During my student days at the University, the Youth festival was to take place. There was a general sense of joi the vivre in the atmosphere with students from different universities spread over the campus, the bright welcome flags, the energy, the sense of something happening. This happy atmosphere engulfed us as well and we decided to go and watch the event together the next day.
We as a class were rather well knit. So, just to make ourselves look different from others (after all, we were the MBA students), we all wore white t shirts and blue jeans. As a group, we went to the main venue for the event.
The hall has two entrances, one for the VIPs at the front and the other for the hoi polloi at the back. We entered the hall from the back end and realized we were a bit late in coming. The hall was full by that time with hardly any seat vacant and we wanted to sit together to enjoy together.
What to do now?
The Chief guest had just arrived. One of us saw that the space in front of the chairs of the first row( basically the passage meant for the VIPs) could be used to sit together. Without batting an eyelid, without wasting even a second further, without any pre planning or even a word of discussion, almost by telepathy, we walked down the arching down walkway, one after the other, to sit in the space in front of chairs very stylishly as if cat walking. When it was my turn, such was my confidence that I felt as if I was Neil Armstrong walking towards the spaceship which was going to take me to the moon.
The announcer ( a very popular teacher) noticed the colour coordinated group serenading gracefully from the back of the hall to the front and coming to sit on the floor in the passage, one after the other. He cleverly waited till the last one of us was walking down. Then he suddenly stopped the announcements he was making about the festival midway and beseeched the audience in the hall to clap for the students (that is us) who in the true spirit of youth, free from inhibitions, did not mind sitting on the floor. There was resounding applause.
Our group stood up together, faced the audience and bowed exaggeratedly in unison, with our left hand on our hearts and the right one on our foreheads acknowledging the claps with a salute, and smiling from ear to ear, accepting the honour bestowed upon us.
This gesture of ours resulted in a standing ovation from the entire hall along with whistles and claps. We could sense that many students who were earlier occupying the chairs were wishing with all their hearts that they too were there, on the floor, with us.
The whole atmosphere was charged with electrifying gaiety and that made many of us push back the tears brought suddenly by that magical moment!
Ah! the Youth! the Freedom! the Courage! the Dreams!
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