Few days back , my school organized Annul alumani meet.
I was in Navodaya Vidhayalaya , a boarding school scheme launched by central government, especially designed for the children coming from rural background and for those who could not avail good education otherwise..
Few of my school friends set up facebook page on that event and put very emotional, heart-touching messages refreshing memories of those golden days.
I felt so compelled to join the meet. If my responsibilities could have allowed me then I must had joined the event.After all, that was one of the rare opportunities to relish the fading memories of school days..
But you know the harsh reality of life ..Reality to put everything behind and to earn livelihood first.
I had to console myself with facebook updates and pictures of the event ,posted by my friends.
A much of water has flowed under the bridge since schooldays but those pictures of friends were enough to pull my thought engine into deep recesses of my memories.
Ahhh..those were the days..
Those were the days when there were friends all around . Those were the days when there were no tensions
of making money, buying home.Those were the days when life was happy and blossoming at it's own and there was no need of smart phones , Facebook , twitter to feel lively.
Ahhh..I get nostalgic thinking about this all .
But wait a minute here...Were those really the best days of my life?..
How those could be?
There i was . A thin, small boy , forced at that tender age into strange and unknown tiny world of hostel.
I was trapped,deprived of my freedom . I was forced to spent my childhood away from my near and dear ones.I was away from my mother .
While my village buddies were making most of their childhood playing 'chor sipayi' in open fields and eating all those delicious plums from those far away plum shrubs , i was forced to mug up books in congested dormitories.Discipline of school was sickening. Every day our physical education teacher used to whistle at sharp four am and within fifteen minutes, we all small, delicate souls had to line up for daily exercise in open fileds...
Breakfast was rationed on equal basis and even if you had hunger for more , you had to do with 2 pieces of aaloo paranthas or other item on the menu of the day.
There were good,loving teachers but devils were also there to shake us to the bones.
Going back to school after summer and winter breaks was like going to hell..
And those were the moments when i'd committed heinous sins of wishing disastrous things to happen.
Yes, i used to pray to God to give heart attack to my principal so as I could go back to my home and had free life.I'd pray to God to send most horrifying flood to my school area to swallow school building and to relieve me from that bondage.I'd pray to God to send most powerful earthquake to my school to collapse the building and to set me free.
Thank God, Thanks to you for being so mature and for not listening to those prayers.
Don't demonize me here. I was not the only one cursing there..I am sure most of my school friends must had committed such thought crimes...
I was shy and hesitant so never tried to run away . But there were those who were bold and brave enough and who literally made successful-unsuccessful attempts to run away.
What surprises me here, is unequivocal rosy description of those days by all of my friends.
And I am not an exception here.All praises those days of hostel life. All go nostalgic. Not a single word of regret of missing childhood.
What exactly is this? Why this contradiction?...
Why my mind who was totally against that situation and was in constant conflict , how the same mind percieves those memories as something to cherish now,...something so memorable...
What lead to this radical shift ?Ideally it shold have stored those memories as bad memories . something to forget.But no...It twiseted...
Over the time my mind retouched those memories of childhood.Those memories got edited . Labels got changed.Most of my village chums didn't perform as good as i did in my later part of life.
At least in the eyes of my society . I made better and more promising career. My tougher schooling gave me comparatively better foundation to lay the bricks of future.
Over the time my subconscious compared me and my village chums and out of that comparison came a sense of fulfillment . As this sense of fulfillment and satisfaction came from my schooling ,tags on previous bitter memories of school days got changed. Bad became good.My subconscious also compares my current life with those old twisted memories.Mind seeks some solace in always rushing ,stupidly serious life. Twisted view of past memories give it much needed high.
I am sure twenty years down the line ,this same stupid mind would turn my not -so- exciting present into a fairy tale and then will follow the nostaliga that will boast of my youth and will make my old , deteriorating self moan in depravity of golden days which in real never do exist...