Here rang the lunch bell in my school, and there we would be marching enthusiastically towards our generally visited place. Away, “far from the madding crowd”, ha! Interestingly impervious to inviting one and all…a secluded spot in the midst of a green thicket adjoining a highly coveted swimming pool that lay deserted and empty. Those years were spent craving to get into that irresistible reservoir. Though as good as sterile for its hapless water less ambiance, its existence seemed insatiate, for this was all it called for. All these put together, had as though those low frequency calls as made by the elephants inaudible to the general ears…perhaps. For I found a unique fulfillment in that locale, and was never too habituated to it, to have it drone monotony.
It was upon an elevated pedestal like structure i.e. towering slightly higher than the rest of the vast expanse of the landscape. A landscape that constituted the seeming endlessly green football field beyond which lay residences outside the lilting and trusting low rising boundary walls. They really were as I imagine such innocent walls, to the world we now live in, wherein that height would be a mockery to the idea of safety …This pool however had a high wall surrounding it withal. Though it was an altogether different matter that we found ways to sneak into the arms of it once or twice still.
So as the bell would announce the commencement of lunch, I and my dear friend would, with our march along with our humble tiffin’s, reach this back side of the pool. An area out of bounds for the primary and the junior school children, as given to us to understand. But like I said it were these chaste infringements that are characteristic to the temperament of the likes of children born with lesser ability to adapt to the conventional skills of social interaction. So activities like these would perhaps be more fulfilling to the otherwise unexpressed beings, awarding them with a dint of courage at doing things others were not bold or perhaps creative enough to do. All accomplished unintentionally…
Here we were calmly adjusted upon a wide wall that had adequate place for us to spread our platters and ourselves upon it under the canopy of a love showering tree densely drowned in the cool shady patch of a prolific out pour of leaves, offering its affectionate muscular branches a secure entertainment for us once we were done with our lunch. Though I only faintly recall that part, the teen shade was on one side on top of which we could climb and walk, and the other was this wall extending into this huge almost paternal tree further followed by an almost steep downward slope awarding a brisk walk back into the fields on one side and the school building on the other.
Back within no time, as that one generous hour of lunch break would fade into memory of a few miserly moments, from whose treasure chest have I bartered these nostalgic recollections sprinkled with a an urge to reach out to touch it just one more time…Something so much a part of my being, so thoroughly etched in the stone pillars of my regurgitable memory banks, yet so far away as to never get one more chance to touch and feel them as real as they were, once upon a time. ‘Time: the eternal illusion’ seems then, wisely expressed.