I am noticeably indifferent to the people I see around me. I have actually started believing that life is unfair. I try to pace myself with those I walk with. I seek acceptability – and I detest it. But most of all, I crave the simplicity of childhood. Of winters I spent shivering in the deep blue blazer, and of summers that smelt of Roohafza.

And then, all of a sudden, I get transported to a dingy room at the end of a corridor. The last class of every school week when we would huddle around a sculpting wheel seeing her fingers disappear into the clay, and make pots and vases. Everytime. Pots and vases. But we never stopped marveling. Later, she would tell us to go outside and see things. Things we would want our clay to be molded into. We would go out, sit on the roof ledges dangling our legs, would call out to her and tell her we were looking at the cows in the distance and down the last hot sip of water from our bottled quota carefully planned to last through the day. The bell would then go off, and we would speed down the stairs. Say bye to her. She would tell us to wait. And I would always wait to see who she would hand over the vase/pot to, for the coat of paint. That day, she would call me forward and give me an imperfectly shaped vase. And I would be happy. Really happy.

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