BACK TO SCHOOL

First published: http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/back-to-school/
Date: Sunday, August 25, 2013

I love stationeries. Pens, pencils, pencil box, geometry sets, page markers, paperclips, files, new books — all these thrill me. I always need new, sharp, colourful and varieties of stationeries to keep me glued to my desk (now my work station). Good and attractive stationeries motivate me, to at least attempt to get going. Even now, in my handbag, besides finding a lipstick or an eye pencil, you will certainly find a stationary kit with two to three kinds and colours of pens, pencils, markers, erasers, sharpeners and much more (if you’re lucky, might even find a small stapler). I’ve always possessed bright and of course less durable fancy geometry boxes. My geometry boxes usually were loved by the entire class. That couldn’t help me get great grades in geometry but that’s a different topic altogether.
Another thing I love is “back to school day”. No matter how bad the results were, or how traumatising the previous class teacher was, I always loved going back to school, to a new class with new books and a set of new stationeries. I always needed everything new. My mother told me, it is a tradition to use the old ink pen for years and how people have used it for generations. I, however, never felt that way. I wanted EVERYTHING new. I still vividly remember the first time I bought a fountain pen and an ink bottle. My mother bought me a silver capped, green Parker pen and Pelikan royal blue ink. The refilling sessions were overwhelming in the first few days.
I never realised I missed those days until very recently, when I was wrapping my son’s textbooks. It took me back to the good old days; a walk down memory lane. “The Radiant Way” character Tom, who sings, or Little Miss Muffet suddenly seemed like long-lost relatives. While organising his pencil box, colour pencils, notebooks etc, I suddenly got this urge for that first Parker pen, that green and yellow geometry box my uncle got me from Germany, and that pretty pencil set my father bought me after I recovered from paratyphoid in class three. My rhyme books, “Amar Boi” or even the Wren and Martin grammar book — I wanted them all. All those memories were rushing back to me. I am glad — thanks to my son — I got to reconnect with them.
Starting this year, I have decided to celebrate the “back to school day” with my son. I have decided to bake a cake (my idea of celebration, on any occasion) and prepare him for the challenges ahead. “Back to school day” is again back in my life — in a different form. More challenging days this time. I bet the rewards will be sweeter and failures will be harder to accept. It is back, nevertheless. With that I wish all the best to all the mothers who are going back to school once again.

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