I could recall my school days;
the 9am morning mass, the blue tunic frock and blue ribbon pony tail, and a forlorn scary never ending corridor. The Sister’s shrill voice defining the ways of the world and how moon travels around the earth, her solid tight knuckled fist moving in frenzy on the black board.
I remember Shumali the tall girl at the last bench; her only fault was she used to love the bright morning outside much more than the gray dull wall paint of the classroom. I can recall her sobs as Mother Superior broke a ruler on her palm for she dared to whisper in the class! Her sobs was still ringing in my ears as I was desperately trying to observe how Sister was pointing the solar system on a stale chart - ‘copy them carefully, any mistakes or smudges you would have to do it 100 times over!’ I remember my careful efforts not to be seen with ‘bad girl’ Shumali!
School was discipline, regularity, stiff upper lipped Sisters, everything so different from home, everything so much away from a warm smile. My math teacher’s face kept hovering in my head like a nightmare all through. Among all the girls' cheerful shout and running around, how I used to sit alone in front of the huge Peepal tree at the small ground and create my own fantasy world along with those crows and other birds and a lonely black faced monkey.
I remember the efforts learning to dance and sing and my never ending tears as I was chosen to be a coachman for the annual function and how much I wanted to be the fairy!
I remember sitting on the first bench trying to concentrate but all through remembering the mint scent of my mom’s sari and how cozy it felt when I used to tuck my head in her bosom.
During monsoon I would quietly go to the backyard just to watch the frogs and the centipedes minutely and in no time I would be lost in their world, imagining me as one of them, while the others would be busy in kho kho or kabaddi or any other sports.
I had never loved being at school, yet later, when I left it to take a plunge into the big bad world, I knew the young light that used to kiss the skirting of the school building would never be the same. The walls around would never be as protective again. The world I am into, will never be so safe again.
And to my dismay, I lost my little friend innocence in the twisted bent of that long scary prison-like corridor when I left school.