The Lonely Class Room

21 11 2005

This will be the last time,
When I sit dreaming in this room.
MB 302 – Yes, my first year classroom.

The majestic view of Sahyadri – humble as ever,
With towering heights.
I saw his passionate kiss with the eternal sky,
Once again covered up with a diaphanous shawl of snow,
On this yet another November morning.
He smiled to me, after a span of over four years.
“Welcome dear old friend.”
So did I and thanked him
For those meditative moments of silence
That we shared.
For that effervescent zeal of life
That he taught me.
And the humility hidden in the magnanimity of heights;
The lesson he reserved to reveal for another day.
Yes, that day did come.

The thirty two benches greeted me.
I don’t remember whether some of my old friends were taken away.
They recognized me and said “welcome dear old friend”.

I am lonely here.
Here in my old classroom, invigilating an examination.
Perhaps, the room never felt loneliness.
Except may be in those few cold days in December.
And the long warm and wet days from May to July.
She has her friends greeting all the time.
In various languages; with smile, gloom or even anger.
Yes, that is friendship too.
For she know that they convey something unique to her.

I see anxious faces.
Some scratching their heads.
And some biting nails or pen tips.
In deed, this is a mathematics examination.

I see through their hearts.
The shattered colourful hopes,
In a mad race to grab CGPA’s.
The lost solace at heart to look beyond the window
Towards the Sahyadri that beckons them.
I see their moulded dreams,
Innocent and so human, but set by the inorganic structures that be.
Their worries,
Over flowing out from the cage, where their spirits are locked.
The rigid walls – holy be their name.

Yes, I see the old me among them.
May be to some extend……
For I know that I am lonely here.
And loneliness too is a lesson in life.

“So what did you learn my friend?”
They asked uni vocally.
All of them – the benches and walls inside,
Sahyadri from the distance and the OAT down below.
I thought, I meditated and answer was there.
“I learn that I learned through you.
That learning is never complete.
That my lessons were never limited to the lectures in here.
That loneliness has a timelessness and so is a solitude.
That when I turn back my pages of life,
Every moment I lived had a unique signature.
That you, MB 302, are one among the innumerable gurus I had,
Who taught me how to learn.
And finally, that what you served is the greatest purpose of a teacher.
To show the path, but never indoctrinate.”

It is time to part my friends ……
The three hours of examination are about to be over.
We have to part now, for may be yet another encounter.
Who knows. Isn’t it?
And yes, I love you …………

– Ayyappadas A. M. (21st November 2005, MB 302, REC Calicut- now known as NIT Calicut)