All I Could Feel

Fear. That’s what I feel as I stand in front of the iron gates. The ones with gargoyle mounting them at both ends. The ones that tower high enough to prevent me from discerning where they originate from and where they end. The ones that symbolize a bridge between my old life and my new one. The ones that are a point of entry into a life teeming with a multitude of emotions and feelings. For all I can wonder is whether or not I will fall in love with this city, this school and its people. Whether or not I will be accepted and fit in the new community.

Anticipation. That’s what I feel as I take my first step through those gates and meander along a path made of bricks of varied hues. Blue. Will my teacher be as amiable and compassionate as Miss Honey from Matilda? Green. Will the lunch lady provide me with an extra pudding for being the most obedient child? Orange. Will my peers be brats and snitches or the little angels that adults often paint children to be? Yellow. Will I be able to cope with the assignments and projects and studies? Red, and a few bricks that had found their colours faded over time.

Will I be the red brick- happy, energetic, unique and vibrant; or will I be the faded one- afraid, doubtful, lonely and silent?

Anxiety. That’s what I feel as my head spins in every direction, untrained eyes searching carefully for my classroom. The corridor is long, tiled in shiny white, flanked on the right with numerous classrooms and decorated soft-boards and on the left with a plain blue sky. There’s a pastel green chart with mathematical tables written neatly. I wonder if I’ll ever be good at Mathematics or whether it’ll be as difficult as my older brother felt it to be. There’s a fire extinguisher, it’s painted orange, it stands out from the blue wall that it has been pinned on. I feel curious, I wonder if it has ever been used. I want to learn how to use it. Suddenly, a beige door catches my eye. It’s glossy, newly painted and decorated with oil paintings of butterflies and a ‘Class VI’ made out of golden origami.

Nervous. That's how I was feeling, but when I stepped inside my classroom, my fear was washed over by a wave of warmth. I was greeted by the confident and welcoming smile of my class teacher. My classmates too smiled at me affectionately through their rosy cheeks and parted lips that stretched from end to end. I set my bag on the ground and when I straightened my back, I was greeted with a handshake by Ishan, a boy with the warmest hands I knew. His palm fell into the cusp of mine and his slender fingers brushed the initials of my wrist.

“I’m Ishan. I like your hair.”, he stated. My cheeks flushed and my face flashed. Before him, no one had ever said anything nice about my hair. He made me forget all my worry instantly, the panic and the teeming anxiety. I felt strangely happy from talking to a complete stranger.

“Welcome to Vidya Niketan, Aksh, would you mind telling the class something about yourself?”

As I stood up, my eyes met with Ishan’s. A small smile crept on his face and it grew wider as I spoke. His patient gaze and soft smile slowed my brain that had dreaded this moment; my brain that skipped thoughts and felt feelings at the speed of light.

“I’m Aksh. I’m eleven like the rest of you, and just like my Aai, I want to be a pilot one day.”

Authors: Vedant Vaswani and VR Kapse

Editor: Charu Sabharwal

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