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Figs, Cracks, & Bannisters

Growing up, every adult that I knew of, felt very uncomfortable with change, especially if it was one that was in contradiction to their own nature.

Then why, I wondered, were children expected to adapt to change?

Did it ever occur to them that we might not like changes too?

No one asked me if I wanted to move cities. They just assumed I would be okay, leaving a city I loved; a city that moulded me for fourteen years.

A city I called home.

So much, and so many things, left undiscovered.

What of my friends?

What about Sania, a hurricane at 4 feet and 9 inches who could take on anybody (and I mean, anybody) but could not handle herself in the tube rail.

Who would save her from second-hand embarrassment and prevent her from falling flat on her face?

The few friends who I had learnt to adjust to, amidst the constant competition that pits us against one another? A select few with whom my competition was a healthy one?

Couldn’t my mother find a job in the city?

I was really happy for her. So was everyone else in the family. It was her dream job after all; one of the best private schools in the country had offered her the position of senior teacher.

So I pretended to go with the flow because I was on my way to becoming an adult.

And that’s what adults do, right? pretend to be happy when they aren’t, to not kill the “vibe”.

My aunt always said, “Life always gives you things that you don’t like at first so that you can learn what adjustments are all about.” And I really wish she wasn’t right about it

If there’s anything that I disliked as a concept, it was a boarding school.

Naturally, I would have to leave everything I have here, and go and make adjustments. A new school. Would it be a building that had stood tall for a hundred and fifty years like the one I had spent my childhood in? Would it have a rustic church with bannisters? And old banyan trees? Stairs that would creek as you snuck in a hurry because you were late for assembly? Old arched windows through which the sun shone in colours blue, green and red as it hung low, ready to go home when we were, sharp at 4:30 pm?

The shrill noise of the bell put a rather rude halt to my train of grievances.

It was time for my last class on my last day at the place I called my second home.

I walked back to the hundred and fifty-year-old building, trying to consciously remember every crack in the ground that my feet encountered, should I never find something similar in the new chapter of life.

Something in me knew I wouldn’t.

Maybe I would learn to cherish the cracks that would appear on that different path.


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