Yesterday night was my Valedictory night. Days of practice have gone into that one night. Perfection was a must on such a night after all wasn’t it. The atmosphere was surcharged with emotions from even before the program began. Walking to my seat itself was enough to bring up strong feelings. Although on the whole the program itself wasn’t as emotional as it was famed to be it was enough to leave a few of us in tears. Singing the school song one last time together was too much for some who broke down halfway through. However what really pulled on my heartstrings was the night – the dinner for namesake after that. Saying that hey or bye to people you’ve known forever, everyday knowing that you won’t be seeing them like that again maybe even never again threatened to push me over. Finally when it was getting out of hand I left the hubbub and sought a spot of solitude somewhere. Along with a single friend, best I’ve ever known, I finally found a spot far off from the spotlight – where many final meetings were happening, a spot of surreal calm from where we could survey the simple beauty of the whole night. Lit by hundreds of little lights and some huge incandescent bulbs which threw strangely beautiful shadows of the massive stone buildings and the food tents. Students hugging each other for what for many would be the last time. Milling around to find everyone, not wanting to miss anyone who had been part of their journey. Photos were taken by the thousand anyone passing by was pulled into the frame. This night wasn’t the night to care for whether you knew the person or not. Of course I couldn’t stay hidden for ever and soon my friends found me and I was forced to say my final goodbyes, broken out of the reverie the night had pulled me into. I had been staying away from my parents the whole evening, now wasn’t the time for them. I had already missed half a dozen calls from them. But who cared because it was all finally sinking in. This school and all these friends I have made won’t be my refuge soon. The currents of life will drift us apart and swallow us up in our own struggles and journeys. It won’t be this place I consider home anymore. Although many considered it a second home for someone like me I’d come to consider it as my first home itself. The first place I had forged true friendships which I hoped would last me a lifetime though I know that’s hoping for too much. It won’t be here I come to every morning ~ the place I could finally express myself freely. It hurt but I knew the night had to end and as it neared ten I called my parents. There was no point dragging it on, it would only be tougher to leave then. So, silently I left for home engrossed in thoughts the whole ride back not bothering to communicate with my parents. They were part of another world, not the one I was leaving behind, and I knew which was the one I wish I could stay in forever. As I reached home and changed out of my uniform it hit me that it’s over. The night I had looked forward to and and dreaded at the same time was over. I was almost overwhelmed one more time. But I made it through and went to sleep as soon as possible not wanting to delve on what the night meant. But one thing will stay imprinted in my mind ~ that image of school and every one of the outgoing batch along with their parents and teachers from that spot of calm on one end of the ground. Everything stretched out in front of me in the dim lights swallowed by the darkness of the night in places as the massive school buildings looked down on us one last time.