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  • My father was an officer in the Indian Army, it meant I changed spaces every two years.

    I always vomited the first day of school. New people, new faces, I needed to start talking all over again. We grew into quite a nuclear family. As I grew older, it got better.. .I'd look forward to a new place, new corners in the houses (we always shifted at least five houses in each place, each stranger than the last, the British left behind many queer dwellings), I'd plug a Walkman in, and spend hours walking around the streets near my house. My taste in streets got sharper as the years went by, I'd go for the one where the kid's ball rolled out of, or the one which looked like it blocked out the street sounds, or the one the knife sharpener went through.

    I was walking around the busy streets of the Ahmedabad old city, when I saw one of those familiar paths I'd always looked out for, leading away from the marketplace through a narrow alley between two buildings. I found this abandoned primary school, up there, at its end.

    I took these pictures for the 14 year old in me who would have been thrilled at having a camera along. She'd have sat on the stairs over there and stared at the tree, she'd have climbed up a floor of the building and reached out for the branches extending into the balcony, she'd have wished the branches were stronger so she might have been able to scale down the trunk right from the balcony, she might have thought of all the kids of the school who might have thought the same.
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