• Vedashree Khambete Sharma

Born To Be Wild-ish

You know how you have this idea of what something’s supposed to be / feel like? When I was in college, I thought being in college was all about hanging out with friends, doing fun things like watching movies, lazing around in the canteen, drinking at house parties, bunking lectures and giving proxy attendance to those who managed to do the above things when I didn’t.

Yes, I was quite vanilla that way I suppose. Also mobile phones weren’t common then and the “internets” had just entered our lives. (I’m going to stop now because I feel about 90.)

A decade later, I realise that college would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been much, much more than that.

It could’ve been about wearing short skirts and dating inappropriate boys. It should’ve been about sitting behind said boys fearlessly, as they zoomed their bikes at irresponsible speeds through the city, the wind in your hair as you texted your friends that you were on your way to the crazy-assed party they were throwing. It could’ve been about smoky night-clubs and loud music and alcohol in disproportionate amounts.

I did do some of those things in Poona, I admit, but somehow, it wasn’t… perfect. I was too scared of the speeding after my multiple accidents riding as pillion behind the Assholy Ex. I was too scared of drinking because I’d been convinced by him that there was a creep around the corner waiting to take advantage of me. I was too scared of staying out late because my parents would call and scold me for being irresponsible. I was too scared of having what could’ve been the best time of my life.

I realised this on Friday while sitting behind my colleague on his Enfield Bullet as we speeded from Goregaon to Mahalaxmi. I was gripping his jacket tightly, shutting my eyes to the wind and the speed, praying we wouldn’t crash. He deftly maneuvered the bike through traffic, taking no unnecessary risks and when I told him I was shit scared he turned and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you fall.”

That’s when it hit me: this guy was not that guy. This time wouldn’t be like last time. Because this me isn’t the me from ten years ago.

This me was wearing a miniskirt (admittedly with leggings, it IS winter you know), drinking wonderfully cheap booze and headbanging slightly to Guns n’ Roses. This me was standing on a chair to much cheering and adding to the graffitti on the ceiling of The Ghetto. This me had tried both responsible and irresponsible, had enjoyed both and grown up. And while this me wasn’t in college anymore, that was okay. You know why? Well, for starters, this me didn’t have acne or braces to deal with…

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