Gauhati University Campus, Guwahati, Assam, India

It has been a while since I took a stroll through the campus, a place I don’t stay at, anymore but will be my home, always and forever. I looked out the window as it has been raining every now and then for the past few weeks. Though the rain has stopped, it will come down again, soon. The sky was still a grey blanket with the trace of a soft breeze drifting. After contemplating for a few seconds, I stepped out without an umbrella and on a last minute whim, I ditched my cell phone too.

Walking by the road, I exulted in the wet smell of the earth brought up by the rains. Touch of the monsoon can be seen everywhere. The leaves are not dusty any longer, the gardens are over brimming with myriad colors of blossoms and little puddles lay scattered along the path. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds, shooting its rays out in glory one last time, before twilight took over, turning the sky a pale lilac. The trees, tall and graceful, made a canopy of silhouettes against the evening sky. The houses, the broken fences, the roof lines, the gabled windows, the strewn leaves, the homey porches added their own beauty to the canvas. I devoured every detail like a hungry child, imprinting them on my mind, as now I hardly get the time to come here.

My childhood, my adolescence, my first crush, my first love, my heart-breaks, my happy tears, every first of my life has started from this place. And as I came to the cross-road near our school, I stopped awhile in front of the community Puja Ghar, standing strong against the tide of time. Even in my late twenties, the excitement and anticipation for the approaching Durga Puja days are filled with childlike enthusiasm.

The vivid images floated past my eyes. I was the carefree kid again having the best time of my life with my brother, my best friend and my gang of buddies. One by one, all of them have gone their ways, leaving the campus rich with memories. I, too, had relocated after Deuta’s retirement. Now we rarely meet, seldom talk.

As I stood there, lost in the past, somewhere a train whistled shrilly, breaking my reverie. Two kids walked past me, huddled under an umbrella, chatting animatedly. A gust of wind swept away their umbrella and they chased it giggling and laughing. I smiled at their joy. As I turned, homeward bound, it began to drizzle softly but I was in no hurry. We may get drenched in the rain from time to time but how often do we savor it? How often do we get to stroll through the place of our childhood?

<a href=””>Stroll</a&gt; Reminiscence