So often I travel or else keep dreaming about traveling. Nothing excites me more than to discover new places at times revisit places. Old Delhi my favourite tourist destination places over there I walk so often. There is a constant urge to walk through the lanes next to jama masjid. Every other month I feel like driving down to pushkar. Almost every year I make a couple of trips to Mathura. Travel, travel and more travel that’s all I dream of. But strangely enough few short distances I could never travel for such a long time. It took me around fifteen years to step back those couple of hundred kilometers and revisit my school. The school from where I completed my studies in 1993. Like a loser I left the school building after seeing my marks of my board exams. And that was the day I decided to walk out and walk away. Life had been colourfull ever since. The good came with bad here and there, hiding here and showing up there. Most of it had been good. And I had been trying to go as far as possible from my school days. In attempt to do so I had been able to do so up to some extent. Often I meet old school friends share emails at times a bottle of beer, but I make sure that I never step back to our old school.
That little distance I was scared to travel for years and eventually I forgot about making a visit. I used to cross the street look at the building smile at myself but never enter the gate. Years had past since the colour of the building changed. The colour of the uniform had changed. Students have changed. So had our principal. Still it’s the same old school. The man selling ice-cream outside have changed, now he has grey hair.
What else, what else have changed. Who knows. How will I know if I never enter the building. What is there that I am avoiding who knows. After years of hide ‘n’ seek I gathered the courage last week to walk through those gates. walked all around, met some of my old teachers. Some remembered my face, though they had mostly forgotten. The rest remembered my name. some of them had grown thinner, some had added on weight. But the corridors were the same, the rooms the same, the benches were the same. The the botany lab assistant was the same, the gate-keeper was the same. The play ground was the same. The smile and warmth my teachers showed was the same, as if it were yesterday. Then what had changed.
I had changed. I no more was scared of those teachers, I had no more fear of the play-ground. The stuff written on the black boards were no more of a confusion.
Yes only I had changed. And nothing else.