When memories come back unexpectedly, sometimes, I miss my school.
Would you study at a place where the ratio was 21 girls for over 600 boys? I studied there and if there ever was another chance, I gladly would do it all over again. I would study at my school, the Sainik School.
First memories first and those were the crew cuts. Hand held machines bit into half bent heads and at ten minutes end, the head felt a cleaner and better place to hold up. Pushing down the maroon beret around the fringes of a freshly partially shorn head, those were the times when I felt heaven came down to Trivandrum.
Wednesday was the day of the heavenly feast. We used to run to the mess-hall to be the first to grab the softest poori's with the biggest chunks of half cooked beef. Whoever said school was never fun?
Board exams came and seriousness left through the back door. The mango trees were our play grounds. Two stood on the ground while the third said hello to the tree tops. Ripe, heavy green mangoes fell down and were lovingly caught on towels. Sneaking it into the dormitory, it was covered with cloth and beaten against the wall.
The soft sound of the fleshy fruit breaking was music for our ears. Salt and chilly powder would have already appeared magically. The tip of the juicy green fruit would turn into white first and then into blood red. And then, it would drown in a sea of saliva. If that wasn’t innocent heaven, I shall never discover what it is.
That world ended for me doing my tenth. A part of me died and another was born. I never went back to school. It remains to this day my own sweet pain.
The day I go back, I will stand on stage, the way I wanted to for so many years. Looking once at the empty rows of seats, I would close my eyes and visualize it being filled with people. Closing my eyes and saying a silent prayer, I would explain to myself and the hollow world I see in front of me, why I left my life in school behind, why I used to wake up thinking I was late for P.T, why I thought the best years of my life would never come back…
…why I miss school so much, years after I finally tore myself away from it.