A Stolen Page from High School Diary

Who does not miss school days? The very mention of school makes us nostalgic. It is not an abnormal wish for many of us to have a time machine, which would help us travel back to those amazing years of our lives.

Well, the invention of a time machine may take hundreds or thousands of years. So, it is not a smart idea to keep waiting for a time machine. The only possible option is to bicycle down the memory lane and recollect some of those wonderful moments of our school days, just as I am going to do through this column.

The more we remember those carefree school days, the more nostalgic we become. We, then, used to nag on many petty issues. Homework was the most boring thing next to the Employment News in between the weekend movies on Doorsarshan; class works were equally deadening. Exams made us sick. And the day the school management announced the peikha routine, we would start worrying about how much we are left to study. Who else had more to study?!

Presently, the hectic corporate schedules do not score higher mark than the then list of activities we used to indulge in. Morning and evening tuitions, reading together with friends (which indirectly refers to lesser study, more fun), mom’s braja-taarakpa like esou when you keep watching TV during exam time and of course, asking for more pocket money on the last day of exam to enjoy forbidden snacks or to go for a movie with friends, and the list goes on. The sad part is that there will not be a repeat telecast of all those moments. We can only thank memory lairembi for making us remember all these days. I hope this memory never ever fades away.

Well, many of us would not be reluctant to admit that we, the Manipuris, have this interesting habit of adding a local flavour to most of the Angrazi terms. Hence, we usually call a notebook as ‘boi’ and refer to an instrument box as ‘kompass’, so similar to ‘kompakk’. We even shorten a local term for school bag — ‘lairik khao’ to ‘laikhao’. I am sure this trend continues among the school kids these days.

We need not feign, though. Our typicality is something that makes us stand apart from others. When we say ‘hoten’ (instead of hotel) or ‘hospitaan’ (hospital), we must say it loud and with pride. For that matter, we had never seen the difference between ‘see’ and ‘she’. Alternatively, how would Pink Floyd even sing ‘We don’t need no education’, with a double negative? Grammar Nazis and language ‘oja’ might excuse my opinion in this regard, or take my view just as another opinionated brick in the wall of Manipur Masala.

It was right during our school days that we learned about the art of squandering. Does it sound so fancy a word?

Well, on a positive note, squandering is not at all bad if you squander something that makes you happy. For example, the art of squandering the last page of Hindustan ‘boi’ or any boi was one of the best ever fun we had. That is the page where we would play zero konbi, word building, bingo, name-place and what not. At times, we would simply tear it to write messages to one another or to make a paper plane or boat out of it. That rocket never flew in the sky, that paper boat never sailed in the river but the memories still make us feel good. That’s their beauty!

Life would be a mistress of distress, if we had no good memories to cherish. Equally, films and novels have illustrated how life would be a disaster if we can remember every bit of it. I am thankful to all my classmates, senior and junior friends with whom I share my wonderful memories of school days. Surely, life is an unpredictable odyssey. It is but a part of our fate that we will land up somewhere we earlier expected or never expected before.

We move on loading sacks and sacks of memories in our hearts. Before being wavered amid the humdrums of mortality, we must remember and cherish all the good things and moments we have lived in the past. Long live memory lairembi!

This article was published on 17 March 2013
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