See that Staircase? I have a swarm of memories associated with it. The first time i climbed them, I was in awe with the whole college experience. I was actually entering my adult life. I even met some of my very first friends (One of whom would later become my roommate) on these stairs. We used to sit there and finish our journals and assignments, eat our lunch/ snacks during breaks, take photos there during all the much coveted ‘days’, like ‘Annual day’, ‘Traditional day’, ‘Sports day’ etc.
These stairs have a life of their own. They are updated about the lives of all the students and teachers alike. They know all the gossips and current happenings in the campus. They know the fears, desires and ambition of all the students. They have seen the faltering steps of a newcomer while entering the building, and they have seen the confident stride of the graduate when they walk out several years later. They have seen budding friendships as well as falling-outs between besties.
For me these stairs are a symbol of transformation. When we climbed them for the first time, we were naive, cocooned and vulnerable; like a caterpillar. And when we descended there stairs for the last time, we were ready to explore the world with the new-found wings of independence and confidence, like a butterfly.
Really, this institute gave me much more than education. It gave me knowledge. It gave me hope. It gave me independence; and some long-lasting friendships.