Friday, February 10, 2006

sunset hath passed

it felt good to see those gates again - wide open, as usual, welcoming a member of the family. i must admit i couldn't stand the long walk, i was that bloody anxious to get there after such a bloody long time. the two globes were still there - 'look, we're goin between the two ugandas'. i couldn't help smiling. sigh, how i miss those days. i guess it is true that you learn things the hard way, you don't realise what something means to you unless it is taken away from you, or, in this case, you taken away from it.

i walked in as though nothing had happened - nothing had, indeed. the environs had never seemed more beckoning. reminiscing was something i had hoped to avoid, but alas, that was not under my control. i spent the best time of my life at this school, and it would be nothing less than criminal to say it had left an indelible mark on me. it's impossible to explain what loyola means to me, what it has done for me, what it has made me into. i can't forget a single day that has elapsed since the day a chubby youngster with curly hair made his way into this wonderland. thinking about that makes me wonder how much things can change in thirteen years. a teen stood there, with a bit of fuzz growing on his chin, not nearly the same person, but still awestruck. my juniors were there, they recognized me, told me stuff. i guess i owe them an apology for not noticing them that much. how could i? i was ensconced in my own little shell wherein i was hanging on to all that had happened, hanging on by the frayed edges of my recollections - frayed after a million or more revisits, frayed from my incessant holding on to them. the only people i did notice were my vice-principal (sweetest guy alive), and two teachers who i think have left the greatest impression on me, though i doubt they know it. there was the indomitable dp, behind every single thing that happened at loyola (omnipresent even!), and there was the ever-cheerful mrs. elizabeth mathew, the only person who has ever made me enjoy biology classes. there were juniors and there were still more juniors.

i imagined myself there, at loyola, just my classmates and i, playing football like in the old times. the sun shining bright, the clear blue sky above the bunch of us, running behind a football as if our lives depended on it. it would have been the most beautiful thing ever, just loyola, the sky above, and the bunch of us. i thought tears would stream down my face, like they did, for the first time in was our farewell day. good old sutter hall, still standing after batches like us had laid siege to it, seemed the perfect setting. it was unusually quiet in there, and we, for the first time, listened to someone speaking through the microphone. i had told myself i wouldn't cry that day. the speeches were over, and the chairs were pushed back. all the teachers formed a huge semicircle. we were each given a candle and a momento. the candle was lit, and we went to each teacher in turn, saying our last words to them as their students. that was when the finality of everything struck me, and the tears started streaming down my face. it ended that way, the light of the candle extinguished by a stray drop that had trickled down all the way to my chin. there was never so clear a sign...i still have it with me - its in my drawer, the red ribbon still wrapped tight around it.

today was when i finally realised, the sun had already set...the perpetual daylight that existed when i was there was gone. its a good thing i have my memories - the way colour was washed into everything with the soft rays of the sun, the way the colours darkened and reflected the raging ball of fire with all its ferocity just before twilight...the rest is built into me, i don't need memories when it comes to that. if nothing else, i will always have the salt at the end of a candlestick.


Blogger john said...

sigh...memories that bring both a smile and tear to our hearts at the same time.

Blogger lookwhosback said...

touching. very touching. old memories flood my thoughts. nice post da. didn't know there was a school called loyola. in chennai only right!

Anonymous cain said...

lovely...........aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesome post.......almost in tears.....

Blogger g-man said...

wow you actually reading my blog?!?

Blogger Nancy said...

Very nice post. Poignant.

There is so much difference between this blog and the most recent one. What happened to u?

Blogger g-man said...

a lot i think...its complicated


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