It's been seven years since.........
I have been lying here beneath a huge stack of old newspapers on a rack loaded with books.
It had been seven years since I came out in this world from the silver solution of photographic tray. Rediscovered out of that dirt-laden heap, I was able to see the light and my state, and it was such a relief. Surprisingly my color was still not yellowish pale. I constricted my eyes to recognize those emerging faces. Blurred images, faint, yet distinctive memories.
In the background stood that not-so-white wall of classroom, which bore the onslaught of creativity, when they were there. In front of which, stood a bunch of bubbly, youthful
adolescent teens, wearing a wide grin.
Standing on the leftmost corner was Anu, the girl with a short hairdo and still shorter skirt.. Shy Deepa stood next, trying to smile yet unwilling to say cheese. Holding her hand was Bhanu with a vivacious smile and loads of baby fat. Near to her were radiant Payal and unassuming Leena. Last among the girls Sani, the one with silken voice. To the extreme right corner, was Bunty, who could crack jokes anywhere anytime. Next to him was dark and handsome Aashu. Along with chubby and mischievous Sanjoo, lanky and thin Rajat was ready with his characteristic smirk. Trespasser Dangi and sporty Raju, forced their way just in time. Brown eyed Dwari and the baby faced curly haired Paploo, were standing in the middle.
18th February 1993, I could recollect the date as my mind made a journey to the memory lanes, remembering thoughts, trying to sketch some images. That was their terminal day in the school after the formal "FAREWELL" before those "oh-so-important and scary" CBSE exams. Everyone gathered to say GOOD BYE to the place where schooldays had been spent. After that, they were of their own, ready to enter a world with no boundaries. That empty classroom was a world with in a world, which was theirs in their own right. It was there when they tried and tried to solve all those tricky theorems, it smiled when they read the "Love across salt desert". Was an audience of those musical sessions in lunchtime and a silent spectator of many fights and heartbreaks too. The chatter of girls, grumbling of teachers, rumble of feet, colors of holi, birthday cakes, crushes and blushes too.
It had seen all. The classroom was with them in whatever they did and whatever they had planned. It stood among their hopes, dreams, frustrations, sorrows, and happiness, almost everything. Moreover, that day, the back white wall of the class was the witness of the togetherness, what if for that moment only. I transported myself back to 1993. Seven years are not a long period, but much must have changed since then. All fourteen of them might have changed now, long forgotten that moment.
I wonder and think about them, their faces, looks, minds, hearts, and careers as well.
Time changes everything. Nevertheless, for me, that moment seems eternal as if it all happened yesterday. Nostalgia fills in the air and the voices trapped inside that classroom echoes.