It is not just the
imposing red brick building but the sheer steel and unseen human soul hidden in
the insides of this reverent temple of learning that beckons me once again
towards it where I spent twelve precious years of questioning, introspection
Nearly three decades have passed since I used to sit perched on one of these benches trying to unravel a future for myself figuring out the intricacy of platonic integrations, geometric progressions of spiraling days, dissecting anatomies of life and mimicking the pure delight of angelic poems that were rendered with such urgency that I could never imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be scribbling some by myself one day!
Massive sprawl of green foliage hiding rows of non-descript yellow single storied structures with arched front in the Canning Lane of LB (Lutyens Bunglow) Zone were our primary class rooms. I would hear gallops of the marching regiment, a cavalry that was perhaps kept safely leashed in some the stables many years ago by the British.
Tiny little brown desks and benches; Damp moist odor of wood and a fresh smell of Earth. Exotic green nuts oozing milky syrup that would be crushed with stones its tender insides that tasted like almonds to be eaten bare. The swarming flocks of Eagles and vultures that would swoop down on our lunch boxes during noon. Melodious notes from the air filled bags of Scottish pipers that I later found were the armed bands practicing their regimental numbers are little specks of memories from the period that I still carry in my head.
With passing time the old structures started crumbling and we braved the rains, heat and the fury of winter in the make shift tents where we grew up learning logic of sane learning, joyous sharing and a sweet fanciful adolescent years of secondary school time.
Beads of sweat, austere leanings and sincere toils saw us shift into gleaming new class rooms. Islands of earthly natured pupils in silence had with time transformed into cities of fortified passions. Some harangued and debated most complex aspects of social and political anarchy prevalent in other parts of the globe while some others had astoundingly sharp scientific temper that would put seasoned scientists to test. There were yet others during our senior secondary school years who would take up challenges of an alien civil crowd on board Delhi Transport Corporation buses fiercely fighting for the safety of their school mates outside school hours.
Sweet and tangy taste
of our brush with destiny of a warm school time start and ends at its gates
that was what we thought when the farewell happened.
Today, I find the list of distinguished people who have passed out from the school is endless. After decades of separation, sincere warmth and a unique camaraderie still binds all of us. But for the memories, our school days are like shadows that grow longer with each passing day. Memories are all about that, aren’t they? And What are memories without schools?
http://www.jpkallikkal.com (Class of 84)