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Days when all routes led to my school
I still remember those two routes to my school - the longer one let us meet more friends on the way and the shorter one helped when we were in hurry. But then there were more roads that led to my school and some of them, I transgressed.

WALKING ACROSS to the school in those days seemed simply like jumping across the road and then walking uphill the Laitumkhrah Bazar, taking a swivel to the right and then there was the school gate. It was a matter of five minutes. After entering, the tennis court was on the right and every day it was the same tennis court with the same white linings. Sometimes the early birds would play warm up games in the morning around seven.

School timings were 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. but I made it a point to reach by 8.30 a.m. That meant many things. Firstly, there was enough time to stroll around and also sometimes to have a kick at the football in the main field. However, as we entered into the senior classes we realised that there were circuitous routes to the school, which would help not only in passing time but also a kind of walking around and meeting friends.

There were two such routes one was a longer one past a field where football matches were played and we preferred that. It was a longer walk and more friends to meet on the way. The shortest route was forsaken by the time we reached classes X and XI. Only when we were in hurry or when we wanted to watch movies in school did we take the shortest route then.

But the shortest had a unique charm. It was a walk through winding roads, climbing uphill overlooking a cricket or a football field with whispering pines all around. And moreover as I said there was the charming tennis court, which bludgeoned in my mind even today especially in dreams. The tennis court had a net, which was rather scrappy and a little torn, its lines were jaded but it had a charming aura. A playing field besides it, another one behind it. And then past it swerving amidst narrow lanes you were soon climbing the steps leading to the school premise. And then the grand old bell. How it rang. I could even hear it from my house, its booming rhythmic incantation.  

There were many roads to school. And some of them I transgressed.

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