The Reunion


The school building had stood there for slightly more than a century. Thousands of children had passed through its portals; to meet life and its various challenges.

The school itself had changed with the times, having been strengthened with new blocks, coats of paint and refurbishment.

The school smiled as it thought of the little children in Grade 1, in their new uniforms, afraid to leave the security of their mothers’ hands. The echoes of small and happy action songs echoing off its walls.

The school sighed at the furrowed brows of the Seniors as they solved difficult papers. The school laughed at the din in the canteen during recess.

The school remembered with fondness the first crushes of teenage, and the tricks children played.

The school heard the thunderous applause and hoarse yelling, when important matches were played.

The school saw young teachers, fresh and bubbly, who had loved the school and grown old with it.

The school remembered the graduating batches as they embarked on a new journey, away from its safe harbour.

Today, the school was awaiting the arrival of its old students, who had graduated 25 years ago.

At 10 am, the school watched them arrive. Little girls in pigtails, now transformed into confident young ladies of poise and grace, mischievous boys now wearing formal blazers, and looking debonair. Children who had grown up together, shared their lunches, giggled and fought with each other…..now looking at each other with love and joy and reliving the delightful rush of memories.

The school watched as they visited every classroom, remembering and recalling – voices from the past, their successes and failures, the small joys and misunderstandings. Every class brought fresh memories. As they walked down the wooden staircase, they sang their school song with gusto and moist eyes.

They sat in the classroom and caught up with each others’ lives.

They realized that ‘life had happened’ to each one of them, in many different ways. They shared slices of their lives, both good and bad. They saw grey hair, bifocal lenses, and searched for their childhood pals, in each others’ faces. They laughed a lot, with so much abandon.

One day of each of their childhoods, relived again. Pure bliss!

The school welcomed back her children with happiness and enjoyed the day with them, before they went their separate ways.

Exam-hunger


Most people talk about exam fever, but does anyone talk about exam-hunger?

What’s that, you may ask! It is definitely not the ‘hunger to write exams’, rest assured.

Exam-hunger is the sudden and exponential increase in hunger exhibited by students, when they are preparing for exams.

What moms bake or cook or buy never seems to be enough. One of your children is at the refrigerator all the time, raiding.

Was I like this, I wonder. Yes…my thoughts go back to college and hostel life, where we would pool our money and treat ourselves to samosas and coffee. A small plate with 5 pieces shared by eight or nine friends.

Studying late into the night, shocked to see some chapters for the first time, wondering if we slept through the lesson.

Trying to stay awake with barrels of tea or coffee, feeling hungry, cooking instant noodles, wolfing it down, studying some more. Feeling world-weary. Battling sleep, compensating for the lack of sleep by eating. Small comforts as we plodded through exam week every semester.

My children now exhibit this familiar symptom as they prepare for their finals.

“Is there anything to eat, Mom?”, they ask every half hour.

I keep stocking up, trying to balance between healthy food and fun food (not calling it junk food lest I activate my mom conscience)!

Midnight meals, mini meals, mini breaks for snacks, all to feed the brain to do well in the exams.