This is not the first city that has made me nostalgic. But it certainly is the most recent and one that will remain extremely close to my heart. It is the city that made me appreciate life once again. It is the city that woke up my colorful alter ego from a deep slumber. It is the city that brought out the child in me once again. Bloomington (popularly known as B-town) gave me the 2 most amazing and eventful years of my life!
I came into this city with so much going on in my mind. When I arrived, it was pitch dark outside and I couldn’t see anything. May be I didn’t even want to. Such was the burden of starting life all over again. But Bloomington magically changed everything for me in a jiffy. We do not realize the importance of the place we live in our daily life. It becomes an invisible family member whose presence we only realize when the time to say good bye comes. Bloomington freed my mind of all its worries and gave it a generous dose of fresh air! It helped me “rediscover” myself.
There is a simple elegance to this city that appeals to me the most. This was the city where I grew young again. Well I wish literally, but you cannot change the laws of nature, right! But certainly my mind went through a transformation from a cautious adult to a carefree youth whose desire to admire and enjoy the small pleasures of life was rekindled. How many times have I forgotten everything about the exam next day and taken a walk through the woods breathing in nature and losing myself among the trees! Sipping a coffee in the balcony and watching the blue skies suddenly became a routine! Getting drenched in the rain became a fantasy once again! When I looked into the mirror, I could catch glimpses of the 10 year old I once was. And in these 2 years, I watched myself grow up once again!
I had heard about 4 seasons only in books. Bloomington introduced me to spring and autumn. If watching Fall Colors was magical, then seeing leaves wither was heart breaking. But then.. white magic arrived. Snow! My first ever Snow! I was thrilled to be outside star gazing when the first snow-flakes descended. Sitting near my window and seeing every single damn thing covered in snow would make my evenings exciting. Not to forget: White Christmas! You cannot ask for more. It was small pleasures like these that made me appreciate life so much and I think made my supposedly hectic MBA life a breeze!
Bloomington is home to the Indiana University. Oh yeah.. that is where I was supposed to spend my 2 years of MBA: studying. I did spend most of my 2 years there alright: not necessarily studying though! Boy: the campus is a work of art. It is named one of the 5 most beautiful in America and deservedly so. Take a stroll along the campus, pass through the various school buildings enriched with a unique limestone architecture and you will be transported to 19th century English countryside. And if you are a fan of music and arts, then you will be thrilled to know that Bloomington is home to the world famous Jacob’s school of Music. A musical concert or an opera is a “must-do” and a visit to the Arts Museum would certainly be time very well spent.
Bloomington is not called the “Tree City” without a reason. The region has a generous décor of beautiful trees which add to its glamor quotient. Stop at the “Sample Gates” and make sure you have an extended photo shoot there. Then it will be time to spend your evening in a very colorful downtown. Enter Kirkwood Avenue and you will not feel like coming back. Restaurants from every part of the world can be found here and you can whet your appetite with some mouth-watering entrees cooked to perfection. A true connoisseur’s delight! And of course.. Bloomington is called the “Crazy Party town” and you don’t need me to explain more than that I guess. Bloomington has something for everybody. But it had everything for someone like me!
But again.. no city is complete without its people. Bloomington has the typical Mid-West culture and people here are caring, friendly and extremely helpful. I have hardly heard a honk on the road in these 2 years. Says a lot! But more than that.. the people who I spent my 2 years with: my friends.. they are the ones who made the Bloomington experience truly fascinating. Night outs, cook outs, eat outs, hang outs, black outs (oops.. that one just rhymed).. you name it. It was just fun unlimited! I cannot forget those lovely potlucks, late night tea sessions, treks and trips, poker nights or sequence fights! They will be etched in my memory as “Bloomington memoirs”. And for this one single reason, Bloomington will always be missed!
It will be an irony if I say that the child in you is more mature than the adult “you”. But I think it is true. At least I discovered so. Being carefree and jolly made me more mature and successful. I have never felt so “complete” ever before. And I have to thank “Bloomington” for that and much more. As I finally drove out of Bloomington with a heavy heart and a desire to come back, 2 fabulous years of my life flashed through my memory. Suddenly I felt my drive was more beautiful than ever. I guess there are no “Good-byes” here!