It’s Sunday and unlike most countries around the world, this day marks the beginning of the week in U.A.E. So the last two days were weekend, and the popular topic of discussion in my family was ‘BACK TO SCHOOL’! My siblings start school today and the weekend was utilized in buying stationery, school bags and uniforms for them. When I went to the mall, I realized how much difference there is between my school days and my siblings’ time.
Thanks to excessive marketing and advertising, going back to school has become another reason to go on a shopping spree. School shopping was a necessity back in the late 90s and the past decade. It has now become more of a trend, another asset to flaunt. The concept of branding has influenced adults so much that even kids like my 9-year old sister want a ‘Hello Kitty’ than an ordinary pink-colored bag. Would you believe it when I say that we spent 4 hours at the mall to buy these goodies for 3 of my siblings? The place was sickeningly crowded and all around me, I could see innovative school merchandise. ‘The Avengers’, ‘Hellboy’, ‘Captain America’ bags, tiffins, water bottles, stationery for young, naughty boys and Cinderellas and Hello Kitties for the chirpy and excited girls. There were bright colored, beautifully designed notebooks that make you feel like writing all the time. There were cute pens, pencils and pouches that made me consider buying them just because they are cute. Deep down, I was actually harboring a bit of an envy. I was almost irritated that I didn’t get to choose from this much of a variety when I was a kid.
Envy aside, I also felt nostalgia hit me really bad as I realized I missed my school days. School was a place I loved, even when I was a kid. I remember that my friends would hate the thought of going back to school after vacations, but I actually used to count down the days when I would go back to school and read new stories in English class, visit the school library, eat the mini pizzas from the canteen and play dodge ball with friends in break and P.E. I loved (still do, as a matter of fact) the smell of new books and I always promised myself at the beginning of the year that I would write in them neatly (handwriting has been an issue for me all my life) and maintain my books really well. Promises would break but my love for going to school never faded. I am working as a full-time employee now and am at the brink of my career, but part of me misses the school and college days. Part of me thirsts to be back in a class, learn something new and make up for the time my teen ignorant self so foolishly wasted. I also miss how carefree I was back then. I was known as the ‘joker’ of my class in school. I had a weird habit those days that whenever I used to be scolded by a teacher or fall in any kind of trouble, I always felt like laughing. It was like an immune response. I was immune to scoldings and lectures. I never felt really bad, although I did feel embarrassed. But I always took comments from others in a positive way. I can’t say whether I really worked on my weaknesses but I never used to maintain an enmity or emotions like hatred towards anyone, teacher or student. I still try to maintain this habit in my daily life, but being a kid is simply less complicated I guess. The adult mind does not think so simply, it has a whole lot of influencing factors.
Another part of my brain is haunted by memories of a particular teacher of Mathematics I was taught by in Grade 6. She was evil and made my life hell for a year. I remember her curly hair adorning her face that always had a sarcastic smile on; I remember her soft, threatening voice, cold and terrifying and I still feel the chills down my spine and I ask myself, ‘do I want to experience that again?’ Haha, I guess not. Definitely not.
So, I come back to reality, thank God for wherever I am right now, and complete this post and get back to work.