Fourteen.

November 20, 2015.

The date has been ringing in my head ever since April, at the start of the academic session.

It’s the last day of my school. It’s the last day I’ll consider it perfectly normal to wear a bag, a uniform, and waltz into the class among my friends and see the same faces, over and over again. 5 days a week. For 14 straight years.

It’s strange to think of this: For 14 years, I’ve been among two hundred odd individuals my age – in the same sphere of life. We’ve been together in a way-we’ve learnt, developed, grown, laughed, cried and lived amongst each other. 5 days a week. Six hours a day. For 14 years straight.

Never again will we ever be so free of responsibilities, never again will we have so many second chances, never again will we lead relatively simple, innocent lives.

School days. Running back through time in reverse order, the freshest and probably the most cherished memories talking to friends all day long, sometimes till very late at night, I’ll probably never be able to that again with them. It won’t be the same.

My private jokes with them, making an eye to eye contact whenever a reference to them was spotted in the class, and controlling our sniggers during those moments.

I’ll miss the Bollywood filmi dialogues with friends, and the cries of “Oh Ho!” delivered after delivering them.

I’ll miss using the words in vogue, only the people from our school could understand them. Some Alag words; Springdalians ki andhi chaudh.

I’ll miss bunking classes and assemblies-looking for new hidey-holes after being caught in the previous ones, from skipping class to play football in middle school, to hanging around the bookshop till class Ten, and now lazing around in the empty gymnasium, courts and washrooms. We’ve always been a step ahead of school law. I’ll always remember the dhai (second and half) boys washroom with a number of fond memories.

I’ll miss the profound discussions during bunks and free periods we guys did. Instead of the usual witless pastimes in class, the free time thus opened allowed us to communicate openly. We weren’t a single group as such, but these allowed us to drop the masks we would have on during class.

Philosophically speaking, these were amazing: seven-eight guys discussing studies, career, people, teachers, driving, peer-pressure, alcohol. Call it us bonding- we all had these same problems of different degrees.

I’ll miss coughing loudly when my friends made up excuses for being late to class. (Or vice versa).

I’ll miss going out with friends. Malls, movies, homes. Impromptu trips to the nearby roll shops, and then arguing which among them is better.

I’ll miss chuckling when my friend’s crush passes us by, or brusting out laughing at their stoic expression.

I’ll miss flirting. I’m terrible at detecting it, but pretty good when I catch on. (Attested 9/10 by a friend).

I’ll miss my friend who sat behind during examinations, sniggering in my ear because of some strange reason, and eventually making me do the same.
Or us going to our maths teachers for help in solving some “doubts”- we both had a crush on her. (Still do).

I’ll miss the Mantras (magical formulae to solve questions) of my accounts teacher, or poking some good-natured fun at his expense after (and during) his classes.

Heck, I’ll even miss the horrific days we got our maths examination results back and asking friends in a solemn voice if they passed, because you didn’t.

And now, when I’m still going through these precious memories, I realise, all the things I’ll miss, none would have been possible without my friends. None of them.

I’ll miss not my school as such, I have cribbed for 14 years about it being impractical, unfair, downright silly, and boring. And I haven’t even mentioned examinations in the previous sentence.

From being excited on day one, 14 years back – asking my mother whether we read from left to right or vice versa, to the day I settled in the routine of cursing the gods for the despondency of getting ready at 7 AM as a small child.

I still do the same, of course.

No, I won’t miss it.

Except the last few days. I feel funny. I get to see the same faces, friends, those who have been coming atleast, some of those with whom I won’t stay in connect. It feels very…strange. Empty.

It’s ethereal to behold this, how the lives of so many individuals have intersected and criss-crossed, often leaving a mark on them for the remaining journey of their lives. Our lives.

Friends. Friends who I talked to for days at a slog, sometimes. Friends whom I desperately called in need of help, friends who helped solve my problems, listened when it mattered and vice versa.
Trustworthy, honest, funny. Weird and crazy.

Friends with whom I discussed ideas about life, (psuedo)-intellectual thoughts, books, movies, sports, music, gossip. I’ll miss my mehfils with you. Those who I shared this with.

Those who made my 14 years worthwhile, punctuating the paragraph with small sentences, for the time we enjoyed with each other.

I’ll be there for you.
Every moment.
Always.

___________

I live near my school. Everytime I’ll look at it while passing, I’ll do that often, I don’t know what I’ll have in my mind. Nostalgia. Sweet memories. A few sad ones, perhaps. Lost Innocence. Regrets. Loads and loads of ‘could’ve would’ve should’ve’s.

But college beckons. Life beckons. All this time has been spent setting the stage for new adventures, new people.

