Amputation

“I’m sorry. I won’t be able to come. The plan is cancelled.”

“But why?”

Before I could say anything further, he hung up. A ten-second phone conversation propelled me into pondering over a legion of speculations as to what could have gone wrong.

We had just spoken a day ago. Everything was set. I was going to bunk college, because nobody wants to attend Engineering Graphics anyway! He was going to come from Dehradun for a couple of days, just to meet all of us. It was his eighteenth birthday after all! The midnight cake was ready. We had planned a surprise party for him. His parents were about to gift him a car. Everything was fine.

What could have possibly gone wrong?

I brushed that thought aside, and began searching for reasons to convince myself into attending that EG class, eventually figured there are none, and went off to sleep. It wasn’t until evening that I came to know his parents had passed away. Both of them.

I could only imagine what might have been going through his mind. Without wasting much time, I rushed to meet him. On my way, I recounted what I had gone through when I’d lost someone. The closest word to describing what it felt like was amputation.

It was as if my being had been permanently altered. The cells in my body were different. My organs felt different. And even after a year, my heart physically aches from the inside of my chest, every time the thought crosses my mind. Despite having gone through something similar in the past, I was in no position to even estimate what he was going through. And to my surprise, I found myself at a loss of words to comfort him.

I looked at him. I knew his body is convulsing with fear of the unknown. Emotional pain can subject one to unfathomable depths of torture. It had taught me that both, our bodies and our minds, are able to discern every flicker of unsteady emotional and corporeal suffering, even when there is no tangible evidence to be seen. But, the pain that I speak of, was going to be a new constant in his life.

Amidst the tornado of emotions people experience at such times, when it happened to me, I remembered feeling an intense desire to smile. To think about all the beautiful times we had spent together. To repeat all our conversations in a monologue. The memories that stole a tear, but also twinkled a smile on my face. I sensed a minuscule silver lining in that very obscure cloud.

I looked at him again. I knew he wanted to find that silver lining. But when such a humongous pile of anguish hits you off-guard, a simple hug might feel like the most wonderful thing in the world. Without coping with grief and coming to terms with the harsh reality of life, growing up would be superfluous.

At that moment, all you can say is, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ and be there for them, because that moment will be etched in their mind, forever.

Au Revoir.

Years passed like days, friends came and went, kids metamorphosed into citizens, but this place has been constant. Like everyone else, I too had a roller-coaster ride and swerved my share of highs and not so highs, through the school life.
The backbone of a good school is not made from fancy classrooms and large campuses. It is made from the excellent education imparted by teachers, and I owe a sincere gratitude to all the teachers who have taught me through these years. I don’t think there is a single teacher in the school who hasn’t scolded me in a fit of rage but it all seems worthwhile.
Saying goodbye engulfs me in a tornado of emotions.

I remember my first day in the school. A shy little kid stepping onto unfamiliar territory but while stepping out, public speaking is the best part of my skill set.

Went from being a raw retrospective renegade, to a refined retrospective renegade and iconoclast. Despite joint efforts the outspoken renegade part didn’t change through these years. (Stubborn?)

The three years I spent in our computer clan DynamiX, from noob to President, will be a cherished time and I can say that I’m proud of all the work we have done as a unit. The basic objective was to elevate ourselves and I think we managed to do that. It was wonderful being a part of the tech circuit. All the last minute chaos, procrastinated preparations, technical handling, pushing the team to work harder and systematically organising a computer symposium of our own is really something greater than education can preach in practical experiences.

Being the Deputy Head Boy and House Captain for one year each, and on the hindsight also being suspended from school four times in four years, maintaining it an annual ritual (thankfully none last year) was a contrast like no other.

I have been suspended for from the stupidest of reasons, which include uploading photos of a school trip to Facebook without the consent of teacher, abusing a teacher in class, to supposed cyber crimes and slapping a fellow classmate who oh so handsomely deserved it (read: evil teachers taking revenge on brilliant students).

I doubt if anyone has been late to school more times than me. Having an average of 9 times a month in the last two years, I have been told its something to be not proud of. But the supposed walk of shame when you enter after 9am everyday is definitely memorable.

Every person in the school right from the sweeper to the principal felt like family.

I will miss the brown furniture, the broken chairs, the scribbled desks, the walls I wrote on that said ‘Do not write here’. I will miss the grounds, the corridors where I tripped way too many times, the bunkers spot stairs where I learned more than by attending classes. I will miss the guard Bhaiya who would always let me in even when I entered at 10am, the sweeper Bhaiya who was perennially annoyed by our filthy classroom. I will miss the chemicals we most daringly experimented with minus the adult supervision, the apparatus we always damaged in the lab, the computer systems we crashed out of frustration, the books we issued from the library but never returned. I will miss the Principal’s room where I have received appraisals as well as rebukes countless times, the classrooms where the foundation of the person I am today was laid. I will miss the morning assemblies in high temperatures, where we are supposed to sing the same stupid song each day and then listen to a not so wonderful clichéd story. I will miss the overpriced canteen food, the pakoras and spring roll and that awful chutney. I will miss the chaotic rush through the swings while you are bunking and someone shouts that the principal is on round, the times I have been made to unnecessarily tuck in my shirt, threatened to get a haircut and forced to cut my nails. I will miss the teachers, the students, the building, the classrooms, the washrooms, the corridors.

Ramjas, I will miss you.