I had been thinking of what to write, and finally after a lot of tussle with my thoughts I decided to share the phase of my life which paved way to what I am today. It’s too difficult to share it in such a short space, can actually write a book on it, so I would be brief and would write it in two parts as I don’t want you all to go through the pain of reading it all at once :).
Was seven when Mom and Dad took me on a drive to a school which was in the outskirts of Ranchi, it had a massive campus, dad had told me its spread on 200 acres of land which I definitely didn’t understand at that time. I just liked the fact that it had huge playgrounds and lots of kids playing. Later realised that Mom and Dad were preparing me for my life changing experience.
1991: I was 9, looked 6, was driven down to the same school again, everything was same as the last time except that I was wearing the school uniform as I had seen the kids wearing and had a big steel trunk loaded with clothes and things. I was exhilarated and happy about the fact that I would be staying at a place which had so many kids and I can make lots of friends and play all as much I wanted. The idea of being away from the family had not struck me yet. Reached school, I was given a roll number, 842, this was going to be my name for the next 7 years, yes we were called by our roll numbers and not by names. Infact I didn’t even know the names of some of my friends by the time we had passed out of the school. I was shown the room, it had 3 beds and wardrobes, there were no door and windows, it was just open spaces. They said it was not there to check the students from doing anything wrong. Wondered what wrong could I do? Yes I was at my innocent best at that time, unfazed by the good and bad, I was all good and bad didn’t exist for me. I was introduced to my housemaster Mr. Mankad, who was also the school yoga teacher, was the beginning of an informal relationship as I was eventually set to lead the school Yoga team. Mom had organised my wardrobe, made my bed, gave me the last most advises, and it was time for them to leave. I saw them off with a smile; mom had red eyes and was trying to be silent, Dad and Dodo (that’s my bro) looked sad, and were forcing themselves to smile, they left and I kept looking at the car till it had disappeared. I got back to my room, relaxed, met some guys from my batch, had dinner, slept. This was my first day of living alone and away from my family.
Woke up at 3 in the morning and for the first time in life felt what loneliness was, for the first time felt what luxury of being at home was and how much I loved my family. I had tears in my eyes and felt breathless, wanted to cry aloud but couldn’t. I wanted to run back home but knew it was impossible, so wished I could lock myself away from the eyes of everyone, I wished I was invisible and unheard. I didn’t feel like even going out of my room, but had to get into the school routine, which added to the pain. In the afternoon mom, dad and dodo gave me a surprise visit, brought me smile with tears. Later got to know that my room-mate had told the housemaster about my crying, so Mr. Mankad had called my Dad to inform that I was being a cry baby, and they should come and see me. Mom and Dad asked me to be strong and learn things and make friends and asked me never to cry again as they were always around. That was the second last time I cried for being away from home and started the journey of endless adventure and learning and the inception of my new life.