The Darkness's Spark

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Sparkling sky
pc - etsy

It was a New Year! A fresh winter wind, passed-on from December, embraced me as I entered the school. It was 8.45 am and a cool puff of air blended with sunshine just rekindled my senses. 

As I was stepping inside the school gate, a lot of things cherished me. The revitalising winter weather and regular yet wonderful New Year day. And the best part is seeing my friends after a long break; and some cute girls too. 

But when it comes to girls, I perform the role of spectator (very well) as I do not have much confidence in talking to them. But this year, I decided to talk, taking inspiration from Ram and Dinee. 

Ram is a genius, when it comes to girls. He is just spontaneous with them. Is he spontaneous with us? - that's a question to think about! Conversely, Dinee is not much of a conversationalist but likes to respond in one-liners (punch lines). It's short and fun. Sometimes, annoying as well. 

So, Go Dinee (Inspired from Go France!)I composed myself and proceeded to the classroom. It was a five minutes walk through the playground to my classroom from the entrance gate. While on the walk, I felt an eerie sensation at the back of my spine. I turned to see my biology teacher walking next to me.

Catherine miss!!! 

I heard a dog barking, sniffing my anxiety, from a distance. Crows cawing frantically from atop the tree.

With a stern look and an erected back, she looked like an imposing statuette moving forward. “Happy New Year madam,” I greeted her with a forged smile. Along came a series of greetings from around, “Happy New Year” “Good morning” “Happy morning.”

She didn’t nod, respond out loud or even smiled yet we got our answer. She signalled through her eyelids, which closed with the shutter-speed less than one. Meanwhile, her head tilted down, for a micro-second. I was awed by this not-so-majestic and annoying gesture. But the answer papers, she carried in her arms, terrified me.

Then, I smelled a sweet aroma coming from behind, deviating me from the papers. It was Keerthi, striding forward, cute as bug's ear. She went past me and I heard the sweet cooing of Asian Koel, hiding beneath the leaves, from the majestic Peepal tree near the church.  

Keerthi is a popular girl in our school among teachers as well as students. While, teachers like her studious nature, we – droolers – admire her for being Keerthi. She is cute as Koala and lively as a sunbird. Being a School Pupil Leader (SPL), she often speaks in the assembly, but all I hear was the sweet melody of Magpie Robin. A girl as delightful as her deserves some followers. Adding to that is her walk; splendid and sophisticated as any cat species, augmenting her looks and appeal.

She came in colours on that day; no uniform. Yes! It’s her birthday – January 2. That’s another special thing about the re-opening day. I get to see this sparkling cat swaying her way meticulously through some dull and dusty stray dogs; both passive and dominant ones.


“What ma? How were the holidays?” inquired my class teacher with a charming smile.

Reji sir! Highschool sweetheart. Sweet, calm and handsome teacher, who taught us English. Unlike other teachers, his English was clear and understandable while most of the teachers fashion IDIOcratic language.   

We start the year with an hour of prayer in a church; most common things to witness in the Christian Missionaries. We spend around 10 minutes in class before assembling in front of the church for the Mass (Catholic prayer). Reji sir was using that time efficiently by posing questions about holidays. After one or two answers, silence filled the atmosphere.

“Alright, lets wish our birthday girl!” He swapped the topic after sensing uneasiness in the air.

This, for sure, was the topic of interest to us as we know very well about the reward. And it's good to start a year with a sweet. Right?

Cheerfully, we sang the birthday song.

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to dear Keerthi
Happy birthday to you!

There was a little variation in tune as the rhythm peeked in the third line. A few of us got excited to call her dear. And we continued…

May God bless you
May God bless you
Blab bla bla blab bla bla
Happy birthday to you!

While lines like – may God bless you – doesn’t really make sense (Why do we ask God for blessing? Isn't it his job to bless everyone? And why only her? Do we need to ask for it?), I continued with pure joy. Because it’s not about the birthday girl, but what she holds!

The song ended but not the noise as the rhythm was replaced with applause. I wondered why we clap at times. Is it a gesture of appreciation? Or greeting someone? Or motivating ourselves? Or getting rewarded? – I never knew.

Yet I joined others to keep up the momentum.

Keethi started to distribute chocolates. A few shook hands, greeted her and took the chocolates and others just pounced onto the chocolate box like a starving cat and wished her without even looking at her eyes.

