Remember the last time that fleeting sensation of homesickness hit you bluntly instilling realisation of distance? Well, yeah, you missed home. You wanted to spend your quiet nights on your bed, dance your tired soul out in your bathroom shower, sit on the cold floor of your house balcony and aimlessly gaze upon the blue, vast sky. Yes, we’ve all been there, but my circumstance is different. I miss home, don’t get me wrong on that, I miss home very, very much. I miss my home at TARC.
Boom! With the emotional grabber, I’d like to tell you a thing or two about TARC. Well, it almost seems as though it’s an undisturbed, unraveled part of the world, where all you have and all that you are is a part of that beautiful part of the world. Amidst everything about the ninety days of bliss, there are inevitable phenomenons you can not just leave by. These are memories and they cling on to you for the rest of your lives. Honestly, life after TARC consists mostly of enthusiastic conversations about TARC with people who haven’t experienced it, and of continuous heartbreak and melodramatic nags of how much you miss it. It almost took me a month and a half to recover from the trauma of leaving my TARC days behind. Oh who am I kidding?! Somebody please take me back! *sad emoticon*
Putting myself together, here’s a list of all the things that are still engraved on my heart from TARC, and these are the most beautiful things.
“Wake up! You’re going to miss the Assembly!”
Yeah, that’s how my roommate woke me up in the mornings. You could say she was a pain in the behind, and I wouldn’t disagree on that much, but she turned out to be one of the closest friends I took back from my TARC life, but more on that later.
Someone who’s familiar with TARC life would know the struggle of waking up for an assembly every morning, every week day. Fridays and Saturdays felt like vacation when you could sleep till your heart’s content.
Now, to come to ponder upon this, scurrying with opened eyes and sleeping bodies, gathering with your fellow batch mates in front of the academic building and sacrificing your morning voice to our National Anthem with dozed patriotism in our hearts, doesn’t feel so bad now. It became a part of our routine, and among the early morning complaints, we started loving it. I remember humming “Amar Shonar Bangla” all day because, I’ve gotta give this to Rabindranath Tagore, the song is catchy. What I’m taking back from my assemblies, is the lyrics of my nation’s anthem. The days of my uneducated attempt at singing only the first paragraph of the anthem is foregone.
Not the meal, but the meal timings. Well, the timings were rather in our favour, except maybe for breakfast. Breakfast served from 7.30 am to 8.30 am, I mean, why?
Moving on, I tend to have a hungry stomach almost all the time, so TARC meal times were convenient for me. Morning tea break at 10.30 am, Lunch at 12 pm, Afternoon tea break at 3.40 pm and Dinner at 8.30 pm. We were always on the verge of eating. I know it’s a weird thing to miss, the timings, but soon after I came back home, I found my stomach growling at those exact times. I got numerous perplexed looks from my mother because I was crying for “bhaat” at 12 pm. But once you get accustomed to a certain routine, you tend to miss it when you’re not following it anymore.
Rain in TARC!
It is one of the most exquisite things to experience. TARC campus is beautiful, if you don’t know yet. It is smothered with green. Vast fields outstretched, trees planted as though each one of them is an ornament, and the open sky.
The sky in TARC is something out of the ordinary. Normality fails to define it because it is exemplary, and when it is covered with heavy condensation and a shied away sun, it becomes something of the heavens. Then comes the downfall, the splattering and the pattering.
I often found myself beaming to the drops of heaven and wondering about the wonders of this world. That’s how rain in TARC is like, it makes you feel. You see the swaying trees, the flying leaves, the ricochet of raindrops on the ground and that familiar earthy smell that comes with the blowing wind and you can’t help but love creation. It is just not the same from my house balcony. I miss this more than I miss most of the things of TARC. And If you’ve experienced it too, I believe you’re in my boat as well.
All those times I wasn’t either sleeping in my room or sleeping in the classroom, for that matter, I was in Anondopur. Anondopur is a place for students to hang out, but I wouldn’t describe it as just that.
Anondopur was home, the most homely part of TARC. It was a place for our souls to breathe. Music and laughter could be found at every corner of that place. It was a place rejuvenated with this indescribable spirit of happiness. It was life at its best. Anondopur time was time when we were happy.
If I imagine myself at the centre of Anondopur right now, at this very moment I could listen to guitars strumming, friends rejoicing over an inside joke, patter of table tennis bats and I would also find my smiling face. Yes, I miss it very much. I can’t wait for you, people who haven’t experienced TARC yet, to feel what I’ve felt in Anondopur, because it is wonderful.
Eating every meal with friends.
We know how TARC can mean distance from one’s family. The honest truth is, it hurts but heals. You get your own family and you acquire a home to yourself amidst the very people you spend your time with. What I had the fortune of experiencing was this, sitting at a table, eating my meals away in laughter and warmth of a wholesome family.
This is what I miss; I miss it with my heart. The wait for each of your friends before you settle into food, the passing of salt and the unending complains about how the food last week had better taste to it. Even when all of this is possible still to this day, that feeling shall ever be unique.
The bonds that we made.
The whistles blew off at exactly 9.45 at night, it soared a beckon for us to go back to our dorms. I remember running to my friends, who had lived at different dormitories, and hugging them before the distance of the night took over us because the dawn of the next morning felt like a long time away. I also remember dancing away at the demise of that day, hand in hand with friends who I shared my dorm with. This was how I had spent all of the ninety days.
After 10 pm, dorm nights were fabulous. I shared my dorm with different types of people who called it their own too. It was a collaboration of festivity, dancing and singing, late night gossip and heartfelt chatter. It was a time of sincere bonding, that brought us closer. People say, you don’t lose friends you make in TARC, and I conform to it. This is because all of the bonds that I’ve made, have strengthened over this time. Whether crying over romantic dramas, crazy head banging to music, unchoreographed dance moves or sharing the deepest contents of the heart, these timeless conversations, unfiltered laughter have given way for quintessential friendships. Such friendships that I will never let go of.
TARC is one experience you would never want to be over with. TARC leaves you with lessons for a lifetime and memories to hold forever. TARC makes you miss TARC so very much. So, remember the time I told you about how post-TARC life is composed of talking about the experiences and of how much I wish I was back? Well, you see how it’s true because this article is all about just that.
Syeda Tasnuva Jahan is an enthusiastic explorer of the unknown realms of this Earth. She’s currently studying Physics at BRAC University and is a proud member of RS (residential semester) Batch 44.