All I know is, I’ll be nurturing some melancholy in my emptying heart.

IMG_20151120_131324589_HDR

__________
“Speed Of Sound” – Pearl Jam.

Yesterdays, how quick they change
All lost and long gone now
It’s hard to remember anything moving at the speed of sound
Moving with the speed of sound

And yet I’m still holding tight to this dream of distant light
in that somehow I’ll survive
But this night has been a long one
Waiting on a sun that just don’t come.

Can I forgive what I cannot forget
And live a lie?
I could give it one more try.

(It’s all so quiet now).

_______________________________________

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38 thoughts on “Fourteen.

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  1. Haha, I can actually imagine myself standing in the same place after a few years. But there’s time. This actually made me love school a bit more. Anyhow, it was a lovely read. AND, good luck for the next phase. I hope you enjoy it as much! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All the very best for boards! I’m currently doing my preparation and in telling you it’s not easy unless you put in efforts from the beginning!
    Nice to know you liked your school you surely are privileged because I hated my school throughout. Hopefully the best is still in store 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Didn’t like my school, but I’ll miss this carefree time of my life, and the people. What stream have you opted for? I only have a handful of good friends, too.
        Thank You. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. College will be more fun but you will miss high school and wish you can go back at times.
    Every time I pass by a school I left about 20years ago, I still look at it with memories running through my mind. I even do point it out to those with me and sometimes, I do inform them long before we get there that they will see one of the schools I attended.

    Lovely write-up and congrats on moving higher.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We’ll always miss them. School days. But College, is one hell of something else. So many new avenues and far more experience. Life experience. Get ready to make some real shitty mistakes and yet get over them. School days were sweet and a part of life you’d always look back with a gentle sigh :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, I’m sad now. I don’t know if you meant this to be as sad as I saw it, but goddamn, you made me feel sad for something that has not yet happened to me. (Keyword: Yet).
    I know you’re gonna have a ball at college, because for some reason, a lot of people I know are having fun at college. So, I know you’ll be okay.
    All the best for exams, you’ll do great (for the umpteenth time :|)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it’s not your fault. I get sad everything. 😐
        (Paradoxical sadness, not happiness :|)
        You’re welcome! 😀
        You keep track? Wow. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. UDIT!!
    I love this. this is my favourite okay?
    your stuff helps me so much to get my mood right.
    trust me, its a pleasure reading every one of it.
    glad I became close to you in the last few months 😉

    Like

      1. Oh please! I wait for new stuff daily. And even making everyone at home read it so that I can be proud &
        say my friend wrote it 🙂

        Like

  7. I’ll never miss “school school” but yes, the moments you’ve described… I do miss those. There’s a part of you that wishes that your friends remain the same, that you have many more moments worth recalling in the future… But, ah, life does move on ultimately. Not to bring you down or anything, but college can get a bit boring. You don’t necessarily share those intimate moments in class, and forming a teacher-student relationship? I don’t know… Those things came easily in school and were definitely more genuine. But hey, only time can tell. 🙂 Good luck and enjoy these last few months with your friends and the “school environment” (or that which remains of it)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have boards to look forward to,so well. But yes, in many ways, life has become better for me ever since school ended. A lot of problems have been resolved, hence I dont really miss school/school school either.
      Thank you for reading this.

      Like

  8. Having left school just a month ago, I relate to this on so, so many levels. Thank you so much for writing about the parts that I couldn’t write about – the memories of things that were just so US, that no one else and nothing else could ever compare. 10-15 years of life in one place does that to you – you may hate it but there’s always way too many memories for you to completely leave it all behind. Ethereal – you used the perfect word for it all.

    And hey, I see how everyone’s all encouraging and everything about college but I for one am terrified, just as much as I’m excited. Though I’m not so sure we’re talking about the same ‘college’. Down south, the lingo’s a bit different. You go to ‘college’ after 10th and University after 12th. Which one are you going to?

    Also, I now see what you meant about school rivalry but don’t worry, being from a DPS in the south, I can assure you, the only rivalry we have is with other DPSs here.

    P.s. Even though this is your write-up, about your memories in school, I can’t help but relate to all of those things and it fills me with so much nostalgia. Mehfil, was such a nice word to describe it. P.p.s that’s always a problem with us bilinguals isn’t it? There’s sometimes never a word in English to describe our Hindi hearts.

    Like

    1. :)))
      Thank You!
      Up north, Its after class 12! Oh yes, desi language is too good for english!
      Well, its quite relatable, a lot of people wouldve had these memories.
      Its exciting and scary for me as well, though I’m scared of the result more.

      Like

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