“Oh! When I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya- I’d always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life”
Bryan Adams simplified the emotions that every individual must feel when nostalgia takes over, and a trip down memory lane becomes more tangible than a mere retrospective. Perhaps the best memories are evoked in our souls when we relive our school days. The dusty corridors and hallways of our schools suddenly metamorphose into inviting passages luring us with the warmth of their memories. But those memories would surely have had a void of sorts in them; had it not been for all the adolescent fun and madness which one experiences in school. Back in school, the fun never seemed to stop.
The boredom of every period is always conquered by the flag bearers of entertainment in class, the valiant league of extraordinary gentlemen or women in some cases who are all part of the “elite” group, commonly referred to as the Backbenchers. Members of this clan no matters which school are always in the limelight for their activities. To this day, they are renowned for their astounding ability to eat their lunch in class and play Nintendo Game boys at the same time. They take it on their shoulders to ensure that when the physics/maths teacher went wrong with certain equations, it got instantly rectified as a consequence of a series of high shrilled ‘No’s’ and weird sounding ‘Aahh’s’, which their vocal cords were blessed with producing. This group is often accused of being lazy and perhaps to refute such a notion, that Backbenchers took active part in the sport of chalk throwing. Infact if this sport were to get the patronage of sport-officials, I am sure India would have seen many more gold medals in events such as archery; such were the precision of these individuals., if you don’t believe me, then ask those who got hit.
However I do not wish to give the credit for in-class entertainment to the backbenchers alone. The entire class contributes in some way or the other to make the classroom more “homely” and livable. There is always an artistic bunch of students available, who is responsible for innovative graffiti on blackboards and benches. Many such groups and sub-groups co-exist together in class peacefully for years, providing everyone with their daily dose of “masti”.
Even outside the confines of each classroom, memories can be found strewn about. They are in the staircases, which were automatically reduced in breadth during lunch-time, courtesy of the students occupying it like refugees in dire need of shelter. The canteen where one samosa s shared by three friends and washed down with pepsi brought on credit from the extra-generous “canteen-kaku”. The playgrounds can be called as places where football matches are perhaps played with more passion than what is on display by the Indian contingent at the international level. The sparsely populated corridors where adda sessions held among friends over tea and luchi-aloor dam from another’s tiffin-box, the empty classrooms where the pangs of romance first brewed, with only the blackboards and unoccupied chairs as silent testimonies All these sights and sounds and images form a living, breathing collage which reminds us of days less complicated.
Memories of days spent in school form a mere fragment perhaps, of the bigger jigsaw puzzle of life. But the emotions and sentiments associated with these memories give us a greater high, which no amount of dollars or pounds would be able to provide.
I wish those days could be relived again.