Mar 31, 2023
Mar 31, 2023
by Sushmita Ruj
I was riding my TVS Champ at top speed. I saw all of them waiting for me. I waved at them and they waved me back. I woke up with a start. It wasn't even five. My roommates were sleeping peacefully. I tried to sleep but couldn't. The faces were so vivid, I thought. For the first time in all these years I had an urge to meet all of them.
My high school days ended so sooner than they had started. There was nothing so special, nothing worth remembering about those days except the strenuous preparations for the entrance exams. The days had passed so quickly that I had no time to ponder over matters, which only I later realized could have an indelible impact on my mind.
My trip from home to school was always a pleasant one. It was a break from books and tensions. I have always enjoyed a fast life. So I didn't mind getting up late and then hurry. The glass of milk would somehow move down my esophagus, as I would take my last slice of bread and run out. I'd kick my Champ hard and if I were lucky it would come back to life. I would hardly sit on my moped before it jerked forwards. My neighbor Mrs. and Mr. Ranger would peep through their little 'evergreen' forest ( as I called it) and send up a prayer for me. Now they miss me.
I would turn my head slightly to the left and see Mr Hindustani about to say 'Suno gaur se muhallahwalo, buri nazar na humpe dalo , sabse shaktishali hun main', he'd inflate his biceps. I would somehow prevent a smile escape my lips. Now he misses me.
My sixth sense would tell me that 'Secret Eye' was observing me through her glass window. I hadn't made out in all those two years why she was so curious about me. Now she misses me.
I would pass the big yellow house where my 'thums up' hero lived. I'd look up to see if he was practicing his feats. I'd pressed the accelerator harder for I was genuinely afraid he's land on my moped. I had an urge to raise up my thumbs and wish he becomes Salman someday. Now he misses me.
My moped would race, the speedometer vibrating around 50. I'd glance at my watch, press the accelerator harder, feel the wind against my face and remember what Mrs. M. Raju had said about punctuality the previous day, and how Madhu and Deb had giggled. I'd better hurry.
I'd see the rickshaws carrying some young Carmelites and would wave at them. They reminded me my childhood days when we used to rock the rickshaw playing 'O pillar caterpillar'. They would wave me back. Now they miss me.
The sight of the BCI would put a brake in my thoughts. All through those two years I had wondered what made the boys stand at the gates at 7.30 am when their classes started only at 11. Then the rush of girls would tell me the reason. I couldn't but smile. Now they all miss me.
Next I'd see my 'little friend' waiting for the her school bus. I'd smile at her expecting her to smile back. She would look at me in confusion. Now she misses me.
The school gate would shortly be seen and I would hurry up fearing that the gates might close and resolve to come early the next day.
During those days I thought they miss me when I'm gone. However lying in bed and delaying getting up I realized how much they had become a part of my life. Suddenly I had an urge to meet all of them and tell them how terribly I miss them.
It isn't so easy. It isn't like mailing a friend and saying 'wished you were here with me now' or send her a e-card saying 'I've been thinking of you all day' when you didn't quite wish that. Suddenly I feel someone shaking me vigorously, 'Want to miss the first class'. I jump put of bed. Missing them hardly matters Life is fast. Where is the time for trivial matters like this?
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