a writing by Satheesan Rangorath

______________________ 6/07/2008

I was wading through a dream where prince and princes riding a golden chariot.The sky was lit with golden bright flames. I was flying among cloud with my elder cousin, she was holding my hand like an angel, and I liked her beautiful attire and dark hair. Although I had met her during my holidays, we had such a close relationship that I loved to keep as our intellect did match to our tastes. In my state cousins are like dear sisters and brothers. Only maternal uncle’s daughters and sons got married to. Not cousins of mother’s sisters (AUNTIES). So readers need not think wrongly about our friendship.

Suddenly a thunderbolt woke me up from bed. It is going to be dawn soon it was raining outside with strong wind and heavy raindrops. The cold was very severe. My body was shivering, as my blanket was not enough to keep me warm, as Mananthwadi is about four to five thousand feet from sea levels. My school starts today. I was feeling little lazy to get out of bed. Although, thrill of starting school made me get up early. Schools starts at 10 am, there was enough time to get started as school is near to our new home stand on a hilltop. Biting cold did not stop me From getting up early. My father had already started his daily chorus, I can hear him cleaning his teeth and cleaning his tongue with lot of noises like starting
Of a truck, this gives a lot of prolonged starting trouble in cold climate. AfterBath he stared saying his prayers loudly. In between, he called me twice asking me to get up. It was a great day for him too as his first son starts schooling. I was thrilled about wearing new clothes. Imagining about my day at the school I got up from bed.

My mother had already up and preparing breakfast and lunch together. My father takes his lunch in a lunch carrier to his school. My sister was still in bed enjoying the morning cold. She does not have to go to school Grandma was up she was wearing holy ash on her forehead after morning prayers. She was preparing her betel leaves and tobacco for chewing. After break fast, I got myself ready for school my father had bought a leather bag for me I stuffed it with a slate for writing, then text books , a Malayalam reader, math, science social studies and history. I completed studies for first and second standard from home and I was tested for my skills, so that I can join directly in standard three. I successfully passed through the tests and joining in third standard. During those days, teachers were sincere but bit merciless and cruel in punishing their students. I really was afraid to go to school Because of fear of punishments from class teacher. In those days teachers fully used
their skills in punishing children. There cannot be any escape from their one or two slaps or pinch as class progress. Parents never bothered to ask teachers why their children are being subjected to severe punishments. Teachers were respected and accepted as such and nobody questioned them for fear of their curse on their children.

It was about 9 am. School starts at 10 am. Our neighbor’s children were studying in the same school where I joined. Therefore, my parents were relieved of taking me to school. Remember it is going to be my first day at school and first experience, as I had not attended school like children of my age. I am going to join third standard straight away. I was very much afraid and in lost moods. My neighbor comforted me and gave me confidence. Although, he is in the same class he was more experienced than I am since he was attending school from class one. I was bit timid and jealous seeing his Efficiency is carrying his books and umbrella. I was excited and nervous while thinking about my new life in school. That morning I could not eat breakfast properly. As the time approaches for my departure my stomach seemed to come out of my mouth. I had to go the latrine with loose motion because of fear. Somehow I managed to come out and joined with Jayan my new friend. He helped me carry my school bag run down the mud road. The road was muddy and slippery due to rain all night. Jayna introduced me to his friends who are waiting for us to join them.There was a cute little girl in frilled frock. She had hair tied up with a roll of jasmine on her tuft. She smiled at me and offered a gooseberry . I was hesitant to take it from her. Since I refused she offered me colour chalk piece, which I accepted. Road was busy with school goers of all category some seems to be going to high school.Clusters of boys and girls were moving slowly discussing everything under the sun.I could not concentrate on anything. My stomach was giving me convulsions.Oh No. rain started to fall again, usually it happens on the day when schools are
opened monsoon starts in full swing. Jayan took my hand as we had to climb a small hill to reach school. It was very muddy one had to be careful while trekking up hill.
At last we reached school……………….

My story will continue in next installment.

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