As she was approaching me, I composed myself to look her at eyes and wish her before touching her box. Go Dinee, I said to myself. 

Sitting at the corner of the third row, I was sweating profusely out of nervousness and she was distributing chocolates in the second row. She finished and turned towards me. My heartbeat raced.

She came and offered me her box. I trembled and never looked her in the eyes. Like a flash, I raised, looked her, wished her and sat down. I told her something, which I couldn’t remember except the word happy. I was blank. She smiled, though.

After she left, my friend mumbled, “Dude, how did you do that?”

“How did I do what?”

“Your WISH!”

“What’s with that?”

“You don’t know anything. Do you?” he smirked. I noted a slight change in his attitude, and it heightened my curiosity. I looked back. The whole bench was giggling and so did the Keerthi, with her occasional gaze.

“What did I say?” I lost myself.

“Happy New Year not Happy Birthday, you fool!” He laughed.

Oh my God! – I snapped, irritated.

We came out of class, maintained the line and walked to the church. While everyone was making fun of me with that incident, I was happy for making her laugh. The feeling of her being happy swept away my awkwardness and like a spark in the darkness, I took a confident stride towards the gate, where the cicadas greeted me with its buzzing hum.
The Darkness's Spark The Darkness's Spark Reviewed by Gowthama Rajavelu on 18:46 Rating: 5


  1. Really enjoyed reading each and every line, the way you described about the teachers made me to remember about them and also the beatings which I have got:). You should keep writing more blogs.

    1. Glad you liked it Chandra. Beatings were the integral part of our school days. I have never felt good or positive about it :(

  2. Wow awesome da....all those memories just came to my mind like a breeze..thank u so much for such a nice article...

  3. The story made me nostalgic. Every sentence transported me to the past - my school, girls, boys, teachers and everybody who was there

    The sentence after the happy birthday song - 'A few of us got excited to call her dear'
    sweetly captures the excitement,and there are many such instances that make the story a nostalgic ride.

    Well written

  4. Very nice....really started thinking about our school emotional...expecting more post ....

  5. Very emotional da.....very nice....really missing our school days....true feelings....expecting more like dis....

    ND by the way who s Keerthi....our school people leader is sumthg else ....

  6. Thanks for the compliments people. Happy to share. Most part of this story is true and a few moments (characters) are twisted to make it more relatable. Picturing the characters are left to the imagination of readers :-D

    p.s. ithuku mela ennala samaalikka mudiyaathu :-/

  7. Ha ha ha...good it

  8. Though I wasn't there for the higher secondary schools and eventhough I see the editor write more about it...I surely got a nostalgic feel reading about Catherine Miss (looks really stern but compassionate within)and Regi Sir(lovely person, One of the kind)πŸ‘Œ❤ Enjoyed reading this fine piece...

  9. "I get to see this sparkling cat swaying her way meticulously through some dull and dusty stray dogs; both passive and dominant ones."
    Savage! πŸ˜‚
    Enjoyed reading this humorous piece! 😊 πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

  10. Goutham Awesome u nd ur writings, dat was nostalgic one. Felt flying back to good old school days.😊😊

  11. I have also done so man
    Why blood same blood

  12. Gowthama.... Does your wife know about keerthi? ? . Nice machan. Enjoyed reading it. As I always tell you. .. Try to make a book out of your stories. . Really well narrated and reading your narrtions will help the interested students to learn. .. Good narrtion

  13. Beautiful time machine to school days, keep rocking PakchshinadanπŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

  14. Such a cute and hilarious piece of work..,πŸ˜‚ feeling bad for not having studied in a co.ed sclπŸ™ " Because it’s not about the birthday girl, but what she holds!" Adapaveengala πŸ˜‚.. please keep writing lots like this.. go Dinee!!!!

  15. Good one goutham, brought my school days back..

  16. Thanks a lot guys for the comments. Really happy to see so many comments after a longtime and interesting to note the 'observations,' its reassuring as well.

  17. Very nice story... It's like a walk down the memory lane of my school days... Beautiful description of character...good work Gautam... Keep writing..

  18. Nicely written buddy. For me while reading, it was like a journey back to school.. and I enjoyed the pleasure of visualising the scenes you written. Loved it!

  19. Watta beautiful narration. Description about the teachers was so was like taking me back to my school days.. Comparison of keerthis walk to cat and of course the beautiful description about tat gal was too nice to read.. On the whole just enjoyed and loved ur writing. Kudos gauti


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