Friday, August 20, 2010

Long Day Ahead

It was yet early. It was cool, the air was fresh, the sun's rays warm. Balancing folder, book and materials on my arm, I stepped out. The corridor was bright and bare. The walls, though not much past a decade old, looked wan and worn. There were scattered pools of water on the floor below where the ceiling leaked. At the part of a pillar where ran a constant trickle of water from one of the many leaks, green moss grew. Occasionally, the drip of droplets broke the morning stillness.

The journey down two flights of stairs was without encounters. The steps, perhaps not quite wide enough, perhaps sometimes slippery, proved a precarious path for someone like me. Spots of discolouration and permanent stains visible here and there on them. The pale beige railing, scratched and chipped in places, showed patches of the darker shade of the layer of paint beneath. Out of the corner of my eyes, I caught a glimpse of a friendly face at a distance. He saw me too. I was thankful for the sweet, dazzling smile he gave, for it somewhat lifted a little off the impending gloom of that day.

Stepping into the corridor of the other wing, I felt intensely the stark difference in temperature. In that early hour, there were few about; the fully-blasting air-conditioner combined with low lighting made a very bleak picture, tinged in a bluish hue. Apart from the low hum of cold air blowing out of the vents, it was hushed; my heels made distinct clacks with each step I took. The first room I passed, I saw just one person - the one who would be teaching. There, in the semi-darkness, he sat - how forlorn and pitiful, I thought. How deplorable times have become, that he who made it on time sat alone in an empty room, accompanied only by the unoccupied chairs, waiting for those upon whom he would impart knowledge.

I passed two more rooms to mine - it's just as empty. I stepped in, and hoped the wait would not drain too much of my patience, for the longest day of my week had just started.

No comments: