Have you left the building? Because the aftermath of hurried footsteps have set the wind in an eerie commotion and it penetrates me fiercely and leaves before I can sustain the chill in my spine – it makes my heart throb which resonates ominously in my ears.
Have you left the building? Because the torn down classroom has too many blunt pencils, the ends of which have been teethed by warm human mouths with orange tongues coloured from ice popsicles those children relished 43 hours back during lunch time… when their smiles hadn’t broken, and their tiny nails were intact.
Rays of sunlight now flood the room in irony through holes that were meant to always stay filled, faint figures of alphabets disappear from the board one by one; though never has a disappearance seemed so active… as if trying to remember to forget.
The satire in the emptiness that rings louder and louder under my feet when I walk through rubble is perhaps the book of flags somewhere buried in the ruins that you can’t see. You might think 9th grade is unacceptably delayed a stage to teach children about nationalities and symbols.. but apparently grown men still exist uneducated and barbaric; defending their illiteracy by blowing guns heavier than the 13-year-old skulls they were pointed at.
I don’t think we realise how haunting abandoned articles can be; if strewn across a floor that resembles the cartography of a struggle against annihilation by young blood. The combination of withered mattresses, broken bricks from fireplaces that filled sunk in stomachs with warmth and half cooked meals magnifies the utter homicide of a building breathing religion, literature and existence. Have you… left the building?
It was like the building was creating erosion, breathing deeply and heavier by the seconds; like a womb predestined for an apocalypse. Walking in it felt like lying sheathed by the warmest quilt and yet shuddering at direction-less waves of cold air from mysterious origins molesting the hair on your arms to stand in attention… have you left the building?
We’re now in a world where skipping days at school is the only way you live to eat breakfast the next morning. However, it comes with a price of burying all your other classmates at an age that was only meant to see growth and not perishing bodies into smoke on cold winter mornings.
We live in a world where atheists are called faithless, cold gypsies; though last time I checked, they weren’t holding funerals of 134 mothers wishing they’d never sent their kids to school. I’m in disbelief because I never thought we’d attain a skin of wickedness that could be so terrifying and earthly in nature.
Have you left the building? Because I think I’m stuck in it.
Nilanjana Bhattacharjee is a development practitioner from 9am to 6pm and a poet from 6pm until the night gathers enough verses. Find her on Instagram @nilanjanaaa
Featured image credit: Reuters