Last Day at School

The last days of one’s long stay anywhere are usually as sad as memorable. The place oneloves to stay in cannot be left for good (forever) without thoughts that bring tears to theeyes and grief to the hearts. Who will not accept that the college is a place which astudent will never like to leave happily? It was perhaps my saddest experience that Iunderwent on my last day in college, just before the preparatory holidays before the present examination. I got lip early in the morning thinking that I should go to college early and stay there latefinally to say farewell to the mother of knowledge, that is, my college.

When I reachedthere on the sunny April morning, the flowers were smiling and the trees were welcomingme by stretching out their branches far into the air. Passing by the flowerbeds along thelong road covered with the most attractive trees of the area, 1 reached the main buildingwhere I was to attend my first class of the day. It was the English language class and theteacher, Mr. Tayyab Siddique, was standing before us smiling in his usual frank andhomely way. He shook his head at us, laughed a little and then kept quiet. ”What day is itmy students? he asked us. ”Sir, it is Tuesday. ” ”No,” he replied,” It is the last day for allof us together. ” Our teacher taught us a short poem by Wordsworth in a most movingway, and then engaged us in conversation. He recalled some incidents in our class of some minor quarrels and his own anger at them. Then he asked us to forget all past bitterness and be friends again. He brought to our minds some pleasant happenings,especially our outings together into the countryside and our cricket and football matchesin the college grounds.

The classes on the last day following the English class were full of interest and funr There was teaching, but there were jokes and discussions too leading to some hearty promises between teachers and students not to forget each other. After the classes, someof us decided to go round the most favourite spots on the campus. The first place we went to was the college cafeteria, the usual centre of refreshments, jokes, gossips and petty quarrels. Mir Sahib sitting at the counter welcomed us feelingour passionate moods.

We had some cold drinks and snacks together and exchange^ our addresses and discussed our future plans. As 1 stood up with my class-fellows to leavethe cafeteria, I felt the burden of thoughts and feelings crushing me heavily as we werestepping out amidst the loud talk and clamour (loud confused noise) of other studentseating and drinking and making merry. Inen we started for the college hostel, and passing over the green lawns and throughsymmetrical hedges, reached the New Hostel. There I found several of our juniors,ra year students, perhaps waiting for us anxiously T’^v were clapping and waving a ! envelope directed at us. I went close to them, took the envelope, and at once pened it upto find a beautifully written invitation to a variety show in the evening. About half an hour later, I returned home from the hostel after a familiar chat with the junior students and other friends. In the evening, I returned to college to watch the variety show in the hostel which was, infact, a farewell show for the departing fourth year students. The singers and actorssurprisingly included our English and science teachers and junior and senior students.

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Afew guest singers from other colleges also took part in the variety i -•… -aj-. ime. ThePrincipal and Vice-Principal at the end spoke over the microphone narrating some fine jokes and reproducing some experiences of their stay in the college concerning especiallythe performance of the outgoing fourth year class in studies and sports. And, with the endof the speeches, ended all our formal connections with our beloved college. The teachersand students bade farewell to us with the best of wishes, and we bade farewell to themwith respect and love.

From the noises and laughter of the grand gathering in the spreading lawns of the collegewe came out into the stillness of darkness and night. Weighed down with a heavy heartand moving along the lonely road on my bicycle late at night, I was feeling the greatestloss of my life-the loss of college life, for my parents were already planning to send me toa university for post-graduate studies-and the maturity of university life was perhaps nocomparison with the simplicity and innocence of college life

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