I was conceived as an idea - a place where children of people from all walks of life could study, for free. In those days, people were poor but kind, simple but pragmatic, illiterate but curious. And thus, a public trust was created to build me.
In 1926, a small shrub forest beside a tiny village was cleared to build my foundations and I was built up within a year. I had all the amenities of that era - benches and inkstands, chalks and blackboards, and a concrete building. The chief of the village was my Headmaster and the most learned of the village were my teachers.
Even before I was a month old - my grounds and classrooms roared with the jolly cacophony of rosy village children. They flocked about the trees in my playground, studied under my roof in my classrooms, and returned home with their parents before sunset. Uniforms were presented to those who couldn’t afford them, mid-day meals were distributed to all who were hungry, and books were donated to those who desired to study.
Thus passed several decades, and the children and the village grew with me. The toddlers became adults and became successful individuals in their lives and some even decided to join me as teachers. I grew taller too - I became a two-storeyed building after a generous donation from one of my former students. The village became a small town, with its own municipality, headed by my Headmaster and my students - and I regard that as the greatest accomplishment of my life.
In 1960, my Headmaster passed away. It was a mournful day, and hundreds of former students, teachers, and townspeople came to pay homage to my founder, and the following week was declared a mourning week. Since then, things had started to change. Several more schools had been set up in the town and I noticed that, slowly, my grounds had started to lose students and my rooms had less noise. The childish cacophony that perforated me had slowly transformed into a solemn symphony. In 1992, there remained only a hundred students - I was dying.
Today, only the sound of silence reverberates in my once-clamorous classroomsl shrubs and trees entomb the once-enlivened halls and grounds; cracks and damps defile and define the now-desolate me. The municipality that I helped build now marks me as a dangerous building. The town that I helped prosper now views me as a part of antiquity. I lie alone, waiting for my death, with fond memories of what I helped achieve. Perhaps, even today, if one asks an old man of the town about me, one might hear from him, “Ah… that old school…”