TARC Stories

It is almost a cliché, how we idealize the past and lament for days bygone. However, this is how I feel about clichés. If something has been mentioned, without fail, by generations upon generations in every corner of the world, it would be remiss to not give it some due credence. Work and life have taken me all over the world, and I have had the good fortune of meeting wonderful friends everywhere I have gone. However, all these years and all those cities later, when I am asked about the best days of my life, my mind skips the Europe and Americas and lands not so far from Savar, in a place we knew as TARC. Where do I begin talking about those days? When do I know I am done? The latter is easy to answer for many of us – one is never done talking about RS days. No matter how many semesters, or years for some us, it has been since you returned. If you were there in winter, the cold foggy mornings remind you of the field under a cloak of mist. If you were then in the summer, you are transported back to afternoons when the sky would darken at a minute’s notice before rain ravished the beautiful little campus. When a quiet evening comes your way amidst your busy corporate life, you long to go back to addas at Murchona just one more time. The authorities then and now are fond of saying how people cry when going to TARC, and cry again when they have to leave. I can vouch for the latter. Leaving that campus, knowing that tomorrow we will not all be under one roof playing cards, watching movies or just shooting the breeze, was one of the most bittersweet memories we all have. I still remember the evening of the day after we came back to Dhaka, sitting in my room, trying to process that I cannot just step out and meet a few dozen of my closest people in this world. I want to say it was a sad evening, but someone once taught me what great fortune it is to have people to miss, and people who miss you. It means you have loved and been loved, and there are few blessings any greater. Nothing can be all bad if some good comes from it. A couple of years back, I found myself in the unenviable situation of having to make small talk with some people while waiting for a common friend to join us. Starved for topics, I fell back on the good old “where did you do your undergrads?” An hour later, our common friend was bored out of her wits and had to put an explicitly forbid us from discussing any more RS memories, dorm tidbits and dining hall in-jokes. Nor is this the only time. Wherever I am, no matter what other differences lie between us, the mention of BRACU brings a spark in the eyes of whoever I am talking to, a conversation that soon ends up being about TARC, Mohakhali, the elevators, and every little thing we loved, hated, and loved to hate during the best days of our lives. Weird as it sounds, the best days of my life were not spent in some posh capital, in a five star hotel room, or at a famous amusement park. The best days of my life, like that of many others I know, were spent in a less-than-perfect dorm room, in a small football field, in a cozy dining hall or at Murchona. Not the best places in the material sense, but we were among people we loved and were loved by. That is hard to beat. That is what still binds us together, across the continents and years. A little place in the outskirts of Dhaka. They call it TARC…


  1. Tanvir Sharif Says: January 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

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