Before I begin to narrate this story, please forgive my use of English language. I am not in the best of health.
Location: School Playground
Characters: Prem and his Premika (Love and his lover)
‘Prem’ is a tall man with dark skin tone. His eyes are maroon, has sharp carefully carved nose, his hair is long, partially combed. Sporting a fancy goatee with sparse traces of grey hair visible to the naked eye, Prem is lost in a world called sideways. A indefinite state of mind where an Individual is unable to comprehend his/her actions in the day with that of the thoughts in the night, simply; to be read as ‘being’ and ‘to become’.
Prem has arrived in his hometown, a growing metropolis with a million odd population. The geography of this town has changed the least in a decade, proclaimed Prem. The Hajjama (Barber) who was the first to shave Prem’s head, boasts of upgrading his equipments and even renovating the shop. The boy, who dropped newspaper at Prem’s residence, now owns the agency. The agent shares the legacy by imparting similar job profile to the new school going recruits. It costs less Prem anna (Brother), as he bloats in amazing happiness. Surprising enough, Prem is baffled to observe that the Public transport timing near his residence remained the same, since his earliest childhood memories!
Now, in his mid twenties, Prem hates to believe on instinct and yet he follows the philosophy of love in first encounter. His small world is filled with happiness and predominantly occupied by goods purchased with a monetary value.
For a charity basketball playoff, he has been invited by his old school fellas.
Ext – School Premises, Old School Building having pre-independence conservative architecture.
Prem’s school is the oldest in his hometown. The British Christian Missionary started it in the year 1890. The school premise is spread across three different zones, the primary section, the higher secondary section and a Church splitting the two in between. The basketball court is opposite to the newly constructed Church in the higher secondary zone. Prem remembered that the earlier Church was architecturally beautiful as the new. In his school days, boys played hide and seek inside the Church until the day such children were warned of creating nuisance.
Prem reaches the school early. He is enthusiastic of absorbing old memories. The courtyard where the playoff is scheduled is divided by two sets of young lads. They are wearing blue and red jerseys respectively.
Nostalgia, truth and sincere innocence prevailed Prem’s senses. He first visits all the treasure spots inside the school premises, spots such as the toilet, canteen and the unattended backyard. These places have special memories, with sketched and painted toilet interiors to the puffed cigarette buds in the backyard. After a quick survey, Prem is proud that such places remained exactly the same; a reassurance confirming that boys will remain boys. Forever.
He then walks past the corridors. Empty classrooms, blackboards, chalk pieces welcome him. Although the desks looked new, Prem noticed the carvings and love symbols engraved on them. He smiled at his own artistic pursuits as a teenage rebel.
His thoughts navigated to the after school lafdas (fights) between his school mates and with other school punks, all for a pretty girl who might have accidently smiled in the morning. Such was the fear of Prem’s school mates that the Girls in the opposite school rarely held their head high while walking near the campus.
By this moment, Prem wanted to go back in time; time warp. He felt that he had lost himself, trying to be the person he is today. He had forgotten what carefree meant; stress to perform, responsibility to shoulder wants and the drive for a luxurious tomorrow were common factors of deterrent. He was seemingly a lone intruder among a bunch of unknown robots.
He felt the desire to share his feeling. He wanted to meet his soul mate, someone who could bring momentary satisfaction in to his world. He walked past the staff room towards the Church, the staff room incidentally occupied its position since eternity.
In front of the Church, a pretty lady stood unnoticed. Prem is still filled with the warmth of seeking a soul mate, he sturdily approaches her, and she is busy talking to a bunch of girls.
Excuse me. Prem exhales feebly.
The lady is in a hurry, she quickly runs away. Prem tries to understand the situation. He shouts louder, with his hand positioned in mid air, excuse me please!
His view is obstructed, a few bikers ride past him. By the time the dust had settled, youthful lady had vanished in thick air.
Shit! Prem growled with impatience. Missed the opportunity, shit..
He consoled his inner feeling. The riders alighted from their bikes. Prem recognized the old faces. He reached to them, he greeted sincerely. How are you mate? How are you *f#M&% (slang) , follows..
The conversation between school friends meetings after a few leap years is naturally a subject for separate story. For now, let us concentrate on Prem and his Premika.
It turns out during the playoff that the secret crush of Prem was a Coach. She trained the young lads in blue jersey.