"Sa.One to the rescue...I'm coming!" someone screamed from behind. Just one among the many crazy ones around. I turned to pack my bag, only to find it missing. Looked like they were playing catch with my bag as well, among the other flying objects. I went over to my classroom's front in search of my bag. Before I could begin the search, I was shoved off for interrupting a game of football with a shoe. So the flying shoe was not my imagination.
Someone was playing tabala from the corner. Probably practising for our assembly programme. Just then, there was a call from down below, "Oolamamavasugola" Ahh...that was our 'underground don'. 'Underground' because he stayed under the bench. His head alone popped outside from beneath the desk, "Oxygen cylinder please!" he panted. I felt a tap from behind. My best friend stepped forth, her eyes darting from me to the underground don. "We need a skulblakaherz." she said. That was our little code language. Before he or I could reply, we heard a shriek from near the window.
All heads turned to the boy with spiked hair, who was holding the 'football' shoe outside the grills of the window. "I'm gonna throw it off...I'm serious!" he said with a grin. At a distance stood 'Sa.One the superhero', who was shaking his head. And doom, the one at the window let go of the shoe, which fell four floors down. Our eyes widened as the 'superhero' took off his second shoe and ran out to get his first. The 'spike hair' went after him, and we followed suit. Our 'don', being underground, took a while to catch up.
This was our little gang once upon a time. Friends in need, friends indeed...like the above mentioned scenario of a fallen shoe! The five of us climbed four flights of stairs back to our classroom after getting the shoe. Oops. The teacher had already gotten in. My bestie and I mumbled 'bathroom' and got in, but sir wouldn't buy that story from the boys! So they told the true story- "Sir, my shoe fell out of the window accidentally, and we went to get it." He had proof since he was wearing only one shoe at the moment. Sir's eyebrows were raised, "The window? By accident?"
Alas! He took away one of the shoes, and our 'superhero' had to wear my spare pair of shoes which was in the classroom cupboard. How my extra pair got in there is a different story altogether. I remember that day, when I reached home...the first thing mom asked me was this- "Why was he wearing your shoes today?"
Though my mom was a teacher in the school, there was no possibility of her knowing about 'my' shoes. I still wonder how in the world she came to know about it.
The shoe story is only one among myriads. But that was once upon a time. It is sometimes hard to believe how much time can change. After all, change is the only thing that is constant, there is no good and bad of it. People come and go in our lives, but sometimes we get lucky enough to find someone who stays. For that someone, distance and time don't matter. For that someone, the bond remains taut, because it was always meant to be.
But for some, the bond loosens up as the distance grows, and yet others drift off with the passage of time. A few days ago, I happened to see our so called 'underground don' across the road during a walk. We waved at each other and moved on. I'd once imagined us to be that one crazy gang that wouldn't ever break off. Never once did I imagine our bond to end up with a mere wave across the road.
Our roads were common at first, but now it has led us off to different directions. Maybe the roads would meet again. Maybe they never would. Though the bond may disappear, there is something that never will. Memories. It is silly to whine, thinking we don't have the past anymore. Instead, it is better to look back and smile, for having a past worth remembering.
The old chapter's done. Another one has begun. Life has to go on. We do what we can with it, and leave the rest to fate. So for the present, I just prepare for what's ahead. As for the past, I can only smile for once being able to rescue a shoe with a sweetly insane group of unforgettable friends.