A farewell at the departure gateSaroj was not just a mentor to Srishti; he was a source of inspiration, wisdom and encouragement.
The Tribhuvan International Airport was bustling with passengers as it always seemed to be—a flow of travellers, each with their own stories and destinations. The travellers stood amidst the opulence of departure gates; their hearts filled with a symphony of dreams as they embarked on their journeys to foreign lands. Loved ones, their faces engraved with bittersweet smiles and teary departures, gathered to bid farewell to those who would disappear within a few minutes and traverse the skies.
Srishti had just joined a new organisation, eager to start her career in the professional world. Some months after her commencement, she met a friendly colleague named Saroj, who welcomed her with a warm smile.
As the days passed, Srishti and Saroj got to know each other better. One day, they stumbled upon a conversation about their university days. To Srishti’s surprise, Saroj turned out to be an alumnus of the same university and had even studied the same subject that Srishti was pursuing now.
Excited by this unexpected connection, Srishti couldn’t help but think of the possibilities. She had been struggling to find the perfect thesis supervisor for her research, and Saroj seemed like the ideal candidate with her knowledge and experience. With a hopeful heart, Srishti decided to approach Saroj and share her idea. She timidly asked, “Saroj, would you consider being my thesis supervisor? Your expertise and guidance would mean the world to me.”
Saroj’s face lit up with a smile, and she replied, “Srishti, I'd be honoured to help you with your thesis. Let’s work together to make it a success.”
She had started to spend countless hours pouring her heart and soul into her thesis on Hydropower Sustainability. Her journey through professional roles and academia had been challenging, but with the unwavering support and guidance of Saroj, she had finally reached the culmination of her academic career. They were not just colleagues; they were friends who had shared countless hours working side by side in the same organisation. Saroj was not just a mentor to Srishti; he was a source of inspiration, wisdom, and encouragement. His dedication to her success was unparalleled, and his guidance had been instrumental in shaping Sristi’s academic path and career.
As Srishti’s thesis neared completion, Saroj received exciting news. He had been granted admission to a prestigious university abroad for his doctoral studies. This opportunity was a dream come true for him, but it also meant leaving behind the country, the organisation he had been working for for more than a decade and her soul mate, Srishti.
On the other hand, as the day of departure drew nearer, Srishti found her heart growing heavier with each passing moment. The excitement of pursuing dreams abroad was undeniable for Saroj. Srishti knew that she couldn’t bear to stand in the way of his dreams, but she also couldn’t help the tears that welled up in her eyes as his preparations started wondering how their closeness would withstand the vast oceans and distant horizons that lay between them.
Saroj tried to explain to Shristi that this was a path he needed to walk, that it was a dream he had nurtured for years. He assured her that distance wouldn’t diminish the love they shared, that their souls were intertwined in a way that could withstand any trial. But Shristi remained unconvinced, her heart weighed down by the impending separation.
The day of Saroj’s departure arrived, and the airport was buzzing with the excitement of travellers embarking on new adventures. Srishti stood at the departure gate, clutching a Nepali handmade weave cap and a card expressing her heartfelt gratitude. Her eyes welled up with tears as she thought about all the guidance, patience, and encouragement Saroj had provided her over the years. When Saroj appeared at the gate, he was greeted by a warm smile from Srishti.
With a tender smile, she placed the cap gently upon his head, a simple gesture that carried the weight of their shared moments, dreams, and a promise of countless tomorrows together as he read the implicit heartfelt words she had in her eyes. The card conveyed her appreciation for his unwavering support, his dedication to her success, and the profound impact she had on her academic journey.
As they waited for his flight to board, Saroj and Srishti reminisced about the moments they had shared during her thesis research. They became nostalgic, and all the moments spent together came into their mind as a film. Both reminded the discussion, the challenges they had overcome together, the breakthroughs they had achieved, and the bond that had developed between them.
They recalled the countless hours spent brainstorming ideas on the literature review, analysing data, and fine-tuning their research proposal. It had been a challenging journey, filled with moments of doubt and uncertainty, but they had persevered together. Saroj shared his excitement about the opportunities that awaited him, and Srishti expressed her confidence in his continued success.
When it was time for Saroj to board his flight, he gave Srishti a warm hug and assured her that their connection would remain strong despite the miles. They embraced each other tightly. “I’ll miss you so much,” she whispered. “I’ll miss you too,” he replied. “But I’ll be back before you know it.” she couldn't help but feel a mix of emotions—sadness at his departure but also immense pride in all she had accomplished under his guidance.
The large oceans and continents would not separate them. He thanked her for the beautiful card and the gesture of appreciation, knowing that it would be a cherished memory on his new journey. As Srishti watched Saroj’s plane take off into the sky, she knew that she had not only gained a valuable skill but also a lifelong mentor and friend.
In the years that followed, Srishti continued to excel in her academic pursuits, carrying with her the lessons and values instilled by Saroj. And even though their paths diverged geographically, the connection they had forged during that farewell at the departure gate remained unbreakable—a testament to the profound impact a dedicated mentor can have on a student’s life.