It is often quoted that the lost is lost forever….
Those were the days when whole world around me was in youthful and young comedy abiding the notions of the childhood innocence. Every grain of sand, each leaf of the tree, each wisp of the wind and the gentle breeze, and each drop of water- everything had soothing effect towards me. The school campus, now tenacious like the ambitious heart of a teenage girl, now calm and serene like innocent laugh of the child, now challenging like the fearless wind of the storm, now soothing like tender lap of the mother – all these prevented me from at least knowing the meaning of the real loneliness in the life.
The real tranquility of the school could be viewed early in the morning or late in the evening. At dusk, however, it was fantastic scenery over the setting sun. The crimson rays of the sinking sun would fill the western horizon with the scarlet beams bent against the bowed appearance of the heavens. Thin huddles of the clouds often soon spent themselves and sent the little bits of them that seemed to be flying towards us in delight along the somber tiredness of the sky. Mingled with rays of sun, the scene would look like an Impressionist Masterpiece.
Presently there would be nothing but the twilight soon followed by the sullen onset of the moon. The full moon would peep from the haggard darkness of the sky. The silvery beams of the moon would pour endlessly on the ground and seemed to bathe everything, even the darkest rock with the silver. The playground and the surrounding fields would look like huge salt-meadows filled the snow white salt that seemed to be dripping with the moonlight….
In the school time, it was more enchanting to see the happy throng of children rushing here and there as if on some urgent assignment. It would cast a spell on anyone if one happened to hear the nursery rhymes sung by them. Instructed by the teachers, the rhythmic flow of their innocence-lilt voice would sound like a mighty musical concert supervised by a trained musician.
Of the innumerable pastimes I liked in the leisure hours, observing the children was my favorite act. It was fun, sitting for hours, watching their innocent feats. There was mysterious urge in me to look them as they played, laughed, and built houses in the sand, made different sounds as they romped and boasted of their imagined abilities… All these would take me in the unknown land of dreaminess.
In the final year of my stay at the school, there was much enhancement in my attachment to it. Even today, I vividly remember Damodar, a short, hard headed and ambitious boy, flicker his eyes as he spoke; envious Balaji (may peace be endowed upon his soul) a gray eyed and hooked nosed guy trying in vain to explain the various aspects of science; plump faced and able-bodied Inam speaking in the authoritative voice as if he were the boss of the class; keen eyed and talkative Dadapeer busy in litigation; horse minded, slow witted and typical teenager Srinivas always combing his hair; high spirited, hoarse voiced Thousif and good humored, husky Hidayath engaged in their never ending talks about the girls; sober minded and easily offended Bhargav often found as a culprit for his undone mistakes; staid and never talking Sudheer and many others.
On the invisible screen of air, I seem to see soft hearted and hard working Vidya, as she walked with her tinkling anklets whose sound could be heard yards apart; bold minded and good sensed Divyatha as she sang the latest songs; fast runner, fearless Chandana immersed in conversation with quick witted and firm hearted Jyothi; broad minded Priyadarsini sharing her thoughts with cool eyed and sensitive Beaula; exuberant Amrin trying in vain to speak Telugu…
All these have a sudden uprising in me and leave an irrevocable stain on my life. All the events turn in monotonous cycle and remind me of the words of Damodar in reply to the remark of Balaji that he was fed up with the methods of the school:
“Why?” he used to say, blinking his eyes in hasty manner, “whatever in the world makes you think in that manner? D’you suppose that you’ll be feeling in the same manner even after you leave the school, eh?”
“Enough of your lectures”, Balaji used to retort.
“Well, note the point”, Damodar used to insist with even more conviction in his speech than before, “we humans have the instinct to throw off what is at hand – but once you lose it – and then you’ll learn to worship it. But pooh! We must’ve lost the chance by then; noting the point, eh?”
These hopeless lectures as Balaji called them, turned out to be true and now I almost adore the school.Once our Mathematics teacher. Sir.P.Shiva told us that the era of the person enriched with the honour of being enrolled in the school is worth being written in gold. I thought that it was an allusion made by ‘not a very- efficient’ philosopher. And now it is the time to admit it with all my heart. I think if I were made the owner of all the gold on the planet, I would never hesitate to spend all of it to engrave the tales of my school life and present it to my yearning!
Over and over as I think over the matter – I feel like a setting sun brooding over the point when it was in its zenith and now being gulped into the yawning, fathomless abyss of the West. But of what use are these grievances? Would they do me any good?
Then I console myself that the school is mine. Really mine! Each classroom where I spent my time over studies, each corridor where we romped and played, each bench where we sat and often we jumped down from upon them, each black board where we would fix our eyes at, each chalk piece which engraved the knowledge into our mind!, each student, each teacher, Principal and Managing Trustees… everything is mine – mine alone! I claim these as a child claims his toys.
And I hope the school will stand with its own glory. Forever in its own grounds stuffed with the foot prints of everyone, from the humblest to the greatest; from the noblest to the crudest… with the same rising and setting sun winking at it , emerald country side around, and gentle breeze stroking and caressing everyone, and tall trees swaying like dazed dancers and everything radiating knowledge, radiating love, radiating affection….