Ive been in back in Gent for my summer-internship-leading-up-to-masters-thesis for 3 weeks or so now, and its been one of those extremely rare times in my life defined more by friends and social activities than anything else. That it was so was helped by the fact that the Gentsefeesten - an annual 10 day extravaganza of free music, all night food and drink that all the locals look forward to for months - just wound to a close, and provided everyone with a reason to hang around in Gent all this while.
O, A, Mi and Mu were the people I spent a lot of time with, especially O and A. The first five days I was here I spent working and meeting O every evening. The work, thats been very interesting as well. New software, new concepts, things I have always wanted to do. Its just so terrific when childhood dreams come true, and now that I think back I realize that most of my most cherished childhood dreams were geeky in the extreme. More accurately, the path to most of my most cherished childhood dreams led through dedicated geekism, and after my 4 year diversion in NITK (of my own making, it was a splendid place to be a geek) Im slowly diffusing towards it, with plenty of random walks and back tracking and looking around all wide eyed and lazy. I will one day understand cosmology, quantum physics, causality, Information theory and black holes. I know that however random my actions might seem, somehow, slowly they lead me to where I want to go. Its a comforting thought :)
I love the universe we live in. I love the little bit of it I understand and work on, the tiny fraction thats my domain, and I find it thrilling that deep and wonderful concepts lay waiting to be pondered upon. I like walking in a familiar but foreign city with people I dont relate to but feel a connection with. I like spending time sitting around while nice people chat inanely, and adding my bit of unpopular gyan once in a while. I like feeling accepted and unnoticed. Its been a strange year - full of solitude and yet not really bereft of people and occassional sparks of genuine friendship. Science, excitement, pressure, and my ever present flaws its all added up to a wonderfully complex and interesting set of memories.
I have learnt a lot from people around me - Peru being the chief contributor. He was just what I needed when I came to Belgium after those cynical and dark, yet brilliantly enriching 4 years in NITK. He is sincere in a hard hitting idealistic sort of way. He is enthusiastic about academics in a agressive passionate manner. It was an eye opener. It freed me from my baggage, and it set the standards for good attitude in the class. I was vulnerable to change, and because of him, I changed for the better. Then there is Abhi of the pleasant and popular disposition, good cook and with the remarkable gift of causing everyone to like him. Olga ! well. the sharp, the enthusiastic, the clear and decided, Ukranian and blonde, smiling and quite charming. Mingyee, Mukesh, Raj.....and Aditya, the person I probably spent the most time with in the first sem. Relaxed and (by his own admission) firmly unambitious yet stimulatingly intelligent and hence always happy. Made good coffee, and his room had free fast wireless :D and then of course there were Roel and Irina. It was a pleasure and a priviledge to attend their lectures. He is the straight talking gentlemanly buddha of the highest integrity, the man who knows everything and she is the Lady, caring and brilliant. A grandmother and a scientist, comforting with her presence and exhilerating with her ideas.
I feel wonder more easily than I feel affection and I feel indifference much more easily than I feel loss, but this course with its frequent shifting and transient student populations has taught me something. The importance of the here and now and the people in it. One never comes back, there is never a second time.
ichi go, ichi e - One time, One meeting.
this moment, this thought, this action, is all that exists, and might be all that ever exsists - give it everything.
Almost everyone leaves in the next few days, leaving me here for one more month to roam the all too familiar streets, alone.