My Last Day At School

School is what I miss the most in my life. It has been a long time since I said goodbye to the place where I had been every day for nearly a decade of my childhood. Life inside the boundary walls of the school premises was the biggest, and finest part of that era.

The memories associated are vivid and too many to recount each and every one of them, but what I remember, and think others would remember too, is the events of the last day at school. 

We were given a week-long study leave before the commencement of board exams to do the revision at home. So, our farewell got pushed till the end of our practice exams. As is the custom, the party was arranged by the 9th graders in our honor.

The arrangement was on the school grounds, which were arranged like the inside of the marquee. I was sort of impressed by the theme of the setting because being the senior class, we were not expecting the juniors to do this good (we were sort of arrogant back then). The atmosphere was happy, vibrant with colors, and lively. Thankfully, there was no speech, quiz, or games competition for the occasion (it used to get boring when these things happen during school annual functions) so, hats off to the juniors for not making us sit through them.

Our headmaster was a strict and serious person for as long as I have been in school. That day, for the first time, we listened to every word of the short speech he made. It was another surprise when he called us by our names, he knew each of the 10th graders by their name, which was unexpected for us because we thought he doesn’t know our names except for the few famous and infamous ones. He called us one by one on the stage, shook hands, patted our backs and the photographer took our photos.

Our subject teachers were happy for us (I hope it was not because we were leaving the school). It was a friendly environment, like a family gathering where the kids are comfortable around elders. Since the event started in the late evening, dinner was also on the menu. It was similar to the ‘shadi ka khana that we all know, but it was special for us which made it taste a lot better than usual. The unlimited supply of cold drinks was the icing on the cake and later I counted over 2 dozen bottles on and under the table where we sat (there were 7 kids on that table).

Unexpectedly, I felt heavy-hearted when the final hour of the farewell party came. I realized I am not going to be coming back to this place after today. My school friends might be left behind because of the different fields and colleges we will be choosing after our result comes out in a couple of months. It was the feeling of loss that hit me, and it hit me hard. The happy faces were sort of gloomy and less talkative now, maybe they were going through the same emotions I was going through. It was a collective emotion that made us come together and we decided to get another session of group photos.

The best I can remember is that even those kids who used to dislike and have some quantity of hatred for each other were huddled together. I have been a sensitive and emotional person for as long as I can remember, and the last day at school depressed me a lot. It was not just the feeling of sadness that took control of my emotions, it was the realization of the loss we were looking at. Just like at the end of a book that had engrossed you, you don’t want it to end, you long for more of that storyline, more adventures of the characters from the book, I wanted the school to continue, I so strongly desired to have more time in the story of my school life that it nearly made me cry a bit.

We stayed on the ground, no one was in a hurry to go home, at least the 10th graders stayed while the juniors started to leave in groups. Then our headmaster, who have been sitting at the staff table came to the huddle of the soon to be ex-students, looked at us for several seconds then said that once a year all the previous students are welcome to the school for a remembrance party, said goodbye and left.

It was a comforting moment for the majority of kids and for me obviously. With that, the farewell officially ended and my last day at school came to a logical end.


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