Not romanticising school days, but then, today they feel romantic for I've never experienced that magic after leaving school. Like playing in the ground till the dust would fill my nostrils, the competition across classes, the tamarind from the huge tamarind tree, of trying to show ourselves shorter to get to the front benches in class, seeing the tiny tots walk up to LKG their class, some tearing their hearts out with their parents in tears.
Of teachers: My UKG teacher, who is uptodate the best in the world for me. Ms. Lorna for her never say no attitude.(I still regret not moving to her section in 2nd standard for I know life changed that day). The day my 3rd standard teacher called me talkative, which hurt me so much; not because of what she said, but because she sent the complaint to my mother through my neighbour before she told me she had such a notion (oh! and a fifty rupee fine too). When we scared Ms.Bernie to death with a rubber snake. The day I disobeyed my teacher Ms. Berna in 6th standard, went playing on the wet ground, fell down and came back breathless to look into her eyes with so much guilt that I died of shame inside. But, I didn't get an unkind word from her. Sister Agnes Theres, Principal, who I think was most loved by us students. When Ms. Iona introduced us to Shakespeare. Ms. Jesintha's english classes, where Shakespeare and poetry would take us to a magical, different world. Ms. Theresa's math classes, the only one I enjoyed learning math from, besides imbibing the art of dressing in cotton. The march past practices with Ms. Dinkie leading. Ms. Saraswathi's chemistry classes, where every time, I wondered if her brain was different from mine, for I couldn't imagine the bonds in organic chemistry which she put forth so easily.
Of classmates, Vidya and Radha who would compete for a rank by trying to get half a mark more. My classmate who bit my teacher and wasn't ready to let go, one who pinched so much that the teacher made her sit in a corner of the class. Shiromi, the class representative, who Vidya and I gave so much trouble by our 'we' craziness. Of a friend who lost interest in our friendship the day I stopped giving her new ballpoint pens. The day I embarassed myself when I vormitted on the wooden steps in the school (the first and last uptodate). So many......... When Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri were major points of discussion, they being caricatured on the board during lunch hour. Going to America being the new trend, how we discussed and debated on America and what opportunities it had. Debates and discussions on name the subject, sports, religion, politics (everyday's paper was a big source), movies, ........ Of the 8th standard class room which had so much space that we could run around and play (it was later converted into a science lab for the junior classes). Flinching when Loretta pierced her ears the second time all by herself. Of how we disliked a new Sister because she used to shout and curse which we had never heard from a sister. Of being christened Shylock, when we were studying Merchant of Venice.
Of the 12th standard, final march past, where I went wrong and felt so miserable (I still don't understand why I couldn't synchronize that particular day). Of my friend who realised that something was wrong when she kept adding Potassium Permanganate to the solution despite it having turned pink. The day our whole class was made to stand in the basket ball ground in the hot sun in the 12th standard, heads bent, skin burning but still giggling despite being in full view of the whole school, for being noisy. Of not being allowed in the final get together with teachers by the other section students because we couldn't contribute much as we had our Physics practical exams. I remember that day so vividly, the hurt still not gone .... seeing Ms. Lorna dancing with one of the girls, before being shooed away from the place like flies .... how I would have loved to dance with her. I learnt an important lesson too that day - the pain of those who don't have and come to watch something getting shooed away.
So many such small incidents, so much to smile about when I rewind to the days gone by. Some where the hurt is still there despite the passage of time. I did go back there thrice, the third time being my last for the way someone of authority spoke to me that day. Ofcourse I would love to go back and meet my teachers. That is something I have not done, mistake being mine. I would love to go back and tell them how they have influenced my life in so many ways. That I am a product of their hardwork too, their dreams.... of how in my own eyes, I am still that child when I think of them...........................
Love old school days.... how I wish I could go back and relive them, knowing that they wouldn't come back, that they are the best in any person's life. Of knowing the privilege I've had of going to school, which so many don't.
So, cheers to the school as an institution, to the teachers, to the classmates, the comaraderie that make school days the best (Yes, I know it may not be true for some who have had a tough time in school).