Some things can never be forgotten. For me, it’s my Farewell. As we entered the 9th grade, we officially became the gang of the senior high school and grabbed the golden ticket to the Farewell Assembly of the outgoing batch… Ever since I first attended the event, up till my own farewell in 2019, I was amazed by how people remember their 14 years back first day of school!

“… and I clearly remember waiting at the bus stop, bouncing around in my shiny slicker in that early morning fog, all nervous. As I saw the bus approaching, I took a deep breath, marched over in my pink backpack bouncing along behind me and I climbed right up those steps.” She continued to narrate her experiences, right from her waiting at the bus stop, to her first day of school, and glimpses of different grade levels. I was simply amazed by her vivid recollection of junior school. Did she actually remembered all this or was it merely a product of her visual imagery? Only she knew!

It was only after 3 years…

…that the day had finally come where I got to ditch my school uniform in favour of some red-carpet threads. From scouting almost every market in Delhi, to exploring my mom’s wardrobes for the perfect saree, acing the farewell look was a real struggle! It was made sure that the blouse was bought and altered well in advance and that the footwear was matched. The time had come to bid adieu to my loved school mates who had become family and the institution which had become my second home.

Sitting in the same auditorium where I was 3 years ago, I realised that the school life isn’t defined by the events of 14 years, but by 2 days: the day we walk in, and the day we walk out of these gates. It didn’t matter whether it was her vivid imagery or actual recollections, but how beautifully she had described her first day of school that made me want to be that little girl, waiting for the bus in that early morning fog. 

That evening was different. It was not just the last function for our batch; the end of a segment of our lives, but more than that, that cannot be explained and consequently a paradoxical silence dawns upon me. And as I looked around to catch one last glimpse of some familiar faces, I can’t help but think to myself that life shall never be the same again…