Kajal was very excited for her first day back at school. She was finally in high school, something girls rather all kids of her age dream about. She had gone to her grandparents place for the vacations and since she did not have a phone yet, she was mostly cut off from her buddies from school, and had no idea what was going on in their lives back home. Her grandparents lived in shimla, so spending the vacations there seemed like a very good idea. Away from the pollution and heat of Delhi for two whole months seemed like a very good idea.
She had a lot of fun in the vacations. She would roam around the streets on the mall road. She spent most of her time taking care of their two pet dogs named Tom and Jerry. Her mornings would start with her taking the dogs out for a walk and end with her reading one of her favorite books late into the night. Ah, it was so much fun, no one to stop her from reading or no tension to finish her homework or get up early in the morning. It was like she was in paradise for these two months a year. Her personal paradise.
These two months would pass so quickly it just did not seem fair at all. But this time she was very excited to go back, rather she was going a week early to finish her shopping. From this year they did not have a uniform, they could wear their casual clothes to school, with some restrictions obviously. She said goodbye to her grandparents, who gave her some pocket money for her to us as she liked. Even they understood her. She said her good byes to Tom and Jerry, who simply refused to look at her, this used to happen every time she would leave.
She came back to Delhi and first thing she did was drag her parents to the mall to shop for new stuff. There was so much to buy, didn’t they understand. She went to her favorite store which sold band t-t-shirts and bought a lot of them, from beatels to pink Floyd to dead letter circus. Next she went to buy a really cute and handy bag pack, seeing how excited she was, her parents let her buy the one she wanted. It took two-three days and her shopping for school was finally done, now she just had to wait for school to start. She decided to call Janvi, her best friend to see how things were. Janvi’s mom picked up and said that Janvi was out. She decided to call later, but it was the same thing always, either she was out, or in the washroom or sleeping. This had never happened before. She decided she would talk to her the first thing in school.
The next her mom did not have to wake her up, Kajal got up herself and got dressed way before time. Her parents too shared her enthusiasm, and clicked pictures of her on her first day in high school. She kissed her parents and went to the bus stop to wait for the bus. She hoped to meet Janvi there. But to her surprise she did not come. Kajal hoped she was fine.
She was shocked when she entered the school. Nothing was like it used to be just two months ago. To start with, she felt like she was in a movie because of how everything was. She could not find one girl carrying a bag pack, they were all carrying purses, wearing very glamorous clothes with the latest phones in their hands. She saw Janvi standing next to the water fountain. She did not look anything like herself. She was looking like one of those girls who would giggle at stupid things and gossip about guys. And that was exactly what she was doing. She felt out of place, wearing her Pink Floyd tee and baggy jeans with a bag pack. No one spoke to her, people pretended that she did not exist, it was like no one could see her. None of her old friends spoke to her, rather she even had lunch alone.
She had a very horrible day, it was like in these two months the world had changed, everyone had grown up and she was left behind. She did not know what to do. She was glad when school ended and she rushed back home. It was like a bad dream. When her parents came back they were shocked to see Kajal crying and sad.
This was not unprecedented. Her mother had a clue that something like this would happen. She took Kajal out for dinner and talked to her. She told Kajal about her first day in high school, and how horrible an experience it was for her. And that how people tend to change during their teen years and that it wasn’t necessary for her to change to, she could go at her own pace. And she should not try to change herself just to fit I with the others, she was special as she was and she should not give in to the peer pressure.
The next day Kajal went to school just as usual self wearing the her favorite beatles t-shirt and her baggy jeans and she was proud. Proud to be herself.