June 1st, a Monday. Couldn’t be worse. The second half of May is generally grey with pre-Monsoon clouds gathering, announcing the end of the summer vacations as we went about making sure we had the uniforms stitched up, the books bought and bound in brown paper. New bags usually as I was generally bad with bags. New shoes to accommodate the extra inches the legs/feet would have grown over the 3 months. Everything was new, but the clouds formed a veil around the mind as we went about worrying about another summer gone. Another year beginning. New things to learn, new teachers to deal with.
Somehow the school used to sense what we were going through and the first day would be a half day. Yay, we would go, running back home. And from the 2nd, it would be back to business as usual. Teachers, some known from previous years, some new, coming in with reputations of skill with the cane or a good sense of humor, and sometimes both. A legacy of a brother and a cousin to live up to all the time. The same friends moving up, some lost to exams, some new having not managed to advance to the next one. But life went on.
Evenings came with the monsoons in full fury. The footpaths of Chamarajpet turning into a major slush. Raincoats in different colors and sizes, some fitting, some not. Which worked best – wearing the bag outside or inside the raincoat? Outside meant you were more comfortable, while the bag and books got drenched. Inside meant the opposite. Socks and shoes getting drenched and having to leave them overnight under the fans hoping they dry up, or to face the fury of the PT master. Wet shoes were taboo, and the legs were supposed to turn into wood if we wore them. Somehow we never thought of spare shoes!
Somehow through all this, June passed and it was like there was no summer before. Like the rains had always been there and would continue to be there. Like there was no summer and there would be no summer.
I sit here welcoming another June, but with no Monsoons, no rains, while I wistfully check the weather forecast to see when it’ll rain next. June 1st sadly holds nothing anymore. No heavy hearts at a summer gone, no meeting up friends again, simply put, nothing new to look forward to that day. That’s the way life is…