I had begun writing a story just after stepping into the chaotic life of being an engineering student. It was a secret story of romance between a boy who had just stepped into college and the most popular girl among the first year students.
What a coincidence, right?
Yes, I have always enjoyed portraying my real life in the form of a story, where I am the main character, and all the things I yearn for in my day-to-day life manifest in the story according to my imagination. So for that story, I made myself the 'protagonist' and the good looking, attractive girl I had seen the other day, the 'most popular girl' of the year.
Interesting... isn't it - giving birth to an imagination in a world of your own?
But as they say, 'imperfection is unity'
After writing nearly twenty chapters of the story, a strange phenomenon started to cause commotion in the artistic side of my brain - Pain. Why? Well, the 'me' in the book was everything I had ever wanted to happen to myself, so maybe I got a little bit jealous of my own representation in the storyline.
I stopped writing that story a short while later.
It was not that I had a writer's block or that I lost interest in the story, it was just that I couldn't tolerate the "perfect" me getting thrown at my face, paranoia in simple words.
For the rest of the first year, it was me trying to fit into the normal life of an average college student - completing assignments on time, making new friends and then discussing about how the girls in our class were not upto our mark of evaluation. It was definitely a fun time in college, but after returning home and on my occasional visits to the terrace of my house, both the incomplete book and the state of my life used to often haunt me into submission.
Second Year began almost a year later and I had started writing a story once again, but that time around, it was not about the "me" in college anymore, rather, it was about the "me" in high school; a story where I had just transferred into a coed high school and then a whole lot of mysteries had somehow began unravelling around me and my fictional group of friends.
It being my second attempt, I was a lot more confident and enthusiastic than the first time.
I had actually thought about a concrete story structure so as not to make romance the main plot device. Keeping in mind my decaying attention span, I had also decided to work on the story slowly and for a longer period of time so, as not to get exhausted after the initial headstart.
Well, it started out very good and it is still my longest written story till date but again, something was wrong...
When I was nearly a month into the story, the plot was getting really interesting, and the romance element in the plot was somehow turning out to be much more intense than the first story. But then, where did it go wrong this time? It's simple; a popular life in a coed school was everything I had ever wished for while studing in high school. So, somewhere along the lines of the story, I got lost in the world of my own imagination.
'If only this life were mine...' I had wondered one day while looking at a high school couple on the train on my way home from college. Well, although I had once again abandoned that story, the aftereffects were far more powerful than the previous time...
My artistic senses were really all over the place!
Unable to deal with all those emotions like before, I had taken a break from story writing and shifted my entire focus back to the real life.
Well, now that I think about it, that was the time when I finally realized I had fallen in love with a girl of my class whom I have had my eyes on for a long time.
It was an entirely different set of emotions to deal with!
I had also come to notice that somehow I was being respected within my friends circle as a passionate and diligent individual for my hardwork on the previous story. Hearing them praise me for a work I had abandoned midway developed mixed feelings in me about everything I was dealing with at that point of time...
Shortly after, one of my friends, Avinash, approached me one day with an interesting idea.
It was a proposal of collaboration - his art skills and my direction skills, bound together and put to good use.
Yes, it was a proposal about working on a comic as a duo.
Avinash was an individual with diverse talents and a burning interest in committing to something. Ideally, that 'something' would be anything other than the engineering curriculum. However, he wasn't prepared to embark on this journey alone. Instead, he was patiently awaiting the opportunity to team up with someone like me.
Initially I had approached his idea quite pessimistically...
It was mainly because I had thought that agreeing to that proposition would be equivalent to giving up my dream of writing and publishing a book, all alone.
"... never give up on an opportunity my friend. Our primary job is telling a story, and we have to keep on doing it against all dire circumstances..."
...these lines had completely changed my perspective as a writer. The lines were from a popular bengali movie, named Uma.
My aim was telling a story and Avinash was a good cartoonist, so a comic would be ideal, if possible...!
After that realization, I had easily agreed to his proposal, thanking him for opening my eyes to that new aspect of being an artist. For the next one and a half year we continued working enthusiastically on our comic, named Shilpi*.
It was based on the artistic hopes and dreams of a small boy named Onko, who was living in a dystopic world, where any form of art, was banned.
Shilpi had a bi weekly release towards the beginning, which had to be changed later into a montly release, mid third year, mostly due to time management issues.
Soon, as the final year commenced, everyone started getting lost somewhere along the lines of preparing for the job interviews.
It was all changing priorities, relationships and dreams...
Shipli, on the other hand had turned into a well established comic series on the digital platform by then with more than 75k views and it had also gotten monetized, so me and Avinash continued working on it alongside everything else.
The world we had created had become the very source of inspiration for us to continue with the story...
In the final semester, most students ceased attending college entirely due to various commitments such as trainings, internships, and numerous other factors.
It was almost as if our college life was over... with no farewells and no goodbyes.
At that point, I was having an emotional breakdown, once again...
'Was it really the right decision to abandon my real life, for one that was fictional...?'
As I sat at home, cooped up in front of my laptop, the moist sound of laughter, along with several moments and memories from the past two years, reverberated throughout my brain, traumatizing me day-after-day.
In fact everything almost remained the same until yesterday, when the email arrived, changing everything-
The college authority has decided to resume class for the final year students from this upcoming Saturday. If you have any concerns regarding this decision, feel free to approach your homeroom teacher on the first day of class itself.
As I read that email, my eyes welled up with overwhelming emotions, briefly flooding my subconscious with a sense of relief and joy.
I was really getting a last chance at savoring the remaining days of college life...!
As Dhriti approaches the conclusion of his four-year college journey, with a mere two months left until graduation, an unexpected opportunity emerges. Having dedicated the past four years to the pursuit of his dream of writing a book, Dhriti must now balance seizing this newfound chance with savoring the remaining days of his college experience. Will these final moments not only fill the gaps in his educational journey but also leave an indelible mark on his heart?
Everything comes to an end one day, but the memories remain...
Join Dhriti in this race against time as he endeavors to capture the essence of his college years and weave it into an unforgettable story.
This is a tale of re-collection filled with memories and emotions!
[Will try to release at least 1 chapter every week]