Words on the Wall

There are hundreds and thousands of experiences, places, people and incidents in a person’s life that contribute in shaping and defining the individual characteristics, aspirations, motivations and the way of life. We go on living those experiences and accumulating knowledge about the world around us barely realizing that with every moment we are taking shape into something which is beyond our own recognition.

And there comes a time in everyone’s life when we question our own existence, when we want to know who we really are, or why we are the way we are. That’s the time to make sense of the inner world and revisit memories, this time to make sense of self.

So, here I am on a journey to know me through my memories and experiences. Happy Journey!

Place: the entrance courtyard of Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Adampur

Time: somewhere between year 1985 to 1987

This school was where mom used to teach and I studied. There are several memories attached to this school. But one that I always remember is that I loved the building of the school a lot. From a child’s perspective, the school was huge, the classrooms were high ceiling, and the grounds were huge. Perhaps all kind of sports grounds could have been built in the school grounds. The courtyard was my favourite place though. This was no less in size. It could accommodate all the students of the school and teachers and would still not feel full. There was a massive and perhaps quite old Peepal tree right in the middle of the courtyard. We would play around the tree and I loved to walk on the dry fallen leaves making that “Crumble” sound. I could be busy hopping from one leaf to another for hours and still would not get bored.

The courtyard had running veranda on three sides, where classrooms were. There were red painted pillars supporting the Veranda. These pillars were in pairs and each pair was probably at a distance of 6-7 feet. The pillars would be approximately 7 feet high and then there was this wall covering the rest of the height till the roof. This wall was very special because there were writings on this wall all across the three sides of the courtyard. The words of wisdom, written in both Hindi and English. These words were common sayings, couplets from Kabir, Rahim, the philosophy, the guiding principles, the extracts from Indian literature like Vishnu Samhita.

I do not recall everything that was written on those walls. But I do remember that I used to read those words every day. I would not understand all of them back then, would ask Papa for the meaning at several times, but I would still read them every time. I would go on repeating those words and crushing the leaves in the courtyard.

And now after all these years, I do realize the impact of those words on me. It seems I did not just read them; I absorbed them in my life. They become my guiding principles and values for life. Eventually I understood the meaning of all those words as well. However, even before I could understand, those words were a strong part of me.

And I am blessed to have read the words of wisdom, and not something that would have corrupted my soul.

I come to believe that words are alive, whether spoken or written their energy is potent. They get carried far and deep in conscious and sub-conscious. Words can make or break a person, a relationship, a nation. Words can bring us closer to each other and words can make us lonely.

Its all in what we choose to listen, to speak, to write and to read.

So, choose your words wisely. Or if you are blessed like I am, the words will choose you.