Sunday was the day when a make belief world would be created in junior school when prisoners would role-play as free civilians. So much so, that some prisoners were actually allowed to walk out of the oh-so-feared wooden gates! Those lucky few were boys & girls who had an elder sister in senior girls’ school. Fortunately, I was one of them. So, I had the first-hand experience of stepping out of those high-teethed olive-green gates & stroll down the slopes of the road to a much better green valley, then again rally up a steep rise and walk into senior girls’ school campus. Those 40 minutes or so, spent with your sister were some really sweet and happy times, initially. As you moved to higher classes and hence were in senior boys’ school, you were not sure how much time would you actually get to talk to your sister, about each other. You were the postman, delivering & exchanging messages, letters, small gifts & sometimes, farewell speeches of the eternal lovers of our times. Not that we didn’t like it, frankly. For those couple of hours, when one lover is prepping you, was almost like making a movie. There was an idea. There was a script, some very racy, lucid, romantic, funny and sometimes, sad dialogues. There were real & imaginary characters (mostly competition to the lover). Sometimes, a situation was of an upcoming social event and hence a possibility to see each other. These meetings were really special since conversations would mostly be in quick sign language. Some special glances would keep the fire burning till the next such school gathering. The more daring lovers would meet in the school hospital. The conversation still was in sign language but a little more spaced out.
Anyhow, back in senior girls’ school playing field, while visiting your sister, you were treated a lot differently, when you came as a little sweet innocent kid from junior school, against how you would be scrutinized and scanned with piercing eyes of the teacher on duty, when you visited from senior boys’ school. Naturally so. And at that time, we really believed, we were the smartest and could actually fool the teachers, every time. Now that I look back and think, the teachers actually created those “loose moments” when something had to happen. They would look at you, your movements and then move out of sight and back in sight again just for those right few moments so that you can hand over the “stuff” to your sister and she could hide them in her book, sleeves or under the long pullover she wore today specifically for this job. Even the day of Rakhi wasn’t spared! Boys would smuggle gifts for love birds in the garb of Rakhi gifts for sisters. I think some sisters would be really jealous of some of these girls receiving these gifts. In fact, am sure, some sisters would be receiving such gifts through another brother! Who knows. The bro-code was to never spill the beans, lady finger or curd!!
Sunday of course, was also the day of other kinds of freedom. We had ‘late rising’, no morning prep-time, a much easier breakfast menu and an entire day of binge TV watching, including the national news for deaf & dumb, in between the regional movie. In junior school, kids were sent to their dormitories for Sunday siesta! That was magical. Most would sleep, some were lucky enough to get hold of some comics to read and there were some not so lucky ones who were listed to have a haircut. As it is, the hair cut was a problem. To top it, not being able to clean your head and clothes after the haircut would mean itching across your back of the head, shoulders & back etc, the entire evening and night.
In senior school, one could not get a bed for a siesta. Some boys would find pretty soft, cozy and shady (I only mean tree shade!!) places to have a nap. Seniors would be in a much-relaxed mood but still dangerous, the not-so-junior classes would be planning how to screw lives of juniors. And juniors would be, well, preparing for their lives to get screwed. Sunday, though was special for a rare lot of eternal lovers and their ‘innocent’ delivery boys who were ready to script the best ever love story in Mussoorie Hills.
– Kanishka Mallick (1996 Batch)
1990s Kanishka Mallick Late Rising Sunday