Unforgettable visit after 26 Years

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Unforgettable visit after 26 Years

atul
atul's picture

The first ever get together of Cotton College 1982 batch on 11th April 2010 at Guwahati , after 26 years, was a grand success with so many of our friends attending with their families with full gusto. Bonhomie amongst the batchmates was conspicuous and a spirit of comradery encompassed the gathering. To see and identify long lost batch mates of both science and arts streams was truly the best part of the occasion and was a profound feeling. CC82 holds huge potential of some great activities ahead, for doing some wonderful works for the CC82 community and beyond, with coming together of so many of our friends working in the various fields of medicine, engineering, education , business , administration , music , social service and literature. If we all move ahead with a unity of purpose we can do wonders through the course ahead which our friend Majulie expressed in the beginning. After all didn’t someone say "What Cottonians think today Assam think it tomorrow.” But Cotton of yesteryear can no longer be seen nowadays. The premises have degraded over the years with worn out hostel buildings, grassy court yards and untidy sights.

This college which was established in 1901 by Sir Henry Cotton , a British, has produced many great sons of the North East. My study of PU(Sc) during 1982-84 in this premium college has always stood me in good stead in facing many challenges of life. I always wanted to show my almamater to our son Aditya so that when he grows up, he would be able to tell his friends that he had once gone to see this great institute with his father and can feel proud about it. About 5 years ago during summer vacation when my wife Babita and I took Aditya to Guwahati, I along with our son Aditya visited the Cotton 3rd mess ( now Ananda Ran Barua Hostel) where I stayed during the PU days. On reaching the 3rd Mess, I saw a big change in its overall ambience. The court yard in the middle ,between the two hostel blocks, where we used to play volleyball, was laden with overgrown grasses which bore the fact of total apathy and neglect of one and all. The most saddening part was to see the gloomy face of the cooks who looked as if they were living in a makeshift arrangement after some natural disaster; hoping to return to their remnants any day! While moving towards kitchen to see it , we passed by the hut where the cooks live .Many cooks have since either retired or left but I saw a known face who was too very inquisitively looking at me as I did to him, as if he had seen another boarder who too left the hostel like us. The cook and I stared at each other trying to connect for some time. To my great relief, after a while, I could recollect his name ! .Yeah, he was SHARMA, at his thirties during our time and used to serve food in the dining hall. He was quite energetic then and maintained a very high degree of hygiene. In the hostel , meal time was a great fun since we saw many faces together ; some faces always serious, still engrossed in the kabiraji ! Having recognized SHARMA , we went close to him and asked how he was doing and what happened to the others? Though happy to see me, he was not much excited, told that he remembered me well. I briefly told him about my days after the 3rd mess at which I felt happy. Along with SHARMA were his co workers ,looking at us from inside the hut, whom I could not recognize. Aditya and my son moved slowly as we looked at them, my mind overwhelmed by a stream of nostalgic feelings. A thought dashed through my mind that when SHARMA returns home after his corporal body ceases to work , he would not be having anything worth to share with the family after his lifetime work. My philanthropic part of the personality wished to help Sharma by giving some money which would be of some significance. So since Sharma was standing nearer to us compared to other cooks, I waved my hands towards SHARMA signaling to come towards us. He then reluctantly and slowly walked up to me keeping his eyes fixed at mine. Holding back my emotions, I took out my purse and gave whatever money I had to SHARAMA, keeping just auto fare to return to Mathuranagar. That day I left the 3rd mess with heavy heart and a feeling of blissful happiness. My son was touched and just followed me obediently as we left the place. I had read many stories to my son when he was in junior class after which I would ask him to recapitulate the moral of the stories. That day it was not a story but a practical experience of a rare moment which makes our living so meaningful. I always wanted to share this unforgettable visit to the 3rd Mess after 26 years, with my fellow Cottonians. What better platform than this CC82 could have I got to do so ? LONG LIVE CC82 !!