Yesterday I did something maybe I shouldn’t have done… Stood observing kids as they came out from school after a long day heading towards their sweet little homes. I had a long task-list in mind, but those moments I spent observing them helped me go far away from everything. The energy in their eyes, their innocence so unaware of the gaping hole in their pant, their humble minds that knew nothing while running towards their mom who was waiting outside, wiping the sweat off her forehead after what could already be a long day.

I am sure their day started in sparkling white clothes which was now a shade better than black. I froze there registering the reaction on the face of the mom, her mouth open and a hand almost clasping her head as she saw her world rolling out of its tiny classroom, dirty and dishelved like a miner. But who cares about the clothes when the world knows how to run towards its mom, arms wide open and a smile that could put the phrase ‘ear to ear’ to shame.

There was chaos, but there seems to be a pattern so sure about everything. The bags were flung towards the mom who wanted to wipe the face as it wanted to look towards the other friend with a sense of victory for his mother reached there before his friend’s. The indelible sense of achievement writ all over their faces which clearly read – ‘survived another day of school’.

One kid runs out and heads towards the idol touching its feet before caressing the trunk of it, which to me combined respect and playfulness in a subtle yet so profound manner. Two other beautiful girls walked with their hands flung over each-others shoulder talking about ‘what a day it had been’ and as they walked, one girl tripped but the other fell…! The mythical definition of friendship just enacted itself in front of me as I stood there taking mental notes of all the familiar things which looked painfully stale in my memories.

 

Wish I could have held on to the age when… the flowers near the idols were indeed blessed, a promise meant a world if not more, a waiting mom was worth rushing as if ones life was at stake, a homework not done fed more guilt than anything, a teachers hug stayed in memories forever, a new pencil gave all pride till it had to be sharpened for the first time, Google didn’t have all the answers but mom and dad had, bumping into your school mate in a social gathering made you feel as if you knew more than half the world, a promised visit to the park when kept meant more than a world tour, a colour wrapper peeping from dad’s pocket brought more smile than a deal worth a million, when friends would listen even when they understood nothing in the gibberish one blurted while crying… hmmm.

 

Even during times when people ask me to ‘grow up’, I wish I could just stay there, right there, where it was ‘the’ day that I lived for and I ate what my mom cooked for me.

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Harish Bhardwaj

Harish Bhardwaj

Would love to read, write and network.