I hate you. I always imagined that my departure from your portals would be one of those slow, dramatic ones we see in the movies: Me, in the backseat of my car, heading towards the station to be a part of the celebrated Shatabdi trip one last time, with my school leaving certificate and fond memories, resisting the urge to turn and look for you through the window. Me, with my school leaving certificate and fond memories, wondering if you would watch me go. And hoping you would.
But now I know you will not watch me go at all. Rather, you would be happily preparing for a new crowd: guileless young lads and parents and mountains of their steel trunks. Lads ready to fill my place, my study, my class, my School. Now I know that you will move on. And I hate you for that.
They say your first love is your most memorable one. They lie. You are my first love, but nothing is so memorable about you. Not those evenings when I enjoyed preparing for the Prize Giving play while the rest of the School took their Half Yearlies. Not that wonderful moment when I lifted the Gibson Debate trophy for the School. Neither those lip smacking ‘dabba parties’ that you gave me all the time nor those sleepless nights I spentas a Junior School boy when I was told about Lord Mayo’s ghost trails.The Socials with Mayo Girls, not them.The privileges of finally being shifted into the Black Square, not them.
Do you not know how badly I am smitten by you? With the silhouette of your Main Building, the fragrance of your Mughal Garden, the strength of your Bikaner Pavilion, and the joy of a Mayo Round?
Mayo, I could never make you mine, for the way your desks pulsated with one thousand fingerprints. As if every wall had been leaned upon before, and every doorknob clutched. I could never own you, what with the glorious history the Old Boys left for me to emulate?
When I come back to visit you, would you recognize me? Would the peacocks still stand unafraid, when I walk past them, sensing a familiar face? Will they still serve me delicious butter paneer (yes, I’m a vegetarian) in the dining halls as if I’m their own child? Would I still be applauded and cheered for,for every small achievement in the grand Assembly Hall? Would the Music School still welcome me with arms wide open and cajole me into playing a string here, a chord there, to compose a song, a song as beautiful and melodious as you?
It’s been nine years since we first met, and today you are no longer a campus to me, or an institution or any collection of textbooks. You are a person. A person I would like to tighten my arms around. But I still hate you, for giving me beautiful people only to take them away, for putting me under the arc lights and quietly slipping away. For giving me the chance to mimic my seniors during the house farewells only to be mimicked today. For teaching me how to live life, not just to breathe.
Alright then, stop teasing me now, I accept it. Each day I love you more Mayo, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
(Inspiration: Thought Catalog)