The Old Days of Belgaum

One  summer day in the early 1930s,  a game of hide ‘n seek  began to be played on the  silent, abandoned-for the-holidays campus of Sardar  High School in Belgaum, and a boy names Sheshagiri  (S, from now on)  got himself a  really secret place to hide, and waited to be found.

The hostel was vacant, and the Head Master M.Ramabrahma’s  brood ( S, and siblings) had the run of the grounds.  The Joshi, Datar and Kittur boys came over most afternoons . A bunch of boys, grounds and garden, and nooks and crannies behind buildings– all the ingredients for an excellent game of hide ‘n seek. S  lurked in his hideout, and listened to big brother Pandurang be “it” and find the others. He wondered how long he ought to give Pandu before turning himself in.

Lost in these thoughts, it was a while before S  realised that  no one seemed to be about. There were no calls for him to come out, nor did  he hear footsteps advancing stealthily and getting louder as  the predator approached. He  stuck his neck out  round the corner and found he was quite alone. The game had moved, or  it was up !!

He ambled homewards to find Pandu and the others  loping about on the verandah,  and completely unsurprised to  see him. “Hey why didn’t you come looking for me?” S asked.

“Oh, we  looked everywhere, and when there was no sign of you, we decided you must’ve come home for a drink of water, and forgot to come back into the game..” Pandu said with a big brother’s  insouciance, and S  decided the next time he needed a hiding place, he’d head home!