“When You Get The Struggle, You Get Your Story,” preached Amullya Rai.

I know a thing or two about last-minutes. Well, mostly because those were the only minutes of my life I ever got any work done at all. Like right now. I’ve had about a week’s time to write this – my final pre-take-off write-up since my flight got deferred, and yet, here I am… typing these words on my Z1 as I recline on my own bed, in my own house, in my own country, one last time for the next (possibly) four years.

I infer that last-minutes are the most powerful units of time when it comes to amplifying a person’s will to perform the needful, and also when it comes to drenching a person in wistful nostalgia right before, say, a 27 hour flight to a college on another face of the planet. The last-minutes that accomplish the latter are painfully incessant, and incessantly painful – I’m currently coming to grips with this revelation. And these last-minutes, that precede any grand, colossal venture you dare to take, will threaten to change the course of your life by just instilling in you (or your overly superstitious grandmother) a very strong fear of the inevitable lack of familiarity, if your self belief falls short. IF you let THAT happen, you’ve lost your battle without even having fought… without even having picked up your fucking weapons, you wuss. And for that, THOU SUCKETH ! Big time !

The sad part is that I probably just cussed a lot of people. I wish their number was fewer, but it’s not. To the entire aforementioned lot, I don’t understand how you guys can live without even trying to find out what was the best you could have been, or just resigning to the idea that mediocre is enough.

To quite an extent, I can even understand that there are people who genuinely want very little from life. I envy them sometimes. But I just about loathe those ungrateful, irritating, aggravating, validation-hunting sons of bitches who claim to deserve the most, but have a million complaints to make against completely innocent words like ‘fate’, ‘chance’, ‘luck’ and ‘god’, and/or have just as many excuses, rehearsed to perfection, as to why, DESPITE their unquestionable calibre, they can’t go out there and make great things happen for themselves. And you know what? I don’t even wanna go there again. All the world’s cribbing wouldn’t be able to save some bitchasses from the disease of complacency.

So yeah, I’ve said all my goodbyes now. Each one about 10 times. Each time injecting in me a tincture more of sadness, and each time requiring a summoning of fresh effort to keep my tear ducts shut tight. And humans made only about 60% of what I had to part with. I had to part with my books. Stuff that’s been nourishing my mind since I was a child. My room. It’s been shielding me from the neighbours’ stink for years (and vice versa). My journals. A record of my gradual transition from terribly unwise to just unwise. My Teresa. My sweet sweet Teresa… My beautiful Teresa! Fuck I wanna cry now… I’ve created almost all my songs on her strings! Now I have to leave my most faithful, silently supportive, gorgeously aged musical companion behind… And it was so fucking painful when I strummed her that one last time… Oh my FUCK it was!!! Ambooo chyaaaa… GOD!!! My eyes are gonna leak now. Who’s gonna make her sing now? Who’s gonna change her strings? Who’s gonna tell her she’s the best guitar in ever conceived? And why the fuck did you have to bring her subject up man?! Just WHY?!!

Okaaayyy… I need to get a hold of myself… No Sherab. No. NO! Not at the hotel lobby, you won’t. No. Hold it BACK, you little runt! … What? I didn’t tell you? Oh yeah I haven’t. I’m at a hotel in Delhi now. With Chewang and my granny (who would hold on to me for just about as far as she can). Chewang’s having roti and chicken masala. Granny still (even on the eve of my departure) tryna talk me into joining the next session for IIT. And me, writing this as well as reading all my farewell texts from people I love and wondering when I’ll see them next. Some? Maybe never. Not many other thoughts can beat the morosity (if that’s a word) of one like that. But I can’t allow myself to get deterred now, can I? I mean, I won’t. I’ve got 35 lac buck’s worth of determination in me right now. And this struggle that’s coming up is what I want. Hence, the title of this post. It’s a song from my best Shah Rukh Khan-nosed pal, Amullya. Ask him for it. It’s called ‘Echoes’.

And NOW all my lasts are over. My last morning in India, my last phone calls, my last meal here, my lasts fart/piss/dump here, my last conversation, my last everything. I need to wrap this article up (that I’ve been writing for 3 days) too now. My boarding time has started. People are lined up and ready to take off already. I need to put myself in that line. I can’t believe I let this even little task last over a span of 72 hours. Like I said. Last minutes. There’s really something really irrefutably irresistible about completing your work in them.

PS: I’m glad you made it to the end considering this is the most haphazard article I ever wrote with no nucleus to my ideas whatsoever. Do take into account that it was also the most rushed up. Terribly terribly rushed up. BTW, do ask Amullya for that song. It’s awesome. I had to tell you even though I’m already in the plane now.

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