DAV diaries – The red building

by shalinijena

As a small boy, he was the everyday guy we see on the roads eating chaat, cycling about, pacing to and fro the lane, hands clutching few packets and mindful of mother’s instructions, the regular guy who people noticed only when he was loud enough to be heard, or too silent to be curious about. I wouldn’t know what his childhood was like, because I did not know him back then. Even today, when the chance to know about him stands right beside me, I could not pluck up the courage to do so. Am I afraid of him? Is he the intimidating sort? Or is he just too respectable?

I wouldn’t know that either.

He grew up to be a young man with dreams coupled with the capability to fulfill them. He started his career as a teacher in two single-block rooms convinced into a school and taught small children the cbse pattern. Well, to be correct, I don’t know if that is how he started his career, but the aforesaid is what we know him for. He toiled days and sleepless nights to convert this two room apartment into one of the largest and one of the best schools of the country, and even in my school days, I would always remember how proud I felt to be a chandrasekharpur DAVian. There are many people who would want to make fun of this statement, including me, but nonetheless, I would never take that back.

When you are a child, you are not made of pretense or pounded by the pressure of your own views. You are what you are, there is no choice of what you would like to be, and the best part is, no one seems to have a problem with that. I was probably 11 years old (because I don’t have the patience to count backwards, so let it be) when I remember waiting eagerly for my dad, on the cool marble floor trying to watch some TV, few days before my birthday, counting minutes to listen to the biggest news of my life. Yes, I was that desperate to join DAV. Did I like the people studying there? I wouldn’t think that. There was no DAVian I appreciated that much. It was just the greatness of the school. The red painted walls, bricked together to form a huge rectangle but one side. The brown checked tunic that distinguished the red davians from the lot, it’s the distance that was between the building and me that made me want it more than ever.

And I knew I will get it, not because I was capable, not because I passed a written test, but because I was one of the rare ones who did not have to, because I very badly wanted to be there and my father knew and what I knew was, he would do anything to make me happy… It was because of the strange exulting happiness and impounding excitement to spend the rest of my school years in that red building, is the reason why I would never take that statement back… I think my memories have faded to a foggy surface but I could still see the background, and the unexpected poignancy that rises to my throat, proves that I would always love my dear school, I would always respect the man who made it this big and beautiful…

Every beautiful thing is not flawless, and if it is, then it’s no beauty. My school was much like the same. When you become a part of it, you know the ugliness it tries to hide. You don’t know how to get it right, but you know it’s not pleasant and you love talking about it. I did too and I don’t have regrets, because every beautiful thing is not flawless…

Yes, there is more…

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