Manipal – a university town. A place that boasts of beautiful beaches, delicious food, and some of the most remarkable people you’ll ever find. Manipal is, however, much more than that. There is more of Manipal to be known on a lazy afternoon spent in solitude on the sand at Hoode, than most other places, for Manipal is a story. Everything that makes up this place has a story waiting to be told. A tale of generations passed, a saga of what makes this place come to life, but most importantly, a story to make you feel at home.
It’s that time of the year again. All the artefacts collected along the semester, all the dirty laundry cluttering your bed – it all needs to be packed. Your thoughts are a blend of the anxiety birthed by the end-sems, and the anticipation of eating home-cooked food again. Goodbyes in Manipal are always bittersweet, and not until the moment you set foot in the train that’ll take you back home, does your rib cage feel lighter. A huge chunk of your heart is still back at KC, counting the days until you come back.
To an adult, bridges are simple things. They get you from point A to point B. That’s all. To a child on the other hand, they’re adventure. In the constant fear of the bridge collapsing, a child crosses one to escape all the imaginary crocodiles and other dangers lurking underneath. Maybe that’s what we all need from time to time – adventure.
We so often feel this strange urge to try and understand everything that’s going on around us. Why a certain thing is the way it is, why it’s not, everything. It brings us pleasure knowing that we have the mental capacity to fathom what’s going on around us. When we don’t understand something, we’re threatened by it. But all things need not be understood, some things just are, and therein lies their beauty.
One of the best things about Manipal is that almost everyone lies in the same age bracket, give or take a year or two. Things do get dull every so often, but in reality there’s never really “nothing to do”. Maybe it’s just about how much you want to turn things around. The sky’s the limit.
Windows are the thing of infinite potential. Whether it’s to take in the beautiful sunrise or to escape a boring chemistry lecture, all you need to do is gaze out of a window. Quite often though, we rely on windows to bring us the world, too much. We cocoon ourselves indoors, and forget that everything beautiful is at arm’s reach. If only we opened those windows more often.
We’re all on a path. A different path, mind you, but a path just the same. So why then is everything a competition? We’re all born as unique individuals but somewhere along the way, we lose the things that set us apart. We deserve more than that out of the limited time we have here, more than being just another brick in the wall.
The fear of oblivion is what drives us all. We want to be remembered. Years later, when we’ve returned to the very thing that created us, the only things that’ll matter is how we made the world better than we found it. Skyscrapers with your name on them are one way to ensure being reminisced, bringing a smile to the lesser fortunate, another.
We all have our own shadows. The people we think we could have been if only something had gone differently. One unasked question, one eventful night, one uneventful morning – that’s all it takes to fill your life with “what ifs”. We’re much more than our dreams though.
Some days you cruise by, some days you do all you can to not stab someone. Most things we worry about though, aren’t really as daunting as we make them to be. Change the world from 8-5:30, or barely scrape by, the Cafeteria Oreo shake will taste the same – divine.
If there’s one thing Manipal is synonymous with, it’s beaches. The beautiful horizon, the sun beating down on your face, and the sound of waves – all filling you with insouciance. It’s the little things, like the taste of the sea on a Sunday afternoon, that you’ll miss the most about this place.
It’s really easy to feel inspired on a clear morning. The view from your hostel room is fabulous, and for once, you made the perfect cup of coffee. The tough thing to do is to feel the same way every day. Days when your umbrella fails you outside NLH, days when your sessionals’ total is 30 something, days when you’re so broke that you have to eat at the food court. That’s where hope comes into play. It’s free and it’s everywhere, yet it’s the hardest thing to hold onto.
We’re all scared of something or the other. We enter this institution as nervous first-years, hoping to fit in, and somehow retain our unique identity. For some of us, it’s simple. For the rest, not so much. No matter who you are though, you can take solace in knowing that these walls, these curtains, these tables, they don’t judge. It’s almost funny how the world is the same for everyone, yet so different.
Writer- Pujan Parikh
Photographer- Samar Dikshit