A journey started 12 years ago. I looked outside, through the window of our car, at the blurry figures of my grandparents moving further away. One left turn and they disappeared. I closed my eyes living every memory once before making enough room to store them in my head. Even as a seven year old, I knew that they would never collect dust.
A new city, a new home and a new school. It was the beginning of great things to come, but unfortunately I didn’t see it that way. The first day at Delhi Public School, Patna was of great disillusionment. My terrified fingers finally freed of my mother’s hand and soon after I found myself in a room brimming with other equally confused kids. No tears fell the next day. And thus began a tale of alphabets, numbers and more importantly-of friendships. Our feet leapt carelessly in the corridors of joy. We fell and got up in the playground of rubber, no scar significant enough to stop us. And Goodbyes were way off into the future.
Each year lived up to its promise of extraordinary company and endless chatter. Innocence soon wore off and gave way to mischief. Love affairs became frequent news and there was always an appetite for gossip. I had begun to taste freedom in the dance room on second floor. School, for me, meant completeness. A land of bullies and angels where nothing seemed impossible. It meant another home, just as sheltered as the one in boring road. However if I were to discriminate and pick out my three favorite years at school, I’d choose the last three. I have three reasons for the same. One– I met a boy better than the best ones in books and befriended girls who could take on the world if they wanted to. Two- I went on a dreamy school trip to Siwan, the cloudless memory of which still hovers over our conversations and three– I collected assets more valuable than money- Confidence, courage and empathy.
Now we are here and it is the time to leave these mud colored walls. As the curtain falls on this show-even the enemies smile at each other. We hug, kiss and foolishly celebrate, in a vain attempt to dullen the ache of our hearts. I can hear the incessant click of cameras going off in the distant. A late realization dawns upon me. The journey has come to an end.
In a few months of time, we will meet again. We are at bus-stop in the middle of nowhere. Our numbers getting smaller as different buses pass by. At the strike of two, one vehicle stops in front of me. I step out from the crowd and look back at my friends.I smile teary-eyed and they smile back. I look away and close my eyes. No dust.
“Where to?” The conductor asks.