Another academic year done… another skin to step out of, another new set of clothes to try and fit into – and by the time the tucking in and the letting down and the smoothening of the pleats is done, it’s time to discard them again. Oh well, that’s life. But the last day of the academic year always evokes bittersweet feelings in me. I look around at the room which bit by bit I have made into an extension of myself, a familiar cocoon, a corner that’s mine and I realize suddenly that I have to tear apart my little world with my bare hands and reduce it to the bare walled blank slate that it was before I made it my own. Down come the posters from the walls (how we named each of the three koalas in it and came up with lame funds to justify the totally random nomenclature), the curtains from the windows (the extensive search my roomie and I conducted to find the perfect weave and pattern!) the timetables from the cupboard doors, the chargers from the plug points and the bags from the loft. The underbelly of the bed is swept out in one clean sweep exposing errant toffee wrappers, a cobwebby shoe collection, not to mention prohibited electrical gadgets stowed away hastily after news of the warden’s coming did the rounds. The always-overflowing laundry bag is emptied out and folded up – it’s neat flat folds giving no indication of the beer barrel it normally resembles. Trophies and bottles of deo no longer dot the ventilator, the trunk no longer doubles up as a couch with the blankets and cushions. The books have been packed, the sheets have been folded, the mattresses stowed away, the pile of clothes in neat suitcases. I sit amid an array of discarded papers and labeled bags. Bits and pieces of my life in the past year untidily summarized. The tree outside swishes in the midnight breeze as it will continue to in the very same place. It might have got the better deal after all.
(p.s. Then again, there is much to be said for single rooms :) )