Thursday, 1 September 2016

The lane that leads to school


It was a pilgrimage. It was a homecoming. It was a memory lane. It was yesterday once more. It was a bunch of yapping fifty plus menopausal women who rediscovered their giggles and howls of laughter. Laughed like they had they had forgotten what it was to shriek and laugh. And inside they cried for the years gone by. They cried for the school which was still the same and yet had changed. They looked into each corner trying to remember the way it had been.Trying hard not to hide the disappointment at seeing the changes,taking it in their stride and yet in their heart of hearts missing the ways that were. 36 years on,things have to change.The old order changeth to give place to the new.
We closed our eyes to recapture what was ours. The uninhibited running to meet each 'girl' as she entered the gate was the hi of every morning as we cycled ,came on rickshaws ,dropped by parents or walked down to school. The embraces had a warmth which comes from a flame which has been kept burning in some subterranean region waiting for this very moment to come out. There was the basketball court ,the baskets difficult to uproot I suppose. The familiar blue  checks led many  a hand to unconsciously touch their collars resulting in  some silent,some loud sighs. The discipline of the years were lost. Teachers, Principals, officers, mothers all became an unruly bunch. So good it was a Saturday and school was having some Saturday activity. We had young curious onlookers who were in turns aghast, amused and puzzled by our very rowdy, very excited  behaviour. We crowded in to the assembly hall tempted to fall into lines according to our houses. We climbed on to the beloved stage.That at least was still the same except for a lone table tennis table in one corner. We never did have table tennis in school. The piano,to whose cords we had marched out of the hall after morning assembly  was missing,discovered later in the adjacent room. Nothing could discipline us now.We posed,we touched the walls with affection, we peeped into rooms and moaned the rooms we could not find. We literally ran from one end of the school to the other, commenting on the changes, the was and the is. We could not believe that so many of us ,fifteen almost could have met after decades in the school.We could not believe that we had managed to plan a trip to the school together.Our class 10th was todays class 9.Our chemistry lab was now class 10.Oh, and our teachers were all gone. Many have passed on to the other world, many have retired. None from our days remain. It made us feel so old.Our age hit us. School was not the same without seeing those much loved,much admired, much feared faces.They who have given us values ,our education, our moral strengths ....she came to met us at just one request from us. And then the school came alive for us.This is what we have imbibed in school, the large heartedness, the connect ,the bond of being a family. The 'miss' who took us under her wings when as  five year olds many of us left  our parents fingers and held on to our teachers' or the 'miss' who was a terror yet opened the world of Shakespeare ,the poetry of Keats , the stories of Premchand and even the sound of music to us came alive then. Each breath we took was of memories and names and faces; of incidents, of friends, of activities, of clubs and the ice cream and chiclet  man.It was as if the present was no more, just the past gloriously golden in memories. The rough edges  smoothened by that very heady drug  called nostalgia!I thought I saw the swish of a crisp cotton sari behind that desk, someone else heard the beat of march past  drums. A 'present miss' echoed in the classrooms and the charts on the softboard behind bore our mark. So many moments to relive,so many years and days tumbling over one another.So much just pouring out from our hearts.Nothing can keep pace. And then it was time to go.
I won't say I've had enough. But enough to make hearts smile for many a while. Enough to put the skip back in the steps and the head a spin. Enough to be fifteen and less .Enough to be grateful.

11 comments:

  1. The sentiments echoed so vibrantly that even the pupils who were not present can feel a tug at their heart.A write up straight from the core of heart,to brighten our today from yesteryears warmth. Poonam you have penned it excellently.

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  2. The sentiments echoed so vibrantly that even the pupils who were not present can feel a tug at their heart.A write up straight from the core of heart,to brighten our today from yesteryears warmth. Poonam you have penned it excellently.

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  3. How amazing....this could have been my school and my memories relived! Moved from the first line to the last almost without breathing, was so mesmerised by your writing Poonam! Thanks for writing it all down, for me, and for all the other s, like me :)

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  4. Thanks Seema.School names may be different but school memories are same.

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  5. What a write-up, dear Poonam! I can see our excitement dancing in your words, smiles blooming with your thoughts.
    Our childhood memories drizzles, with rains, drenched us all. Smelling our classes, library, hall and play grounds along with 'sondhi mitti ki khushboo'. What a lovely experience it was!!!

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    Replies
    1. Yes it was a pleasant rain washed day.thanks for stopping by

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  6. Poonam..so beautifully expressed.. your words took me back to those moments a month back, when we spent few hours in our old but loved school.. and relived some precious school memories..

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  7. thanks Poonam for taking us a trip down memory lane at our alma mater triggering a flood of memories which are our most prized possessions!!!!

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