Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carmel School, Rourkela

Some 5 years back when the school celebrated our (silver jubilee) alumni meet I was not aware and hence did not attend but happened to see a picture of our school in the internet. That picture was instantly downloaded and was my desktop picture for a long time. That’s the bond that I will have forever with my school.

When I stepped into the school after all these years, all else was forgotten. I wanted to first go and visit my classroom but held on patiently. But once beyond Sister’s room, I bounded two steps at a time to go to ‘my’ classroom…XB. My steps faltered as I stepped into the same class room after all these years. The first image was that of Mrs. Bose sitting in that chair and knowing that she was our class-teacher and the first day in her class…uff...soooooooooooo many memories…can go on…I literally started jumping up and down JUST to think that I was back here. Everything came rushing back as Valson and I recounted all those days.

I was excitedly pointing out the different things/places and it is thanks to my son who unknown to me was quick in capturing all those memories which excited his mother so much. I am so glad my son was there with me as he could actually see where his mother studied. And did I imagine all those years ago that thirty years later my son would stand in the same place where his then 16 year old mother’s feet had walked?! Amazing feeling. For those 40 minutes everything was forgotten as I floated dreamily to each of these special nooks.

It just DOESN’T seem like 30 years. Especially when you revisit, all those years simply vanish.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Going back to Rourkela

1992 was when we people left Rourkela and after that I never went back. Every time longing to go back and re-live those carefree days. My breath, my life, my existence everything seems to have been left behind in the air of Rourkela.

Being a part of Rkl-mates group, there was a get-together planned of people from across schools. I was truly looking forward to it hoping to meet some of my class mates.At the same time I was prepared to be disappointed with the meet and it truly was. But the point was to be at Rkl and that succeeded.

As I stepped on to the Rkl soil and took a deeeeeeeeeep breath of Rkl-air, I was vibrating with life. The 22nd of December when winter had begun and the breath condensed into smoke circles...As I stepped outside the station, I tried to look back and recall whether the railway station was the same or had it changed? The rickshaws outside were still there. Our hotel was at old Rourkela...imagine coming home and having to stay at a hotel!

As I entered the township, my eyes were greedily lapping up the ring road scene...not sure of where it started...some roads seeming familiar and some we were taken through the Engineering road with which I wasn't too familiar even then..all that I knew very well was the road from sector 20 to Old Rourkela...the road which led to our college and the road from Sector 20 to Carmel school via IGH & Nehru maidan. It seems the Nehru maidan is no longer used for the Dushera celebration when we kids used to gather to watch Ravan getting 'killed' year after year by 'Rama'.

The sad part was seeing the houses which were our first homes in such dilapidated conditions. What were the vast beautiful garden where we played seemed to have shrunk to just a pocket sized piece of land.Had the house and the accompanying space shrunk or is it because I was seeing it after so many years? The gardens which had won so many prizes for being the most beautiful one in the township...

Meeting people from back much has changed and so much has remained the same...but what I came back with is enough memories to last me this life time.