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Whenever I walk by the street of my old school, “Ship of Theseus” paradox only comes to mind. With almost every single brick of the old one being replaced, right from the name board to the color and design of uniform, except for the location, nothing else is same. The place or whatever little area inside the campus that was our playground has been used for ramping up the building count. The small garden kind of a place with its plantain trees dotted by mushrooms is probably buried deep under the basement of the new building. That red oxide painted sarukku maram has been long demolished to make way for extending the KG classes. That thatched roof hut, where the aaya stayed with her daughter, the cross poles, minus the swing, where she had tied her dogs, has been replaced with canteen block. The toilet, how can I not remember them!! There were just actually there were three. But one of them was always dumped with some rubbish or other. Of the two Indian style toilets, with classes only till 5th, it was common for both boys and girls. I don’t remember seeing any sections for any of those classes. So literally its one class per section till 5th. Not much crowd as compared to present day standards. Still, just two toilets for the whole bunch. Now that I think of it, wonder where the teachers and staff went!! I couldn’t quite present how traumatic an experience it was and when I shifted school, it was a huge surprise for me to see so many toilets across so many blocks. Another thing about the school that has been replaced much to my chagrin is the school bell. It was an iron rod kind of thing, hanging from ceiling , which the aaya would ring with another iron rod. Hardly audible sound beyond few classes inside the premises. Yet would be watching out for the sound to rush out. There was this small shed which was our cafeteria/eating area where we seat on cement floor and had lunch, served hot from home by mom. Most of the kids stayed in nearby streets and our mom would bring lunch for us. Will dump everything as quickly as possible and would try to play in remaining time during lunch. Extending our play hours as much as we can, much to the irritation of my mom, for she would’ve walked all the way in hot sun to bring me lunch and the ingrateful me wouldn’t even bother two hoots about her, more interested to chase around with my class mates.

Some memories are hard to forget, impossible to erase and would be forever fresh. This is one such set that I never want to not remember.


Ramesh said…
Yes indeed. School somehow figures time frozen in our minds. But, of course, time waits for no one.

On the toilets - why the problem ?? Wasn't there a maram around !!!

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