I hated going up to the bathroom in boarding school.

In the night, during study hour, when I was done with whatever Tinkle or Enid Blyton that was hidden in my text book,  I would wander up there.  There was an open window at the end of a long corridor, lined on the sides with indian-style toilets and bathrooms.  I would stand there sometimes, waiting for the silence to slowly cloak my ears till I could  hear a dull static. I spent a long time there sometimes, with the night staring back into my face, the cold Poona air numbing my nose.

I was 9, standing at the window one night when I suddenly felt paralyzed. My thoughts were flying but my mind was not allowing my body to move. Because I had a feeling that I would turn around and discover that everyone was gone. The world, as I knew it, was not there anymore.  The window over looked the swimming pool and the moon shone on the moving slabs of water.

I don’t think I have ever been so scared in my life.

Tripping over my own feet, busting open my upper lip on the banister and tearing down the stairs till I saw the concerned faces of some of the other girls, I howled like a baby that night. I stopped making the bathrooms a part of my nightly jaunts from that day onwards. I might even have got some studying done in those allotted hours on some nights.

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