Monday, December 22, 2008

A much used maroon sweater

It's a chilly winter morning
The types I cannot imagine waking up at six
And getting into a school uniform.
And yet I did exactly so
Ten to twelve years ago
With sleepy eyes, a heavy head, cajoling mum
A hot cup of tea waiting for me
Bag packed by aaji and lunch made my mummy
Off to school after a wait for the public bus.
O what fun it was, hoards of students waiting at the bus stand
At six thirty those frosty mornings, Baba standing beside me
making small jokes, pointing a puppy here or there,
We dreamt big on those cold mornings, we still do.

And then the bus would suddenly come, and I would rush
Leave him behind and shove my way in the crowd
Once inside, wave him a smile again.
He would always wait a few minutes after I left
Lest I would jump back again for want of change,
Or a forgotten book,
Or with a frown say, 'no mood', I want to go back home
He would wait till he was sure I was safely on my way.

I would have by then lost my sleep
And get worried about the rounds of school
for getting late again.
We walked our way from the bus stand to school
and walked the way back, Reni and me.
And got scolded for taking a five rupee rick out of lazyness.

The PT sir would dye his hair once a month
to a startling, dazzling jet black
And everyday he coloured thus, I broke into giggles right on his face
After that running about the school campus,
I would finally slag up to the class.

Friends would smile that fond smile that said, 'Late again!'
I would scamper for a text book
And Reni or Rupal or Sanjana would slide their text towards me
We would push and shove the book on our sides and thus would start a game;
And giggle and talk in whispers and pens till teacher said 'ssshhhhh'
Then after the lunch break, we would get rid of the maroon sweaters
Knot these on the shoulder or the waist
Or simply dump them on the bench and gossip about at length...

Gone are those early mornings of rush that I try to get hold of even now
Those were different winters, this is a different cold...


neilina said...

ooooh.........I miss those days!

Sara said...

Very touching...makes me nostalgic.And we had to wear the maroon sweater and blazer in winter too...12 years of maroon made me sick of that color then,but now how I wish I could go back into that time.

Priya said...

And I had to read this while I was already homesick :D

I miss those miss those days...

Fangs said...

this was awesome!

reminded me exactly of my routine..
though i was never late..

Calliopia said...

This made me really nostalgic too. Though I never really had to get up that early. Great piece.

Rajesh said...

Wow!!!! Touching!! Nostalgic!! What else?? A lovely narration.,..made me go back to my school days...lovely!!!

Count me a regular here...

mesjay said...

Lovely, sweet, charming. Long ago days always have these appeals, don't they? They didn't feel great then, but you look back on them with longing. And oh, your dad was sooo good!

Gauri Gharpure said...

thanks all... am glad u liked this extremely lengthy account. somehow i remember school a lot more in winter.. :)

Apurva said...

hey got 2 read ur blog thru hardik...though i dunn knw u bt tis blog of urs is too good me nostalgic..soo true those days wnt b back agn !

Frisbee said...

Wah Va..!!

Those were different winters,this is a different cold..!!

Kya line yaar.... really touched me..!!

VIDYA said...

Wow... you totally thawed me!!!...I was in a bitter mood,but your lovely poem has made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :) I was reminded of my childhood days in Calcutta (it was Calcutta back then).Strangely,I too had to don a maroon sweater and climb up to this bridge,whilst i was half asleep,and wait for my school bus.