A Sussex story!

29 January 2014

The stage is set, the lights are on…the Brighton dome is electric with energy and booming with excitement. Miles away, I am sitting across the computer with sparkling eyes and a beating heart. Awaiting the live streaming to begin…awaiting my graduation ceremony to commence.

Today, 2 months into the professional world, I turn around for a peek into the student life once again. As my classmates walk across the stage, I share in their happiness, I share in their smiles and just a tiny shiver of disappointment travels through me. I envision them laughing their hearts out, breathing a sigh of relief for finally and officially crossing the bridge from being graduands to becoming graduates. ‘In absentia’ the University confers the degree upon me as well, and an audible sigh of relief escapes my lips. “Yes, I have done it!”

From being a Sussex post-graduate student, I have now quietly slipped into the Sussex alumni family. A single black gown and hat signifies so much. It brings about a transition, it signifies the end and it marks a new beginning.

Tonight with a throat that hurts from holding in tears of pride intermingled with nostalgic sobs, I would love to say that the University of Sussex gave me more than just a degree.

It gave me friends across the globe and a new family. It taught me life lessons and a whole new subject. It gave me new vision and the new perspective almost blinded me. In a good way, of course!!

But above all, it gave me one of the greatest treasures Life has to offer…

It gave me memories. For a lifetime.

Of struggling and failing. Of dusting my pants and standing straight up. Of rolling down grassy slopes for the heck of it. Of disasters in the kitchen and achievements in the seminar rooms.

Of new languages, dialects and accents.

It gave me a degree that encompasses it all, and so much more.

It added the two valuable letters after my name….the letters that made me travel across the globe just so I could puff out my chest with pride tonight and announce….

Now Presenting:

Shivani Kanetkar (M.A- Applied Linguistics)!



Silently ‘audible’

23 January 2014.
It is amazing, the things you can come across in dusty corners of your home and mind. A chance conversation with a friend, few nights ago stirred up memories from a decade ago…and so my hands reached into the darkest corners of my drawers and pulled out witnesses of the yesteryears.
A religiously maintained diary; duly recorded moments…an embarrassing collection of some absolutely memorable times. Thanks to fancy cell cameras that capture high-quality pictures, old and forgotten remarks got shared across distances within seconds, and in a new light.
A few years ago, this distance stretched across a few feet…the receiver sitting in the window right opposite mine. Today he’s in the same city, thankfully just a few kilometres away but unfortunately no longer the ‘guy next door’. Sharing those laughs and reliving the growing-up moments with him makes me catch a breath. The baseless infatuations died a decade ago, but the smile still lingers. The friendship that was meant to be survived all that stupidity…and today stands strong, an improved and a mature version!
Our heads still instinctively turn though, when those school-time taunts fly with the wind and whisper in our ears. It’s all there…silent yet audible. To my ears and his 🙂