I still haven’t figured out, if I liked moving to a new city every year or hated it.
Rewinding my memory of the year 2009, when I moved to a new place, met some new neighbours, went to a new school, touched my new books, and faced new teachers. And all this happened in New Delhi.
It was a gloomy morning of June, the sun was brighter than a newborn and apparently my first day of school. A whole bunch of emotions were revolving inside me like a cyclone. A cyclone of excitement, nervousness, anticipation, shyness, gladness, restlessness, patience, and whatnot! To settle it calmly I gave my mind the affirmation that “Hold on! It’s not your first time, you’ve been doing it for years.”
So, as I was walking through that broad, grey pathway towards my classroom carrying the thunder in my heart.
“Hey you, are you blind or what?” I shouted there, lying on the ground in front of the boy that bumped into me.
Well, he fell too.
He stood up and gave me a hand.
I refused in a grumpy voice.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you coming. Hope you’re not hurt. I can come to the dispensary with you.”
“I’m fine.” I settled my skirt, rubbed my palms, and started walking again. I turned back although hated to ask this but did anyway,
“Excuse me, can you tell me where’s room no. 28?”
“Are you new here?”
“Yes, it’s my first day”
“Come, I’ll show you” He smiled.
Walking beside him, I noticed a layer of dust on his black leather shoes, as he must have polished them in the morning but with all the running and playing, they lost the shine.
I think he’s into sports or maybe very active physically.
“I forgot my sports shoes today, so I had to practice my volley ball session into this one”
“Oh, okay.” I smiled awkwardly.
“You see those colorful wall-painting of Swans there on the front wall?”
“It won the theme painting competition last year. I painted it, I mean the whole class. It happens every year and all the students have to participate. I hope you have a good hand with art.”
“Not really, but I can hold the colour palette for my classmates.” I smiled in serenity.
“Oh, yeah. I heard one of your classmates saying they need a helping hand.” We chuckled, looking into each other’s eyes.
His eyes were black, sparkling and vehement black but unfathomable, as they carry a deep secret within. His face was pastel fair and cheeks turned pink because of running and walking in the sun.
“Do you notice the shoes every time you meet someone or does it happen only to those who accidentally hit you?”
He asked quirkly, but the smile never got off from his face.
“No, it happens only to those who walk me to my class.” I replied joyfully.
We both were quiet for a moment; it was an awkward silence. We could hear the noises of children playing around, horns of the vehicles outside and also the sound of our footsteps.
“Why does this room 28 feels like 228?” I asked to break the silence.
“Because it’s on 2nd floor. It’s 28 of 2. You see.” He tried to act funny
“Nice prep for the PJ competition, I hope you win this year too.”
We laughed loudly and now the silence doesn’t seems awkward.
“So, about that theme painting; what theme did you all pick?”
“White colour resemble the peace and the Swans are a symbol of beauty and grace. We tried to show that the beauty of life lies within the peace that one maintains with their mate.”
“That’s thoughtful.” I nodded.
“But one of your Swan was looking very angry, what happened to her?” I asked in a light mood.
“Actually, it was her first day in the lake and the other Swan bumped into her. She’s angry because she couldn’t jolt him back.”
We laughed heavily and couldn’t resist the after smile.
“Here’s your room no. 28.” He pointed to second last room from the balcony.
We walked inside from the front door. It was a huge room with two-seater desks and benches arranged properly in four rows. There was a platform beneath the green board. Girls and boys present in the classroom were gazing at me in astonishment.
I looked around the whole class.
“Where should I sit?” I asked confused.
“You can keep your bag on the third bench near the window.” He pointed.
“Next to me.” He sighed.
“Huh?” I looked at him.
It was one of those beautiful days where I started my journey of school.