Underneath The Banyan Tree… I grew.
Thirty years after, and this time ten years longer, the ghost of Rip Van Winkle within me decided to wake up from the isolato life he was sleeping in and longed towards the nostalgic shadow of the Banyan Tree.
Pulled by the earthy scent of the red gravel my feet tottered up the most familiar path. Trying to move faster than they needed to, I reached at the MSOSA dinner party one hour ahead of the schedule… and thankfully so, there were so many memory cards up for grab.
That scintillating shine off the basket ball court where the Tilak, Nehru, Lajpat and Bose were standing in groups ready to barge into the assembly session. The schmaltz sphere called Sir Shankar Lal Hall…I wish I could indulge in the customary ritual of taking my shoe off beside the entry gate and enter into the assembly of rising stars… and I did… I found myself sitting on those circular stairs at the far right end of the stage, prayer band to my right, waiting for Mr Bakshi’s daily sermon to get over and when he will call my name to deliver the talk of the day….that didn’t happen and instead he called out for a girl to sing …ये दौलत भी ले लो …
I walked alongside the sweet memories that took me to a void where alluring mermaids were swimming in the twilight reflection of the blue waters.
‘ Were they preparing for a competition or performing to a gallery of spectators ?’
Tipping over the edge of a memory lane, I waddled among the conviviality of an era bygone. There was a cricket ground that was transformed to accommodate a Diwali-Mela, a house function, a science symposium and a tumult of zombies rushing through a narrow staircase heading home at the sound of closing bell… I saw it all flashing past my visual bioscope.
‘Underneath the majestic Banyan Tree Munchi, Cookie and Sethi were playing Hand-cricket, there was talk of Tilla and fear of Talli in the corridors.’
But today, as I stood facing the front facade of that grandeur image called Modern School, watching the zombies that had metamorphosed themselves into persona elegance dancing merrily through the carnival of life… the only feeling I had was that of admiration and regard.
I stood by the Banyan, flipping through the old pages… mesmerised. Under the shining beam of light and with the ornamentation of the aeroplane, the globe and the Tank and with symbol of our pride crowning his glory the majestic facade of my Alma Mater, the architect of my evolution, looked lovelier than ever.