Where are the swings?


Dressed neatly, my hair tied stiff in a ponytail, I walked in pride holding my father’s hand. My mother had taken special care preparing me for this morning. I knew I was looking my best. I just had to answer all questions smartly and stay confident through some interviews. Oh, my parents! They had said those words at least a hundred times. Don’t worry, Mummy and Papa, I am prepared…

My father had been here and to some other schools as well. It was a transfer and we had moved into this city called Allahabad. While we strode into the gates of St. Mary’s Convent, my eyes peered around looking for swings. It had to be the swings that made any school worth the while? That was the place to be in a school. Wasn’t it. That’s where we played and laughed and ran around unheeded in sheer bliss. My previous school had some trees around the swings too. Climbing them was the biggest attraction of all. So was stoning the succulent tamarinds and chewing on them with one eye barely open or eating the guavas perched like birds on the branches. We were the free birds here. This was the flight into freedom…

Do they have the trees here? This campus seems to go on and on but alas! Oh where are the slides and the swings? I am yet to see them perhaps. They may be further up. The trees are huge. Would I be able to climb this one? One would need a different strategy perhaps…

‘So, do you like the School?’ asked my father. ‘Ummm, there are no swings here, the previous one we went to was better. There were the swings right in front.’ and oh no! this was certainly not the expected answer, my father’s eyes said it better than words. He liked this one better. Reasons I would discover in the years to come.

We stepped into the school office. I could see various rather huge red brick buildings, spacious corridors and large expansive grounds. I could see no end on the horizon. It looked majestic and too too big, a giant monster of a School. One could get lost here. I held my father’s hand even more tightly, but he unclasped it. ‘Good morning,‘ we heard a shrill voice. ‘Sister Evelyn , the principal is here’ someone announced. She was greeting me. It was time for my interview. I had to be on my own. Oh but she cannot be Evelyn! I know Evelyn from ‘He Man.’ We watch the series on television every Sunday and I’ve read the comics too! Is she really the evil Evelyn? ‘Good morning little girl!’ said a louder voice now jerking me back into the real moment. I could barely stammer, ‘Gggggood morning!’ “You are supposed to say, ‘Good morning Sister’ “ said Sister Evelyn…

My journey in my alma mater began!


19 thoughts on “Where are the swings?

  1. Ritu Chopra says:

    The read travels you back to the school days.
    Though personally have never experienced any changes ever during my school life, nevertheless while reading somewhere I could feel your experiences.
    Must compliment on your simplicity and choice of words while writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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