The Final Token: An Ode to Odyssey

Creators: Pratikshya Mohanty (Team ViSSion), Anwesh Biswal & Prabhudatta Mishra

Farewell? You begged for it, didn’t you? The first day you entered this sleepy town, you straight-away wanted a way out of this place. The hallowed main gate, which looked asymmetric and out of the place welcomes you to the college. An un-soothing bygone era yellow building with black skirmishes and dark patches becomes your first memory. As soon as the stories of interactions with seniors reach you, it sends a chill down your spine. The hostel and campus shatter your star-gazed version of college you had growing up, made you kick yourself in the gut for your JEE results in school. Amidst all the confusion, you nearly go back to entrance materials as a last-minute ticket out of this place. Four years pass by, now you dread as these days inches closer. What changed though? The dark patches didn’t. Maybe you learnt to flaunt it as a tattoo. How did this become the only thing you ever wanted to come back? Maybe it stood tall with all your stories and your scars, the only thing that listened to your muffled emotions. Maybe it stood there when everything else changed. Was this all?

All good things come to an end. It’s an inevitable part of life but have you ever thought how the course of our lives change after these times passes. The change is immense. It changes our point of view of the world and most importantly ourselves. Burla has taught us that. It’s not just the 4 years that we have lived here but to be honest it’s the four phases of lives that we have lived here.

The “Phaast year” or the year where you are everyone’s favourite and don’t be shy to guess the why. There is always a cute tussle within the first year. Something between,” Apna talents ka sahi istemal kaise karun? Apni batch ki ladkiyon ko impress karun ki seniors ko impress karke interaction ko bas healthy rakhun”. There is no prize in for guessing where you spent more time. When you look back, you probably did the right thing. The dialect here was more or less confusing as it had special affections to the letter ‘M” and ‘O” often causing bewilderment to people who landed in Sambalpur for the first time. But there was something which hooked your attention when you overheard someone converse in local. Songs here were absolute noise or at best equivalent to sirens in the auto-rickshaws, which from outside felt like someone was perennially beat-boxing from the inside. Slowly, small groups formed on floors of hostel, at classrooms, labs, also during ordering food because hostel food has a penchant of being stereotypically bad. You start attending WWE rated birthday parties, take pre-puberty snaps (only to make that midnight comment after years when you miss your group the most). The Morse code texting with mobile flashlights across hostels, being invited as the compulsory guest audiences to all university function/seminars and looking into mystic lands of senior hostels from your windows you go into to the second year.

Second year-Mulia: The trendy UCE-cut, un-pressed formals, SEAL level training at night in senior hostels and sweat-soaking noon in-front the whirring sounds of coolers, after Arnab-inspired professors taking lectures. Yeah loud, draining and one-dimensional ones. There are paid internships, there are unpaid internships and then there is the Mulia. Like the other two, this period also goes into every Bhisutian resume but these come with something special. From arranging benches, fixing the flex, photoshop nights, to exchanging the sweet nothings and finally you get to meet the anti-heroes of your spine chilling stories, the seniors. Are they such as described? The ones experienced have savoured it, but for those of you who didn’t, we will not provide spoilers. You will find out. You earn your lifetime subscriptions to treats and venue is anywhere you find your seniors at. And let’s pause here a bit because this is where life happened.

Third-year- Low-Key Mundis: It is the step towards some of the greatest moments of your college life. It’s like taking up a different path which sort of begins your journey. Different people do different things. Some become study ninjas, some get immersed in clubs and some in various recreational activities. We both have been a part of clubs and fests which has been nothing but a crash course for life. You get to manage various kinds of events and will always be amazed at how people around you will always have new ideas to do things. And every time you think you have figured out life here, this place has a habit of dishing out the situation with, “Surprise Mo…” written all over it. And that’s when people here hone their Supernatural Skills, “The Scheme”, which can help jail-break from any kind of tough situations. It remains to be the best gift of Bhishut to its people, closely behind “Garei Sessions” and Dyke unions. The fest season is a time for the celebration of the whole year. Everyone is filled with a rush of adrenaline. Girls and boys are decked up from head to toe. The whole college comes alive with colours and lights. Third Year wannabes become lowkey ‘Mundis’, getting certain privileges along with it. The farewell season also comes soon after. The amazing ceremonies in farewells to the galaxy photoshoots, it’s like a mini-fest by itself. Feels nothing less than a wedding. Highlights of this whole time are the Treats. During the years of stay in your college, your seniors become your family. Someone to guide you, someone to live your experiences with, someone to teach you how to enjoy the simple joys of life. Bidding farewell to them is nothing but saying goodbye to people whom we cherish so much. From the exhilarating hostel farewells to club farewells, it makes you jog down the memory lane, and you relive everything all over again. You are handed down the baton as they complete their part and you race to the finish.

