grassy field.

"Yes, a field!!", we thought, and headed off into it. The basketball became a football, and in the dim lights from the white lamps shining around the track, we started hitting it around. Never mind the deflated pump on the ball or the carpet-thick grass that virtually wiped off any bounce, the fun was in the shooting around anyway! So after some 30 minutes of mid-air heroics and extreme efforts to get the ball to swing and fly through the air, we felt tired and decided to move off.

The huge stadium in the campus had always been attractive, but the testing of the newly installed largest HD screen and scoreboard in the US hooked us in. The flashing colours on the entire board cast weird glows in the entire stadium, and we walked in through the parking lot to catch a better view. Just as we were going in, someone noticed a sign that said that the juggling sessions were in some room at the 3rd floor (yeah the stadium has 11 floors of access :) ). So we thought we'd have a dekko at the place to see how things were, and then go up to the roof.

We reached the room, to find about 20 people practising juggling with many different things: sand-filled soft leather balls, plastic dumbells, rings... a lot of them! We stood there marvelling at them for some time when a person came up to us and invited us to try it. After a little initial indecision, we acquisced, and then started on the soft leather balls. I could do a little bit with two balls, but Jim (the person who invited us in) interrupted. "Do it nicely", he said, "both hands... bring it to the centre, and then throw". A little practice, and then I could continue with two nicely. Jenny came up and said, "Tell me when you want to move, because you are already ready to move into three". "Oh, really?", I thought... but went ahead anyway; I had been ready the moment I had accepted to come in and try them! So gradually I picked up the trick... left-right-left, or right-left-right. It felt so good when I could catch all three in sequence, but almost left a funny feeling when I missed one or two or all three sometimes. Sometimes Jim or Jenny would pass by, and I'd try so hard to get it right in front of them. But then, I would fail at times, and yet they would look at the timings of the throws or the relative heights, and say, "Good"; with honest approval in their eyes. It gave so much encouragement... and I continued. Afterwards, I discovered that I was doing better in keeping the flow when I was actually talking to someone, or maybe just doing something else mentally. That must be the secret, I thought, and as we bid good-bye, there were so many encouragements: "You're good, come again", "You can soon move on to other things, you are a natural"... :D God bless them!

We moved out and as the others left for their homes, we went to the top of the stadium. Access to the balconies and the actual seats was closed, but the soothing wind and the marvellous panoramic view of the night-time Austin and the campus was breathtaking! Amidst mirth and merry we spent some time gazing at the horizon, wondered how high we were by staring down the parapet at the miniscule cars in the parking lot, and humming some popular numbers all the time. But then we decided to go down, and started walking towards the car.

But wait, I spotted a slope: an awesome grassy slope of about 20-30 metres with a huge incline!! I needed no second invitation. To just roll down sideways on such a slope is awesome fun... trust me on this one! I last did this in a park near our house, but this feeling was awesome all over again. I mean, imagine a thick grassy well-maintained lawn where you need to just lie down at the highest point! Ms. Gravity takes care of the rest... once you are in, you get that funny feeling where you are twisted and turned about without having to bother where you are going. So while the images of the lights, the ground and the horizon zipped and zapped past in quick succession, I could barely hear the other two saying something to me. Man, after two rounds of these rolls, I took 2-3 minutes to get over the centrifugal sickness... which kind-a gives a good butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling itself! :)

One other guy tried the rolls, but the itchiness of the grass and the sudden rush of blood made him stop midway. But for me: ahh, it feels so good to be a kid again, to be a student again, to beat a squash ball aimlessly in the court without worrying about rules and all --- the carefree good days are here again, yaay!!! :D

Comments

  1. Wow.... you are back to college days.. I am feeling very jealous!!

    All the best... Keep in touch.

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  2. Man, u make me jealous. I so want to go back to college and relive those days again man - they were simply the best :(

    Suyog

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  3. "Do it nicely", he said, "both hands... bring it to the centre,....

    Ahem !!!

    On a more serious note, it's a sweet post, simply sweet... Good luck and best wishes for a new beginning...

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  4. Jeevan, hey, yes I am back!! Thanks... you too have a good time!

    Supremus, yeah!! These days are the best!!

    Sunshine, dirty mind!! :D
    And thanks, of course :)

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  5. I agree with you. Its so nice to be a studnet. You are at it for the second time. Make most of it.

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  6. An evening wonderfully spent. An account beautifully written.

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  7. Enjoy and make sure to tell these fun stories to your family in India especially your Mom. They get worried sick thinking you are away in foreign country and it must be very tough adjusting but if they know that you are enjoying there, they can breath a bit easily..:-)

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  8. hope you enjoy this while it lasts!!! once your work starts... thats IT!!! your nose will be stuck to books!!

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  9. Anumita, thank you very much! :)

    Mommyof2, Yes, thanks. I keep in touch with mom via emails and chats: although I must admit she never stops worrying! :-\

    Grafxgurl, yeah, making hay while the sun shines :) Although, once the classes start, a little roll down the slopes once a week sounds good enough :)

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  10. A lot of rolling arnd I see...:-)

    Jus a point to note u know, somewhere in my mind, Gravity always seemed to be a Mr. :-s unrelenting and over exerting its presence everywhere...:-D

    Nice to think it could be a Ms too...;-)

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  11. Ellie, it has to be a Ms: see, a Mr would have stamped himself everywhere, in-your-face and boldly. Ms. Gravity, on the other hand, does it subtly, where you can never see whats happening, you keep guessing, and the big ideas strike you only when Ms. Gravity hurls apples at your head, or makes you roll 'down' slopes :D

    Howz college? All shaping up well? I head the library suffered major damages?

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