The Yearbook

Written on the eve of my kid’s bridging ceremony which is held to mark their end of academic year. The idea is to cross a figurative bridge (from one teacher to the next) in front of friends and parents.

Random musings on going through their yearbooks which is a collection of photos and quotes of every important moment at school in the past year

The Yearbook

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

Dr. Seuss
Source: Brainy Quote

It was 130 colorful pages of smiles, laughter and excitement. One year’s fun and frolic captured in one glossy book. It is a strange feeling that this was probably the only “official” textbook coming from the school for so many years in a row! Possibly one of the best things about early school life.

As I flipped through the sheets I could feel a sense of energy bottled up inside them. I could state with a certain clarity that in the years to come, the very memories of the year past could be rekindled by simply taking a whiff off the musty odor of this beautiful yearbook.

I sight mischief, thrill, a sense of learning something new in those wide eager eyes. Without a doubt, their curiosity & a will to challenge themselves won. We saw with our very eyes, their ability to push their limits, to show that they were capable of achieving well beyond what was expected of them.

A few years (possibly months for some) ago they were in this unknown place called school, put in with a bunch of strangers. Now, here they stand to cross the bridge hand-in-hand as friends and in many ways paving new avenues for connecting us adults as well. They’ve lived together many a moments that we parents can hardly fathom, learned to care for each other’s thoughts and grow a bond that is so evident.

Besides each other, they had the support of an adult whom they grew a mystic relationship with. And this adult knowing quite well how temporary their moments together are, but realizing how strong and vital their bonding is, left behind imprints on these young minds. Every student carries lessons from their teacher that is beyond the curriculum; the teacher’s ideologies and the student’s own moments of self-realization in the presence of their guru which they will carry well beyond the boundaries of the school. The yearbook stands testimony to all this & more!

It is often said that by looking up to the way we parents dress, speak and walk, kids become a mirror image of ourselves. Yet on days like today, when I yearn to relive my wonder years I can’t help but muse, who is learning from whom?

Only when I let this mirror slip and shatter do I truly understand how untrue this adage is. Our kids are not merely a reflection of our past but an incredible mirage we have held on to, across our own trials and tribulations. And just like that, we finally get to glimpse through the right end of the telescope (of life) at last!

How fragile these pages are
Clinging on to a dear past.
It is time to flip and turn
Zoom out and look beyond.

Into an unknown we blaze ahead
Across that jolly old bridge again.
Let us remember this while crossing
How fleeting these moments are

Author: Rajesh Narayanan

A small speck of dust in the ever expanding ether

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