Friday, June 30, 2006

Of school.....

I happened to go through Orkut properly the past couple of days and gave a good look to The Hindu School community therein. There were several posts, some asking which is the best place on campus to have lunch, the last benchers, some famous 'quotes' by teachers, our principal then, Mr V Venkatachalam, about a dear teacher leaving school.

And then it was whooooosh and I was pulled back in time. To a time when we would also aimlessly wander about the corridors, lunching, our throwball games, arguing with the PT sir as to which was foul and which was not, bunking maths class to go to practise for competitions, culturals, our small Ganesha temple, where every friday a section could take the turn in decorating it. There was also this time where our super princi had this idea of Education through Experience, I guess. Have forgotten the name. We all went to other cities, and had some sort of an exchang program with the children of a chosen school in that city. My section went to Hyderabad, and the 11th standard went to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. All of us heard several stories from the time they set sail.

Our teachers were a wonderful lot. There was this classmate, Aditi, who used to be a great story teller. So if it so happens that English class happens in the last hour, she will come up and tell a ghost story. She was brilliant. And then if a teacher came to know that some guys in class were good imitating, then they ll be called up to 'perform'.

Most mornings, we would be standing out in the sun for assembly. I used to be in the shade, while others baked and some feeble ones fainted thanks to the sun. I ll be standing near the stage, to lead the school prayer. At that time I remember that I wanted to know how it would be to faint. I have never fainted. How dramatic I thought. To faint and have the whole school fussing over you and you'd probably be sent home, escorted, in a car. If you came to school by cycle, you ll probably have to walk back to school the next day which would be torture. But I also remember I didnt like being home on school days. Then particularly on very rainy days, I ll make sure to go to school, cos there'll be some enthu types like me who will also end up going. The class wil prolly have 10-15 people. And we will all have fun, teachers included.

We also had the teachers playing throwball, and the students were the training committee. When I first picked it up in 6th std., I was a puny thing, then I thought I d probably never have the power to break a few fingers. And there was this time, where every puny throw of mine was not taken by the opponent team, who were the 'A' team. I suddenly became wanted, and in that After-4 pm game, we ended up being the winners.

I had a great time with all the teachers including our maths teachers, though the subject was a horror, and it continued to be so until I relinquished it in 11th std.

Also one of the prime past-times a lot of students indulged in, was who had a crush on who, who got a love letter from who, who said yes and who said no and why. Thinking back, juvenile as it was, those made some great memories.

Culturals. Hep time. Cut class for practise, bunk school for culturals, check out guys/girls from other schools, eat out, especially wait and check out the fashion show even though we had nothing to do with it, come back to school with prizes and get them to be given to us again by the principal at the next assembly. Sometimes it would so happen that people from my group wuold go up some 7 times to receive prizes from various events. And if prizes from two or three events get clubbed, at the end of the assembly we will be subjected to roaring applause, but back in class, some would actually say why cant you guys give us a break and stop winning? So that we can come back to class and not roast in the sun? Of course other days if the first hour was a boring one, we'd be thanked since half of it would be eaten up, thanks to roll call and what not. Sometimes one fridays students would have to 'serve time' as PROs at the library, or the office. We used to battle it out for the library because post lunch and until the last bell, we could be there and read as much as we wanted. Office was slightly boring, all you had to do was sit outside the school office, probably read and take circulars to classes. And the boys used that time to quietly sight-adichufy or so I heard. And so did the girls :D

Those were the times. Happy go lucky and the biggest bother was to be prepared for next day's classes and battle with one's own tough subjects. Friends and teachers and classes and project work, and the occasional trip out. And there I was happily remembering those days when DING DONG BLLLAAAAM, mail from a classmate, saying she is getting married. When I spoke to friends that day about her getting married, I also came to know that two others had also married. And last year.

Suddenly you realize you are all grown up, have to get married, raise a family, get a better job and a still better job and yet another better job. Time just flies under your feet and you realize there is very less time. And so much to do. As we grow, spread our wings and fly to distant lands, we stop by on a branch somewhere to catch our breath, rest our wings, and look back on the journey we have made, the skies we have seen, the oceans we have flown over. To the time when we had smaller wings but cleaner hearts. To the time when we could perch only on lower branches but had higher ideals, flew shorter distances but had a cleaner vision. We have forgotten to take anything at face value and read too much into everything, what did he mean when he said that, why is this person ignoring me, why did she do this and why did he do that, how do I get this done even though I know its gonna ruin someone else's life?

Sometimes, when a child holds your hand, or a child runs to you and holds your leg, or when it rests its little head on your shoulder, the innocence of it all, the love of it all just touches you. And when you clasp the child's hand, or hold its head so that it doesnt roll off your shoulder, you wish that you could go back to that time. Where nothing else matters other than love. And you reciprocate only to that language. When we are clean slates, and when hearts are pure as the driven snow.

A solitary tear rolled of the bird's eye, but the journey of several thousand miles has but begun. And there will come a time when it will protect fledglings under its strong wings, and impart to them, the need for strength for weathering storms, the need for hope, and the need to love. The bird looked toward that horizon again, later it will look at it with different eyes, but now it was time. It flapped its wings and resumed its journey..... its journey towards the sun, its journey towards brilliance, its journey toward light.


Pani said...

HI chins
You are very good at expressing your thoughts.So where were u for the last couple of days?


Nishanth_in said...

Hey,Nice post,makes me wanna blog about my school days too...

Were you musically inclined in school too? Like did you take part in singing competitions during culturals? If yes,then did you ever get the second place? :-)

Its always fun to catch up with old classmates from school.But hearing about your old timers from school getting married is the worst part,it makes you realise that you have to walk down the same road too.But then there is good side to it too,you get to realise how much time has passed and where you stand in life when you meet your old friends from school.

Marc said...

Beautifully written!

Vijay Narain said...

This is arguably ur best post in recent times..Keep it up!

Sami AR said...

Excellent write up.

I was able to relate myself completely with the post - both the school part and the later half of it - very valuable thought and very well written!

Keep writing and my first visit to this blog was worth it! Had a nice time in here!


TD5M4PP3R said...

Hi Chinmayi !

School singer junior Arun here.. I also did most of the same things you did at school !

Of course, you havent made any mention of the fun we used to have during temple decoration !

My God ! What a mess we all used to make !

Excellent post !

The Practical Idealist said...

Really neat, thoughts presented very well. Metaphor of flying bird was good too! :-)