The day had just begun, around nine, yes for some it’s half the day gone by already. Life seemed to be moving in slow motion to me at least. There was a rush where the heart is for reasons I have yet to decipher. The aristocratic sun in its full bloom followed my each step as I walked to the Amal tas Block. The new block in the entire campus stood like a freshman student among the beautifully adorned lawn patches, a variety of seasonal flowers to accompany the trees planted by colonial British.
I walked among the tall trees that talked of their long existence even before I came into this world. I thought to myself of the many stories the wise trees keep as secrets with them; stories of the students before me and the students before them and of the ones before them. They are the very old, sari clad ladies who annually visit this college as alumni to have a little tryst with the trees and attend a function and talk about the days gone by. I resolute to myself to never attend the OAKS when I get old and wrinkly, never come back to this place to share my stories of young days.
I imagine for a while the campus and the strange, ghost like aura it carries when night falls, the trees whisper to each other. I wonder if they talk about the old students, share their secrets with each other. Do our stories also become part of the whisper? I think of the trees and the campus submerged in the pool of darkness because I have seen how it looks at night; bizarre and quiet, the tall trees even taller and the footpaths dark and solemn. The buried stories of ghosts and spirits float in the air, suddenly the beautiful campus surrounded by foliage turns into a haunted place.
The campus is different in the morning. Free of mysterious stories about spirits, strange echoing voices the students before us experienced and passed it on to others to eventually reach us. Some kind of an heirloom.
Morning changes everything. As I walk past the same paths, the red bricks, the tall towers I feel the bond that developed somewhere in the past 4 years. Maybe when I get out I will attend the OAKS.
The trees were a lively green and yellow, dancing to the gentle wind. The waiting part is the hardest I thought to myself and found a marble slab along the red brick building to sit on. Some bird’s shit, dried up, stained the marble slab. I found my space and sat, part of me waiting for the wait to get over, and part of me carrying my heavy heart. The yellow flowers kept falling like belle dancers moving rhythmically and beautifully on their toes. I began watching the peculiar yellow flowers bid farewell to the tree branches, the lush green leaves they paired with. To the gentle wind they twirled and swirled and danced in slow poised movements to eventually fall and rest on the earth like a dead being lowered to its grave. For long I sat there, watching a young bird and listened to its long shrilly calls to someone not in sight.
When later I walked away, I left my heart behind…