When I think of my earliest days in school, as in when I was a 4 or
5-year-old, I just can't remember any part if it that involved studying or even learning my alphabets. In fact, it's quite startling to think of school without studying. School till the age of 8 years meant the Indian School in Oman.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Indian School is the painful pinchy memories of Francis. A curly haired boy with an angelic expression - that was Francis. I guess only I knew or rather saw the devil in him. Sadly I used to sit beside him and be pinched till the end of school hours. One day it really got too much and I went up to the class teacher and said, "Teacher, teacher, Francis
keeps doing this to me" and showed her what he would do. She asked me, "He pinches you?" I had no idea about the word, so I did the p action for her once again so that she could make out my SMS (save my soul) cry. I learnt the word 'pinch' there for the first time in my life not knowing how it would dog me later as well (as a 12-year-old I was forever chased by a cousin who specialized in pinching. And I was terrified of him even though he was younger than me and was not much more than a puny kid).
Anyways, coming back to my early days, I think it was an extremely blissful period. There were lazy afternoons after school when I would plop in front of TV, hog on cheese balls, gulp down a can of coke and get my quota of Tom and Jerry. This was followed by my daily routine of racing out each evening with Nirupama and Nachiketa (they used to live on the ground floor of our place) in my little blue car towards a huge sandy field.
Later, mom, dad and me would go out for long drives along the sea. I can still recall the salty smell (sigh). A day out at the sea meant me sitting on the beach and staring mournfully at mom and dad, Nachiketa and Nirupama, aunty and uncle, all having a good time splashing about in the waters. While I used to burn with jealousy at the sight of mom hugging Nirupama and playing with. Somehow I always refused to wear my bikini briefs. As a result I could never take off my jeans. So I used to stay on the edges of the beach and satisfy myself with just wetting my ankles.
Oh what wouldn't I give to back to those good old days!
But wait there are bad memories too. For example, our cook who would molest me. Now when I remember, I cringe and wish I could whack the bastard.
Or that one time when my brother drove a pencil through my palm. All I could see was blood and the sugar that my mom sprinkled immediately on the wound.
An embarrassing memory that I can never forget: Every evening before
calling on my two friends, Nirupama and Nachiketa, I would try to pluck a huge flower from their porch. And every evening aunty would open the door at the precise moment that I would extend my hand towards the flower. It was a doomed expedition. Something I could never figure out at that point of time was how she would open the door right at the nick of time every day.
I have to stop now before I can't stop myself. But I have to say this that sometimes rambling on and on is so much of fun.