Monochrome pictures of colourful memories

The photos have now turned yellow and the corners curled, but the memories will remain fresh for the rest of my life.

It is a treasure that I would cherish throughout my life. In my wardrobe, wrapped in a velvet bag, it lies. If you think it must be some treasured heirloom or a pricey gift, you would be wrong. It is indeed priceless—a compilation of my primary school photos clicked on different occasions.
The collection is a medley of emotions. A picture is worth a thousand words, goes the saying. As I thumbed through the album, which was arranged chronologically, my mind raced back to my evergreen school days. My first day in school, the friends I made, the catfights we had, the excursions I went to and the competitions I took part in. Though in black and white, the photos inundate me with colourful memories.

My strong liking for extracurricular activities made me participate in most of the competitions. Perhaps I enjoyed them more because the rehearsal sessions were an escape from the confines of the classroom. The fancy dress contest in which I took part reminds me of the fear of public speaking that I suffered from. It blanked my memory, forcing my teacher to prompt me the lines from 
behind the screen. Later my teacher played a pivotal role in alleviating my fear and fine-tuning my potential.

The incident that made me turn away from sports was a random click by the school photographer during sports day. It showed me searching for the lemon that I dropped midway in the lemon and spoon race. This made me the laughing stock of the class and left me in tears. Anger, resentment and sadness stopped me from taking part in sports competitions despite the persuasion of my parents and physical education teacher.

The class photo taken at the end of every year would have us squabbling with each other as to who would sit next to our favourite teacher, but soon we would settle down listening to her sermons. Whenever I glance at these photos, moments—hilarious, sombre or otherwise—pop out of my well-preserved memory bank and they rejuvenate me.

The famous playwright Oscar Wilde said, “Memory is the diary that we all carry about with.” With no goals to chase, every moment of primary school life was savoured. We loved, we fought and we cried, but we were inseparable. The photos have now turned yellow and the corners curled, but the memories will remain fresh for the rest of my life.

Latha Gopalakrishnan


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