I tucked away yet another dog-eared script in my cardboard box today. It is a box I've had since my first semester, in which I keep symbols of times I consider worth preserving. It holds a movie ticket from my first ever date, one earring from a pair I once wore everywhere before I lost its mate, a few scribbles, and four scripts: one of each PAF I worked on.
After eleven hours of near-oblivious sleep, I feel human again, albeit rather displaced. It's strange to not have to bolt my food and rush for practice, or to open gmail and not have to send a mail deciding meeting times. Last night after the PAF and dinner, we broke off reluctantly, our good nights trailing. After weeks of working, eating, dozing and thinking together, such a parting seemed too final, too concrete to accept. Today, ever since we woke up, we find ourselves gravitating towards each other's rooms with snippets of memories or to relate familiar jokes.
Every PAF I've done has a special place in my heart. There was Kharashein, where after weeks of sticking newspapers together and painting endless rolls of chart paper orange, I got to stand on the first floor of our chawl and at the high point of the PAF, scream. Ashaayein, where I would wait for hours and hours to sing harmonies to the theme song. U Turn where I finally learnt to what levels of perfection a PAF's background score could be taken, and then yesterday, Nazaffgarh Express, where I got to work with old friends and make some new ones. I discovered afresh how incredibly talented and modest people can be and was both shamed and inspired.
At a time when I was desperately afraid of growing cynical and misanthropic, this was just what I needed. Now it's time to carry on, faith reaffirmed.