Final Year: While growing up through junior years and standing behind, we have seen seniors, specifically final year taking lead and being the front-line, whether its stands-off with the administration or that one at Kirba to save you. With roofs above your heads gone and big shoes to feel, a sense of responsibility prevails and you prepare to take charge. Just when that music hits in the background, you walking with one notebook for the whole semester in one hand and newfound swagger on other, with people making way for you as you walk past them in the corridor, just then, an e-mail chimes “VSSUT- (Govt.Technical Uni….  Dear)”. Placement Season.  The final year begins with a rat race. Each and every student lives in a continuous state of hypertension, fear and anxiety. People throw themselves into books and prepare as it is the last battle they going to fight, only when it is just the beginning. Some of us get lucky, some of us don’t. Eventually, things fall into place. Also, most of us learn to slay our formal look, quite an upgrade from previous endeavours. The best part of a day was yet to take place and triggers for them are as small as rainy-day, bad-day, mostly any-day: The unplanned Remed trips with some detours for Herbal strips. What ensues after this is one of the best-kept secrets of Bhisut, “Garei Sessions”- breaking barriers across hostels and genders. Stories told, memories inked, fights (good or bad) happen and in the end, it doesn’t even matter. You added one more night to your memories and where did you think MEMORIES by Maroon 5 was inspired by? The best stories start at sunset and end at sunrise, well by the end of your time here, you will have enough to live through your life. Sambalpuri songs somehow have been upgraded from noise to noice, and so much so that’s the only thing you are sure to be present at your friend’s wedding. On Moments like this, it feels 7th sem was directed by Anurag Kashyap and the 8th semester is definitely a Karan Johar movie (No not you Batch of 2020, last we checked Nolan also distanced himself from such scripts).

The last few days in college are nothing but a roller coaster ride of emotions. There will be an indefinite number of low and high points. There will be absolute moments of joy, excitement and a wave of adrenaline rush which will be fleeting in and out of your body throughout these days. There will be days in which you just wallow in all of the nostalgia of this place. There will be days when the thought of leaving this place would feel something like dementors sucking out your soul. You feel everything at once. One of the things you experience is the farewell season, or as we would say the Honeymoon Period of your last days. Just like every budget has a contingency fund, final years too have one, for the month of April-May, to quench the thirst of “Bhai Treat, Didi Treat” and to have proper good-byes, last get-together with juniors and maybe talk to them one last time and take closure from things before hopping into next phase of life. This whole time you will be dressing up, doing photo-shoots and literally having the time of your lives. It’s amazing how the most fun things have the shortest duration, nonetheless. A simple dinner at dhabba, auto-ride to fishery or irrigation canal or that quintessential long walk to the PC bridge to watch the sun go down just to contemplate and gossip. All these feels surreal, because before you realise it might be the one.

From being the first year ‘novice’ to the second year ‘mulia’, the third year ‘wannabe’ and finally the final year ‘mundi’, we have lived it all. From negotiating treats from seniors to spending the last of your pocket money for treats we grew up. From that first unsure trip to fisheries to that long monologues from the tirade of unfinished emotions during that star-gazing night near dyke, we grew up. From searching numbers, jittery WhatsApp texts to dropping them at hostels we grew up. From burger joint in kirba, to cold-coffee and accessories at Kalia we grew up. We have been through the shyest to the rowdiest phases of our lives. From phases where we made most sincere friendships, phases where we had to let go of our love and also met the most beautiful person of our lives. Phases where we selflessly stood up for our friends, where we partied till we could exhaust ourselves. Phases of self-loathing and hatred, being all alone amidst the crowd, phases where we felt like quitting but never could. Phases of self-realisation and self-love and most importantly, phases of forgiveness. We have been there and have lived it. It’s just a fraction of the memories that these four years have given us but we are going to cherish every bit of these. And now amidst the terrible things going on all at once, we still wish to just go back once. Go back to the place that made us ‘US’, to relieve it and pile up the remaining pieces of happiness of our share, to celebrate the person we are and the best of the times we have lived here.

The realisation of the end will hit you like a lightning bolt, once you start to wrap things up. You pack your bags along with your emotions, and start to leave one by one. Never thought goodbyes would be so tough, right? Well, turns out they are the worst. The puzzle slowly starts to fall apart as friends starts to leave. You leave with nothing but memories of the people who made this place a haven of love for you. The only constant among everyone is tears and hugs.  Every tiny little aspect of the place unfolds stories for you like nothing else would ever do. You would know what it feels like to have loved and be loved, now that you have loved and lived through it. We don’t know if romanticising every aspect of my college is too much or not, but we know for a fact that sooner or later, you do fall in love with everything that makes Burla an adventure in itself.

Everybody was packing up things. The parting glances, the final words, last hugs. Every-body was trying their best but emotions were getting best off them. Somewhere in the background, there was this first-year girl, quite yet chirpy was totally unmoved by things around her. In a hushed tone, she told her friend,” What is the thing, that’s bothering them? There is nothing here to be emotional. It’s just a sleepy town with a bunch of old buildings” Something happened and she went quiet. Her seniors had heard it. She clutched the fingers of her friend in a shudder. They turned back to her, and they looked at each other.  Tears had already brimmed up to threshold, but they somehow muffled it up with a smile as their final masquerade and went ahead not able mutter a word. Life had come full circle.

5 thoughts on “The Final Token: An Ode to Odyssey

  1. Amazingly written. A trip down memory lane.

    And this website needs more promotion. Guys at vission, should increase the website’s reach. Lot of good content here. Cheers!

  2. Waah bhailog!!!!!! Wo kehte hain na, out of this world bas wahi wahi waisa hi feel hua ye padh k ☺️ bhot badhiya👏👏.

  3. It took me a complete 10 minutes to read this and I am so happy I read it. I think you guys took the challenge of walking us down that long road through words and let me tell you, we have a WINNER! ❤️

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