||[Dec. 24th, 2012|11:06 pm]
Tonight, I fly back to the old homeland for a holiday with the family. First, to Bangalore (yes, the irony is not lost on me), and then New Year on a houseboat somewhere in Kerala. Dubious internet connection, at best, until the 8th of January, so an early-days end-of-year post. |
And endings there are. Two days ago, I wrote an email to Rhodes House, informing them that regrettably, I would not be applying to extend my scholarship to the third year. And so, whatever else happens, this much is now certain: when I return to Oxford, I will have six more months in the city of dreaming spires, and then this chapter of my life will be closed.
Every night of 31st December, I play a little game with myself: I try and predict where I'm going to be at the same moment next year, what I'm going to be doing, what I'll be thinking. Most of the times, the latter two predictions turn out to be wrong to varying degrees, but there's always been enough to be able to make a fairly accurate guess about the first. But this time, I have no dea where I will be this time next year. The halls of the Delhi High Court beckon now, more and more convincingly with each passing day. Or the halls of another university, perhaps. Or... something else altogether, maybe. I don't know.
And there's a part of myself that calls me a fool for walking away from all.. this. beautiful town, with its woods and its lake and its river, London two hours away, a guaranteed academic future - the straightforward MPhil - DPhil - Fellowship - Lectureship route - at a great university... is there anything else that one could possibly want as an academic? Perhaps not, but then, maybe I'm not meant to be an academic Sigue corriendo, I quoted the Fraud back to him, when he asked me why I was leaving, and I don't think there really is any other explanation. Can't stay. Must go.
Perhaps I will look back upon this as the worst decision in a career of bad decisions, but somehow, right now, I don't think so. I think it's the only thing I could have done.
There will be a time to reminisce about Oxford, but it is not now. And yet, I cannot contain the feeling of how quickly time flies. Six more months in this beautiful, brooding place. Can it really be?
And 2012 has been an utterly bizarre year, in every way. How can one year, I wonder, change you more fundamentally than five years in the Law School furnace? That is just the way of it, I suppose. Bring on 2013. I have a feeling that this one's going to be even more bizarre than 2012, if such a thing were possible - and not least because the future after July is invisible. Let the morrow bring what it will. See you on the other side.