My sister’s school exhibition was held today. Just a little after noon, I took her to the school. It had rained in the late morning, so we couldn’t leave earlier. Unfortunately for us, the exhibits were dismantled and the classrooms closed by the time we arrived there. My sister didn’t mind it. Now, my pre-university college is in the same campus as her school. Same building if you want me to be more specific.
Sis : Lets go upstairs. I’ll show you my computer classroom!
Me : I know where it is.
‘Course I knew. It’s on the same floor as my classroom in 2nd PU. As I climbed the stairs behind the stage, I had a rush of mixed emotions. I expected them. But I still didn’t know how to deal with them.
At the landing of the third floor, straight ahead of me was, well, the loo. But just before that is the staff room. (It’s not as bad as you think.) To my immediate left is my classroom for the 2nd year. One of the non-teaching staff was cleaning out the staff room. She comes out.
Me : Isn’t anyone here?
The cleaner : None right now. They just left.
Me : Oh. Ok. Anyone in the labs?
The cleaner : Ah.. She must be there. Not sure.
I look at the newly fitted notice board on the wall. It’s filled with notices on the cricket team. Mostly. I smile.
I enter my classroom. The computer lab attendant is writing down the register numbers on the desks. I look around at the empty room. To me, it seems as if I’m actually IN it. At the moment, I’m in THAT moment. I smile again. I withdraw myself from the room.
Me : Come on. Lets go to the 4th floor.
Sis : I’ll show you my yoga class.
She runs up the stairs. I take my own time. I take the immediate right at the 4th floor landing.
Sis : Here. Come on.
She opens the second door on the right cautiously.
Sis : This is my yoga classroom!
Me : Hmmm.
I walk a few steps ahead. The most secluded spot in the college, just near my 1st year classroom. It was huge.That brought back many memories. We’d put up a bench-desk there outside. Or maybe it was already there. Saturday mornings were the best. We had classes from 12 then. Physics class. We used to arrive leisurely... sit there on that bench. Gossip. Talk. That corner was the best.
I stand there and text everyone telling them about my location. Mixed types of replies I got.
One even asked if I was pms-ing when I said I got nostalgic. :D
I walk towards the physics and chemistry lab. I stand at the center of the corridor and look ahead. Below me I can see the ground. In front of me on the third floor I can see the classrooms. Directly in my line of sight, on the other side, I can see indoor games room. I slightly look up.
The grey clouds. The wind. The light rain.
The physics lab had a few students inside. I walk past it without looking in. My sister peeps.
Me : Don’t look inside like that!
Sis : You were asking about some teacher!
Me : Not HER!
The chemistry lab.
Him : How are you?
Me : Namskara Sir. Fine. Yourself?
*Tilts his head to his left and slightly closes his eyes. A gesture to be taken as “Everything fine here too”.
Him : How are things going for you?
Me : Great.
Him : You had come to the exhibition?
Me : Yes.
Him : Do have relatives studying here?
*I put my hand over my sisters’ shoulder and say,*
Me : Yes. My sister.
Him : Your sister? Own?
*I nod my head*
Him : Which standard?
Sis : I’m in third.
Him : Ok.
Me : Ok bye Sir.
I turn around.
*My sis spots an open door.*
Sis : That’s the terrace!
Me : Hmmm.
We climb down the stairs and reach the ground floor. I look around. I miss the place. It wasn’t much. But then again, maybe it was.
Memories. Lots of them.
The girls, the guys, the crushes, the tears, the bunking, the classes, the lecturers, the crushes again, all that. I miss it. A lot.
One of my friends said, “I swear that place still haunts me in my dreams”. I second his statement.