School. An immediate nostalgia perks up on hearing the very word. Of course, those who are still studying in school will not get nostalgic, because they are there since they were kids. But, the passed out students, I guess, will feel the same way as I did while going to school after a long, long time.
It was a bright sunny Monday morning and I got up at around 9:00. It was a holiday, of course. And to be frank, I had no work, really. The day was going to be as dull as the other days in the holiday had been, or so I thought.
I was chatting with one of my old school friends and we were planning to have a reunion anyway. And suddenly, an idea formed in my mind. I asked him if we could go to school, meet the teachers and come back. After all, it had been a long time since we went to school. He readily agreed. Another friend of mine agreed to come as well.
And so, it was fixed. 1:30 in the afternoon, we decided to meet at the school front gate. I don't know if it would have such a sweet nostalgic moment if I had taken my vehicle to school. I had given my vehicle for service and I had no other option but to take the bus.
As I made my way towards the bus stand, a zillion memories came dashing to my mind. I pictured myself wearing a school uniform and running frantically to catch the bus. The memories were fresh, as though it happened yesterday. As I sat down on one of the seats the bus stand offered, I could see myself in the distance, trying to catch a bus, running. I laughed at myself and then smiled. I could see that a few people waiting in the bus stand were noticing me, but I still couldn't help but smile.
The familiar bus came. 27D deluxe, and to my surprise, the driver and conductor were familiar, too. Nothing has changed, I thought to myself. Except me, of course. I boarded the bus happily.
There was a seat, yes. I sat. In school days during the rush hour, there wouldn't be any. But I wouldn't mind as well. I'd be happy at the foot-board. I looked at the foot-board, the place in the bus where I had made most of my journeys from home to school and back again. It seemed to smile, as if to welcome me back.
The whole trip to school, though just a half an hour affair, a cluster of memories bombarded my mind at each and every stop. The stop next to mine, a stout good friend of mine used to take the same bus and travel with me, the stop next, another good friend used to travel and I remembered the way we used to talk and talk and talk till we reached school.
Then, I reached the familiar bus stop, the bus stop from where I would be travelling a few more steps to get to school. I realized that I had been travelling along this route all my life and at this particular bus journey, it felt good. I could feel the positive vibes around me. The pani-puri chat shop, the dry cleaning shop, the bus stop, all seemed to welcome home a child who had been away for a long time. Even the traffic lights seemed to nod in agreement as it turned green as I passed.
As I neared the school, I seemed to be getting sucked into a vortex full of memories. I could see different versions of me everywhere in the little road. The platform from where I fell down, my first ride in the little school bus, my ride on the van to school, my first bicycle ride to school, the way we used to eat pani-puris, the way we used to eat ice colas, the way we used to have ice-cream contests, and many more memories gushed through my mind like pleasant breeze across my face.
The feel was ecstatic. In my heart, I could feel the beat getting faster, and I could sense that happiness was up until the brim. And for each step I took, a hundred more memories whizzed past. Patiently, without any hurry, savoring and cherishing all the moments, I reached. Sindhi Model Senior Secondary School, a place that housed me for fourteen years.
My friend was waiting already. And we talked of more fun times that we had while at school. The other friend dropped by about fifteen minutes later. We trio, marched into the school. And there! You could imagine, if travelling to a place revealed so many memories, what about the place itself?
The ground that we used to long for, the basket ball court, the cricket nets where we used to do bowling practices by bunking classes, the school buses, everything seemed to pat on our backs and tell us that we are home.
And so we entered into the school where we had practically spent most of our lifetime. Our steps ordered like breathing, we slowly made our march upstairs. First floor! Ah! The memories again! The floor which we were in for the last two years. One friend saw a teacher who taught him Tamil and they had a good chat, and in the meanwhile, the other friend of mine and I saw our computer teacher, the teacher to whom we gave loads of troubles.
As she was walking, unaware of our presence, we went with her and what a surprise! She was especially surprised to see me, Aravind, The Trouble Maker. We had a good chat with her and the accounts teacher came by. She hasn't taken classes for us, of course, but she remembered us all well and chatted with us.
Then, we took a stroll to the second floor and went into the class where we had studied tenth. And another surprise awaited for us there. Our fourth grade math teacher. She was sitting there. We spoke with her. We wanted to meet many more teachers, but sadly they retired.
We so wanted to meet our Tamil teacher, but she was nowhere to be seen.
Then, we dared entered the vice principal's office where the principal was seated, doing some pending works. At school, we used to feel afraid to open our mouths in front of him. One wouldn't believe if we said that we were still afraid. He finished all his works, looked at us and smiled, then spoke about the changes that has happened to the school and updated us. We thanked him and left the room.
We were on the verge of leaving, and a friend of mine, captain of the school basketball team laid his eyes on the court. It was occupied and students were playing and there was absolutely no stopping him. While the other friend and I waited in the open auditorium, he played and played and played and we chatted and chatted and chatted. After some time, we decided to make calls to a few of our friends and ask them to come to the good ol' McDonald's. Two of them agreed.
And we left school at about 2:50 and reached McDonald's at around 3. The other friends turned up at around 3:15. One friend, I haven't met him in years. It was good to see him after a really long time. And believe me or not, the food session was complete by 4 and we chatted at least until 5:30. All the silly things that we used to do at school, we talked endlessly about it and I haven't laughed that hard in months. Finally, when I reached home at around 6:45, I felt content, glad and happy.