The yellow taxi halted in front of the boarding school main gate. Four passengers got off the taxi and entered the school premise. Among them was the young boy who was recently admitted to the school. It was his first day in this new world outside his comforting world back in home. Initially he was very excited but as the first day of the school year approached, he started getting nervous.
He entered the school with his parents and younger sister who came to accompany him in the beginning of his new journey. They went to the administrative office first and completed initial formalities. They were provided with the building code and room number where the boy will be residing for the entire session year.
The boy clung to his mother all the time. His father was carrying the suitcases full of books and clothes in both hands. While walking towards the building, the boy could see a number of people of his age were approaching the building along with their parents and relatives. He felt relieved looking at the happy smiles of all newcomers. Upon reaching the room, they started looking for their bed number. The bed was close to the dorm door and just opposite to a window overlooking the sky.
His younger sister was overjoyed. She was very glad for the outing and gladder that she needed not to stay there without their parents.
Their parents unpacked the bedclothes and arranged all his belongings. After an hour, his bed was ready; his shelf was properly arranged with books and clothes. He was instructed as how to keep everything in order. He was well aware of all such instructions beforehand but listened again.
The boy was looking at other roommates and their parents or relatives talking to them. All of them would be leaving within another hour or so leaving the students here. He could not think much on this. It looked scarier than he thought it would be before coming here. He had to live without family, take proper care of him and also study without his mother’s guidance.
It was the evening prayer time. The boy got himself dressed properly in prayer attire for this occasion as he was taught by his parents back in home. He fetched his prayer books from his shelf and accompanied by his family, he walked towards the prayer room. It was a big gathering of family members of newly admitted students. The family members were not allowed inside the prayer room at this time as it was prayer time for the students. Their family stayed on ground facing the prayer room and all students entered the prayer room one by one to begin a new journey in this boarding.
After another hour, once the prayer was over, all of the students went out of the prayer room and met their family members waiting outside. It was time to bid them adieu till next week. Visitors from family were only allowed to enter the boarding once in a week for a predetermined duration of two hours only.
When everyone started leaving the place and boys started moving towards their room, it was the time the boy felt really scared and lonely. Initial charm was over for him and it was the start of another tough journey that he needed to embark upon. He urged his father to stay and not leave him there. After conversing for another ten to fifteen minutes with his parents, he realized that leaving at this point was not an option for him. He bade good bye to his family and kept on staring at the main entrance. He could see his family leaving the premise from far. Tears slid off his cheeks and touched the prayer uniform he was wearing. He wiped his tears and gradually proceeded towards his room.
It was seven o’clock in the evening when the warden entered into the room. It was a dormitory of twenty boys altogether, all aged between ten and twelve. The warden pulled out a list from his side bag and started reading names from the list. He ensured that all the students were present as per his registry list and dedicated a speech to introduce himself and make everyone else in the room understand all the rules they needed to abide by during their stay in the boarding school. He carefully iterated all rules and regulations. All of them listened carefully.
At nine o’clock at night, a bell rang to remind everyone of dinner time. Everyone in the room took their individual dinner plates and stood in a queue in front of the dining hall. The boy entered the dining hall with his roommates. They sat together. After fifteen minutes, dinner was served by the student volunteers. He did not like the food at all. Moreover, staying away from family members more than five hours amid unknown people made him felt like crying.
After returning to room from dinner, everyone was preparing to sleep as they needed to attend prayer ceremony at six in the morning. The boy tried to sleep but could not. He looked through the window opposite to his bed and could see a full moon on the sky. It was dark everywhere and he felt a sudden urge to go back to his mother. He started crying lying on the bed. He just simply could not sleep and kept on imagining what his family would be doing back in his home.
It was one in the morning when he heard a bell ringing. Not realizing it was the bell to notify everyone about the time, he stood up. He switched on the light and woke everyone in the room up telling that it was time to get ready for prayer. Everyone listened to him and rose from the bed. They went to the bathroom and freshened up. They again put on their prayer clothing and waited for the next bell to ring.
At two in the morning, two bells rang and they all gathered and formed a queue in front of the room and started talking to each other. They waited there for further instruction from the warden. After some time, the warden appeared in his night dressing and gave them a surprised look. He had no idea what those boys were up to in the middle of the night. He asked them what it was about. Someone from the queue replied to him that they were preparing for the prayer and waited there for the warden to accompany them to prayer hall.
Perplexed by the entire situation, the warden inquired about the guy who had asked them all to get ready at this odd hour and everyone pointed finger at the boy in unison. The warden gave the boy an angry look. Realizing the situation, the boy tried to explain but the warden did not listen. He asked everyone to go inside the room and sleep for another three hours. They needed to get up at five in the morning. All of them agreed and went inside the room. Some of them started laughing at the boy as he was crying the whole night and was responsible for the funny situation.
They went to bed eventually and lights were turned off again to let everyone sleep. One of them only could not sleep. He cried the whole night, cursing himself to have had agreed to come to this place with his father.
The news was on fire on next day throughout the building. Everyone started asking about the boy and mostly all of them laughed at him. It was just a beginning for the in his next one and half year in his life. He mostly disliked the stay and was extremely glad once he could come back to home.