March is here again

Shylaja Pillay

Hey March, you marched and came before time

Wasn’t it you who sowed the seeds of panic?

Wasn’t it you the killjoy, who took my joy away?

Going to school was awaited daily,

Meeting my friends was the routine of the day.

But everything changed one day,

As Covid-19 gripped and twined around.

And you changed everything for me-

What I missed, can’t be explained in words.

Hey, March, you are here again

To add on one more year.

Now I am back in school

To give my final exams

But with a strange feeling,

I lack the excitement I had before,

To meet my friends and sit and chat.  

Is the school there only to write the exam and pass?

Mask and sanitizer is part of the uniform

You must wear a smile as your make up,

My teacher had told me once.

But whom to greet with a smile that is masked?

I want to share jokes, with my friends

But can’t

Nor can I share the snacks

Going to the labs is a dream,

Visiting the library, yet another dream.

Lunch breaks are missed,

Much missed are the pranks with friends,

To refresh my playful days,

Could not steal time to jump in the sandpit.

Missed is the swinging on the Banyan roots,

Papers were rolled into balls during breaks

Going to refresh room was always a long way

Reaching the class after the bell was “cool”

In the corridor I met

My friends from the other class

But a voice from behind said,

“Please go back to your respective classes”

Hey March, I want to do it all again.

My teachers served me lunch

And shared the table with me

A sermon on balanced diet

Was also served in the plate

All I missed- the sharing and caring

The love, laughter and fun

Hey March, Why are you here so soon?

You turned everything “online” from “in line”

And kept me away from my school

My beautiful alma mater,

I missed your serene premises

The family of peacocks and peahens,

The twitch and stop of squirrels around,

The Seven Sisters breaking the silence,

And the parakeets adding to the songs,  

An occasional hare crossing the corridor,

A yellow tree pie hanging on the coconut leaves,

The koo-koo of the cuckoo,

The ibis that feeds on the “noodles”,

The sunbird that relishes nectar,

All make me want to come back to my school.

Now I am back in my school,

Once again to feel the fragrance

Of the star jasmine, peacock flowers and madhumalalti

Hey March, thanks for bringing me back here again,

Let me experience it all again.

The author works as a PGT Biology for the past 22 years in NDDB sponsored School, Anandalaya, Anand, Gujarat. She can be reached at [email protected]

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