February 1, 2011

{No School Day}

This Monday, after school, Raka stopped by on her way to her mother’s place, grinning from ear to ear. It was another one of those treasured “guess what, Dad!” moments.  She was celebrating the momentous proclamation that school had already been cancelled for Tuesday.

I seriousy could not get why a seventeen year old was so excited about a “No School Day.”  I started with an, “Oh” response, but Raka’s enthusiasm could not be curbed.  

“Dad, no school tomorrow! Can you believe that?” she went on to say. Raka had been looking forward to a “No School Day” for ages and it was finally hers for the taking.

I was mildly excited for her and gave her a hug before she backed her red Nissan Sentra out of the garage. I stood there watching till the car left the driveway, then let my mind drift back to my childhood. I recalled myself as a little boy, waiting for the school bus on rainy days, hoping and praying that there would be no school.  I was required to wait at the bus stop till 9:30 and if the school bus was not there by then, I could run back home. I remember one day when the bus never came and I got to celebrate my way home. My victory lap included my umbrella folded up under my arm in the pouring rain and the most creative route imaginable as made sure I stepped on every puddle as I walked back home. Somehow, that “No School Day” had its glory moment burned into my mind forever. I told myself, “How could I forget that?  How could I not feel what Raka was feeling?” And I was glad that my seventeen year old was still enjoying the simple pleasures of life, “Nirmal Anand” as I called them in India.

Today is the “No School Day”.  It is finally here.  It is -10 F outside and feels even colder.  Stay warm Raka my baby, enjoy your “No School Day.” I hope you get at least one more before you leave for college.
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