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Iceberg Amidst The Desert Sands

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A short, imaginative autobiography of a student who finds it difficult initially to get moulded into a totally new sphere of society, school, teachers and friends, and finally finds the ultimatum of life, true happiness!

“It all happened when we moved from the town we were living in. It was an unexpected, quick decision which I think should never have been taken. At least, the cause for that decision should never have revealed itself. It truly is very hard to forget all those precious moments I experienced there. Even the small events turned to memories, because, memories signify the past, the history; something you can never reach back for. Not now, not forever. I was able to feel it deep down in my heart. My school, it was a wonderful institution where I was moulded into what I am today. My teachers, I feel they are next to the God, who taught us not just the syllabus, but also to explore that unique masterpiece hidden within each one of us. I have been under them for the past seven years, and I feel I have already become a part of the place. I did not in the least want to part from it.

I remember my first day at my old school, blinking at all the new faces, who blinked back just as perplexed as me. Little did I know that we were all going to be the best of friends in the mere future. No, I did not know it back then. All throughout the years, the petty and trivial fights, the laughter, the cooperation, the coordination, the debates, the discussions, the little things of exchange, the sharing, the happiness, the grief, the celebration, the victories, the success, the failures, the ideas, the teamwork, the planning, the club activities and so on, served as the manure for the tree of a strong friendship-combined-education. All the things we did together led by our teachers are now mere memories; a transition from the present into the past, clashing with the future. But it is all gone! Gone forever!

The last day before I left my house, I looked out the window and just thought for a second if I could take that whole scenery from that place with me, and go. Or maybe I could have just uprooted the whole town and planted it in the place where we were moving to. Or I could have just brought all my teachers and my friends to my new school. At least by doing this, I wouldn’t have felt so lonely. But, it just happens in fairy tales. I was stroking the walls of my house gently, looking at the house all vacated, which once used to shine with shimmering lights in all rooms. I opened the door of each room and gave a last look at them, a look that I can never be able to give them after that. I turned off the lights in each room and felt the house darken gradually; a feeling that crept into me slowly. It felt as if my life was darkening and everything of me was being put off. My parents were busy packing everything, but I felt I was fainting, in the inside. I felt weak. I wondered for a moment if I ever had any energy left in me. My legs were giving away, and I shivered. Suddenly, everything seemed cold around me. Everything was calm and serene, but I was still shivering with cold; biting cold. The coldness was peculiar. I was breathing heavily as if I had been running for the past two hours, but still it was terrible cold.

The moon was a beautiful crescent. How lucky the moon is! She goes around the Earth always and never does deviate from that path. No one would ask her to go and revolve around Mars or Mercury. She really is blessed, I thought. I gathered myself as I drank some water from a bottle. The water seemed to calm me. Then, I walked into the emptied kitchen and found a broken pencil lying on the floor. I picked it up and carefully put it in my bag. I did not wish to leave back anything, not even a broken pencil. Father was very busy loading everything in the car, and mother was helping him. Meanwhile, I recollected everything from my first day till the last day at school. I have not informed any of my friends anything about leaving the school. The last day, I was pretending to be casual and as if everything was just as usual, although only I knew it wasn't. I just did not want to get them worried with the matter, and I was quite afraid I might break into tears if I ever started talking about this to them. I did not tell my teachers either. I listened to each and every word of every single teacher so keenly that day, as if by that I could stay back in my school forever, though I knew it was not in the least possible. I felt tears near my eyes as I struggled to hold them back. In the evening, I bid my last goodbye to them. They bid back cheerfully, but I did not, yet I tried to keep a wide smile on my face all the same. I wish I had more time: more time to tell all my teachers how blessed I was to have been under them; more time to explain it all to my friends and share the last of us, not worrying whether the Sun was moving from the East to West or from the West to East; more time to be a student at my school and work for it and represent it everywhere I go. My school and my teachers laid the foundation on which I built everything of me.

In the evening, I gave a last look at my school as the school bus left the campus. The gates closed. I wished the bus would move slower. The feeling is painful; it pierces straight through the heart: to be a part of something and then getting separated from it. I was trying very hard to hold back my tears. I looked around to confirm that none of them had noticed me with my face all woebegone. But nobody did, because everything was usual. How can I expect them to know that everything is not usual? After all, this has nothing to do with them. No doubt everyone were in a cheerful mood. I gathered myself from getting scattered all over. Life is an amazingly huge ocean of varied experiences. If it had not been for my leaving the school, that last day could have been yet another regular day. But, things change within a fraction of second. It was one great lesson life taught me that day.

Little did any of them know I would never come to the school after that. Little did I expect I would never be able to sit in my classroom, noting down everything being written on the board, speaking up during the discussion classes, looking out the window into the greenery during the recess hours, getting involved in the club activities, running from corridor to corridor to get the responsibilities properly attended to, conducting the morning assemblies every Monday, having sports matches twice a week, picking stones from the school grounds, taking seminars in the class, listening to the words of the teachers, worrying over the results of the test and preparing for another test simultaneously, sharing holiday experiences during the lunch time, collecting the notebooks from the class students to the Staff room, doing computer practicals, getting scoldings from teachers when the class starts to bubble up with too much noise when there is no staff in the class, doing project works and so on.

I gathered myself for the second time that night. I heard mother call me to come out of the house so she could lock the house. Lock the house? I thought. It took time for me to regain consciousness once again. Before getting in the car, I gave a final look at the house and took in the last long breath of the night air of the place, noticed the branches of the trees sway gently, and got in. The buzzing lights of the town rushed past as quick as a bolt of lightning, as if in a dream. Everything was usual, except me, I thought. It made me feel guilty when I thought I have left, not even thanking my teachers for what they have taught me. Is this how I respect them? But, I made up my mind to follow their teachings, and that could be the only way by which I can become one of their true disciples.

My first day at my new school. Too many new faces this time as the school was too very big for words. I, initially, thought it was a small university. I felt like a fish fished out of a “school” and put in the deep waters of a never-ending, unknown ocean. When I returned home that day, I cried thinking if I can get through my new atmosphere. I lost courage, confidence, and everything that could have helped me prove the one I am. But I lost all of them in the very beginning. Days were hard to pass and I was left to count the number of stars in the sky. I went into the school proudly with my new uniform as if I had been in the school for the past ten years. That felt really good to be one among and walk along with an unacquainted group of students, than to be turned and looked at as if an alien has just jumped in from outer space. I got on well with my teachers and the students of the class. The truth was, I liked my new school, but I missed my old school.

Days passed by, and I stood first in my first class test and also won a prize in a writing competition. These small victories helped me regain my potential bit by bit. Still, I’m not aware of most of the rules and regulations in this school. But, I have faith I will get on well soon enough. I find my teachers very encouraging and I love it in here, really. The school library and books help me from not feeling lonely. The truth is: this is my hometown. Yes, this indeed is my hometown. We moved from here when I was very young. Since I had spent many years, almost like seven years, in the old place, I liked it there more than in here at the start. I realized I should learn to take life as it was. Because, when we learn to take life as it is, we find true happiness, just like I did. It was a different kind of happiness there and a different kind here. But the permanent kind of happiness lies where everything is looked at from the same angle, like a worldly point of view. That is what we call life!”

The more we get used to something, the more difficult it becomes to part from it. But, when we learn to carry all kinds of loads, light or heavy, with ease, then even the heaviest burden feels as light as a feather. There lies the challenge of life and the outcome, the key to true happiness!



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