Saturday, October 24, 2015

From one Child to another

When I was very young, I
was sent away to a school
near the hills - Welham School,
Dehra Dun. A very good school, said Ma.
I did not understand why my mother or my father
would send me away- I was a kind boy,
but then what do children know about
what adults think?

Do you know what adults

I cried a lot that day, when daddy left me there,
it was long ago, a summer’s day-
and I cried and cried and only cried, and whoosh
 I fell asleep. I don’t remember dreaming that
night; you forget your childhood dreams
when you are old. There were others, you know,
who would cry for months through the night-
we boys would first ask them to shut up and it
won’t work so we would make fun of them, each
one of them, of their tears and of their parents.
We would tell jokes and make merry, and we will
always stick by- us together, us against the world.
All those years- between geometry and grammar, between
stories from the Bible and false prayers we
learned to smile, we learned to smile and to
make fun.

And with each passing day we healed-
and healed. Home is everywhere. Home is
in this valley.

I am an adult now, and sometimes when
I visit Dehra I always pass by my old
school whose vistas haven’t changed
much. In the silent valley it stays hidden
safe from the touch of time, safe with
memories and dreams of a thousand children-
safe and merry, merry and safe. Do the
children still wet their beds?

Do they often

I am an adult now and I do not know
what adults think, but when the day
breaks and I am back in the big city;
in the big city where my child sleeps
in his little home safe from tears,

I always make merry and I always
make fun.