How should I how?, I was wondering looking around a bunch of my classmates who were shouting and making a merry in the class room. Being two months late to join the class is a huge problem and being a newest kid in the class is the most difficult experience. I was limping and entered the class and everyone in the class turned towards me and were staring at me as though they had seen a ghost enter their class room. I was saved from more probe, as a Teacher followed me right behind, class room fell silent.
“Good Morning Sir”, all the kids announced in chorus.
“Good Morning, sit down” A stern looking teacher replied. He turned his gaze towards me. I was a lot uncomfortable by the attention I was drawing from everyone. I put my hands in my pocket and brought out a slip and gave it him, he looked down at me and received the slip.
He read the contents from the slip, Which was a certified letter from the Doctor and also contained the approval from the school principal.
“Ok, you are the missing boy” He smiled.
He looked at the entire class and said
“He is GP, and had met with an accident 4 month ago and would be joining us from today, lets help him with whatever you have learnt in past months”. He looked around the class room to accommodate me in midst of 80+ students. A place was vacant in the 3rd row, he looked at me and said.”You can sit there” he showed me to the vacant place.
I was struggling to walk with a school bag on my back and a lunch bag in my hands, I tried to observe my class room. It was big, and had 25 desks enough to accommodate four in each desk; arranged in three rows. My class room was located on the 4th floor (our school had lift facility, only for faculty but I was the only privileged student to use it for almost 4 months), bright with sunshine and cool breeze would blow from time to time. Our class room walls were very pictorial and had all kinds of caricatures; simple to funny, beautiful to disgusting (All the guys who studied in Boys High School will definitely know this fact, hehehe).
It took sometime to gel with others, as I was the lone person in the class to skip physical activities and wasn’t going out of class room during lunch break. Things started to change after the Dussera – Diwali vacations, I was much more enthusiastic and became a part of one of the groups.
Travelling in a bus was another adventure, frequency of buses were not much and buses would be over crowded. Our school timing was odd, it started at 11:30 and closing bell was at 5:00 and by the time I reached home via bus, time would be half past six (Due to peak hour timings it was difficult to land a foot inside the buses). I would leave home at 9:00 in the morning to play cricket or leg cricket (ball will be rolled on the ground and we used our legs as bat to score runs). During lunch break we were playing cricket or gossiping or complete our homework, this became our routine.
One day we were bored by the same routine and during lunch break we had picked a spot in the park, situated opposite to our school. It was a man-made rocky slope and was the most peaceful spot, away from the cricket ground, auditorium and hawk eyes of our teachers. We saw certain eagles which were nested / resting on the trees adjacent trees, for fun we threw some stones (I know this is cruel, but then we were not aware), one of the eagles came diving down to catch it. We stood there open-mouthed at seeing its acrobatic maneuver to catch the stone, next time when we threw, it was a small piece of chapati (a kind of bread). As it was a group of more than a dozen one or the other would bring chapati each day and one or two were reserved for these flying beasts, it was fun for us see a bunch of eagles diving down to catch these tiny pieces.
Everyone would have played outdoor game “Lock & Key“, but the difference in our game was that it was upto the last standing person to free all other locked / tagged persons. We started off with chasing one another and later it got developed into “The Last Lock”, this was a game for daredevils.
It was fun and dangerous as well, It was a group of Dare Devils, who Dare to jump from the height of 8-10 feet to escape from the chaser. We were very close to the nature, we were one with mud and dust, with bruises, injuries, pain, torn uniform, etc but it never crossed our mind that we had to stop. With us clearing our High school, we were destined to be separated from one another and pursue different paths. It was the coolest thing that I ever did (without spending money to experience adrenaline rush), but its one among the best moments in my life and would like to cherish in my life.
But things have changed in today’s world I don’t see kids playing in the ground as much as we did nor do I see enthusiasm to play outdoor games (Except Cricket). My nephews are more enthusiastic to play video and computer games, rather than playing outside. One day I would take my nephews to the place where we were playing and would let them meet my pals all of whom were daredevils.
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PS: Some of the pictures are courtesy Google Images