Monday, December 22, 2008

My Days At School Part 1

With just a semester for me to graduate, I am a bit nostalgic. I decided to write about the wonderful days I had here at NIT Rourkela. But then, I realised it would be incomplete without describing about the exciting days I had at school.

I studied at two schools- HVB and De Paul, in the same city though different from each other in every way. And I guess I have had different experiences at both these schools. So, I have divided this into two parts. This part deals with my life and experiences at my first school- Harobino Vidya Bhavan where I read till class 6th.

HVB was special because-

1) They had a ridiculous uniform. White shirts- RED pants. As the children walked gaily on the streets all uniformed, they looked like mini bandwallahs. Ofcourse, I loved that as red was my fav color at that time and I loved the bands.

2) The canteen was a cement platform around a big Banyan tree where you could barter your paratha-achar with the other guy's bread-omelet.

3) The best of all- We call our teachers 'Aunties'. I spent a good many years explaining that they were more than just teachers to us. They were more like caretakers and it was more of a personal relationship than a professional one. While I was explaining that, I was thinking, "Yeah, whatever but Aunty?" I cant believe that I spent half of my school life calling my teachers Aunty.

4) Hindi was the official language in and out of the class as even some of the teachers spoke funny English.

5)It was my first school and obviously firsts are always special. In the words of one of my friends, I lost my edu-ginity over here. Though I dont remember the first day at school, I know that I cried a lot. Yeah, a lot.

6) My elder brother was in the same school and I blackmailed him whenever I got the opportunity. It was mainly for the remote.

7) I really thought it was the biggest school in town.

8)I made some really great friends here.

My mum says I was so good with alphabets and numbers as a kid that I directly got admitted to the Upper KG. I remember that I was good at maths and weak in rhymes. I tended to get the poems all mixed up. When the black sheep and little stars got mixed up, I remember I was asked to stand up on the bench. But I made such a sorry face that I was asked by the class teacher to sit down within the next five minutes.

While in class 2 or 3, I made some really great friends- Sanat, Subodh, Subhanarayan, Biswajit and our group always stuck together. At the same time, the Adam-Eve competition had started( I dont really know if Adam and Eve competed for something but it sounds nice). There was this group of girls-  Sarita, Rosalin, Madhu, Rudrani. I loved Sarita like anything during those days.  She was extremely beautiful with short hair, a cute face and lovely eyes. I have never talked with her after I left school but hope to someday. I don't know why but our group of boys always fought with the group of girls. But we had a nice way to fight. We played. A lot of games were invented. But Name, Place, Animal, Thing and Book Cricket( where you opened any random page of a book and the rightmost digit of the page no was your score) were a hit.

In the evenings, we(minus the girls) played street cricket, roof cricket, indoor cricket, outdoor cricket, every form of cricket conceivable. We went out on our bicycles for rides, sometimes in rain. Birthdays were obviously the most special occasion and we used to have a lot of fun. But somedays, we just sat down at somebody's home and killed time. It was on one such day that somebody asked us to talk with Rosalin over the phone on a dare. Everyone just dialled but when the phone rang twice, they just cut it. Ultimately, it was my turn and I actually talked to her. Unfortunately, her father picked up the phone. I asked for Rosalin, told her my name (she was a bit surprised) and then said that I had to confirm the timetable for mid term exam. The whole time, the time table was in front of me and she knew it. So, the next day, when we had a fight, she just stood and complained that I was calling unneccesarily and disturbing her. I stood up and said defiantly I dont know what she was talking about. In the end, the teacher believed me and said, "Yeah! you cant be sure while talking over the phone but am sure Sunil must not have done it." After the class, Rudrani came up to me and said," We know it was you, Good acting though." That day, I learnt an important lesson and have always used it afterwards - I'm a good liar.

I was a good singer at that time. I remember Shraddha Ma'am(sorry Aunty :( ) would often call me to the front and ask me to sing something. I sang starting from Pankaj Udhas' Ghazals to the latest Bollywood numbers. It was nice singing to the whole class looking bored and probably waiting for me to stop.

But my Good-Boy image was soon dying out. Once I called Sarita something bad( I dont remember what), and I was chided by the same teacher as the Rosalin episode. Sadly, I had to leave that school soon after that incident. The school was very far from my new home and also it was degrading day by day.

So in class 7th, I made a jump from HVB to De Paul School. My parents were nervous. Would I be able to cope up with the pressures in a bigger school? How would the course change(from CBSE to ICSE ) affect me? But the thing on my mind was - Friends. I will talk about my life at De Paul in the next part.

Tracking down some of my friends at HVB, I found out that some are working, some are studying, some even got married this year(at 20?! My parents need serious counselling).I realise I havent been a good friend all these days. The friends I cared for so much have just become some random anecdotes I write in my blog, some funny nicknames, their faces so blurred in my mind that I have to look at their stupid grins in my school photo album to remember. Sometimes, when I look at those young kids going to school in their colorful uniforms, I ask myslef if I was like them as a kid. Carefree and jovial. Now, everyone just seems to be in a race, running after their unslaked dreams. In this run, some get left behind,some choose different directions. And after sometime, I realise I am all alone. And I havent even realised the dream I was running after. With every passing day, I compromised with some facet of my dream. And in the end, I realised this was not the dream that I always had. But then I compromise for one last time and say this life will do. Perhaps thats why they are called dreams. Never meant to be realised, just meant to be chased and chased.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Girl Without A Face

It must be around two years back. I was in class ninth then. The exams were over and the vacations had started. Unusually, it had rained sometime before. A cloudy grey sky and a silent cold breeze were most welcome on a sunny afternoon. The smell of the earth after the rain was intoxicating. The sun after much fight had fallen into oblivion. The leaves were moist and the flowers looked wonderful. I could not remain in the closed confines of my house and went out riding my new bicycle. It was my new-found hobby to 'discover' new roads and show them to my friends.

The road was wet and had high conifers on either side. It was empty but for some small birds chirping and laughing. After riding for quite some time, I saw someone. A boy? No. Her effeminate walk, long locks and pink dress suggested otherwise. She was like a magnet attracting me towards her. I had always dreamed about an angel wearing a pink dress with flowing laces holding a wand. Was this my angel? With the excitement and apprehension of seeing Santa Claus for the first time, I followed her. She had a fresh rose in her hand and was walking oblivious of everything around her- singing and dancing. I was in a trance. I forgot everything about myself and followed her. I lost count of how much time had passed but when I recovered, she was not there.

I cried a lot that night. What was behind that elusive face? Perhaps, I will never find out. I went for many days in search for her on that road. And then, I forgot. Well, that's life.


For those of you who think I am sixteen, well I am not. I found this on a paper while cleaning my closet. It seems funny that I don't remember much about this incident. To tell the truth, I don't remember anything at all. I literally forgot. "Well, that's life." If it had not been for this paper, I would not even have known such an incident had happened. And God, I dreamed about an angel dressed in pink, what was I, a goddamn six year old. And " a rose, singing and dancing" , I guess that's the effect Bollywood can have on a child who has not attained puberty. Or has? I don't remember.