Friday, October 30, 2015

Discovering that I like books more than people

I am euphoric. My father is being transferred to Calcutta. We are in a train - in a first class compartment. So far, I have only traveled by 3rd class. I feel important. Today, though I am deeply embarrassed by my feelings of the time.

I am not going to miss the school in Delhi. Aside from the miserable experience of having to recite poetry, all I can recall is standing at the school bus stop in a blazer wondering if the bus has already gone or am I early.

It is a few months till my father gets a government flat from one the various priority queues. Its location is in the C row, where the flats are for clerical staff except that a couple of flats are kept for special cases like my father's. The class consciousness of the government officials' families was very noticeable. As soon as any of the children knew my address, they would wander off.

I spend my time reading books from the National Library. I read a lot. I have a rather peculiar way of bragging about it. When the exams came, especially the finals, I am bored. I keep up with the studies during the year and just cannot spend much time revising. (I am finally doing well in my studies though my parents never highlighted any of it.) The 60+ in humanities and 80+ in maths and science keep me among the top few students.

During one of the exams, I found Anand Math - a pretty thick and heavy book for a pre-teen but I enjoyed reading it during the classes when we were supposed to be quiet and revising.

Given my attitude, I can easily appreciate now that while my fellow students were friendly with me, there was no closeness with anyone. I miss that today.