April 15, 2017 Keshavpur
All eyes were on the board trying to catch what the teacher was writing. The school was about to close for summer vacations and Mrs. Kaur was giving holidays homework. She had assured everyone that it will be fun homework for the summer vacations. Raghu’s eyes were looking for Shyam uncle who would come and ring the bell. Raghu used to feel very proud of his place in the class. From his seat, he used to get a good view of the right side of the playground and the pillar where the bell was. Today the playground was empty – today the school was only for two hours. The students were asked to come to pick their new books and take their homework. Raghu looked at Karan who was intently noting down the homework from the blackboard.
Raghu and Karan had been together in this school since five years. They were 5 years old when they joined this school in 1st grade. Karan was staying back in Keshavpur this vacation. His parents had some work commitments and they were not going anywhere out this time. He was feeling sad thinking how boring would be his summer vacations. He had planned to finish all his homework in the first week and spend the remaining weeks of vacation watching Spiderman movies.
Raghu was imagining his mother packing his bags and preparing food items for their train journey tomorrow. A smile crossed his face thinking about enjoying his food on train and passing through fields and many cities. It would be an eight hours journey. He was going to meet his grandfather as he has been doing every summer vacation. He always felt that his mother was more calm and happy in Krsna Nagar then in Keshavpur where she was always running after things managing house and her studio. It was only during this time that Raghu will see his parents, Meera and Kanti Dev talking less about work and more about their lives.
Raghu’s father Kanti Dev was a government officer and was considered a sharp brain among his friends. Raghu was used to seeing the confluence of practical approach of his father with the imaginative world of his mother, who was an artist in his home.
But he was not happy today. Karan will be alone in Keshavpur because his mother had some important assignment to work upon this month. He wondered how much fun it would be if Karan could also join him to his grandfather’s house.
He had noted down what the teacher had written on the board and looked around. Every one was discussing about their vacation plans. Mrs. Kaur turned away from the board and gave a pleasant smile to all the students. She was the favorite teacher of the class and every student wanted her to be their class teacher in the next session also. She told them that they will get to know when they join the school in July. Raghu realised that even Mrs. Kaur was looking impatiently for the bell to ring. And finally Raghu saw Shyam uncle approaching the pillar and chiming the bell. All the children packed their bags and ran out of the class exchanging best wishes for the vacations.
Raghu and Karan started walking towards the gate. Karan was to spend today’s afternoon at Raghu’s house. Raghu’s mother, Meera had already prepared their favourite sandwiches and shakes. Once home, both Raghu and Karan switched on the movie and started relishing their lunch. Meera Dev entered the room with a smile and sat beside the kids. “So Karan, what about your summer vacation plan”, Meera asked. Karan made a sad face said, “no plans aunty. I will be here throughout the vacations.” Meera laughed and put her hands on Karan’s head with love and asked – Would you like to join us to Raghu’s grandmother’s house. Karan and Raghu burst out with cheers when they came to know that their parents have already made the arrangements for Karan and Raghu to go together to Raghu’s grandparents’ house in Krsna Nagar.
Part 2…coming soon….