Don’t get confused by the title. We are not going to discuss about plants or botany, and certainly not about gardening.
Here we, the people, are buds and our schools are the garden in which we blossomed and rose from something to someone.
The school days are remembered by every fortunate one who have ever been to this heavenly place.
Schools are a complete world in its own, most of you would agree with this. Remembering those days is same as a gentle blow of cool breeze on your face.
We all have our share of stories to tell as many of our aspirations started and dreams were woven here. Many of our besties are from this ‘era’. It is a story when there were only us against whole world and its unfair means of suppressing us under loads of syllabus.
Those years we shaped our instincts. Those were the years of unparalleled excitement due to tingling and pleasant smell of new books. We learned showing-off and sharing at the same time.
Where did you invest most time those years is definitely have had a great deal of impact on your personality and has occupancy in your memory storage. I am not connecting it to your current status in terms of career, opportunities and lifestyle for there may have been incidents later in your life those probably have influenced your current states, manifolds.
The randomness of the acts we have had done during those years would be astounding as were the interests. Many of our budding aspirations came from the movies and we did multiply the excitement of having a new ‘other’ gender interaction with boasting-off or probably by throwing a treat to our friends. Let’s look at it from the same perspective as that time and you would feel that you were no less than a conquer those had born in any other part of the world; names may include Napoleon and Sikander.
Philosophically, and inarguably, moms are our first school we attend to and then there are those institutions run under buildings, tents, or merely under trees or at unimaginable places like boats and train platforms, called schools. I remember my first school was a small building in western corner of a large ground and had a huge gate which we weren’t allowed to swing on though we wanted it so much.
I have had various experiences which had left an everlasting imprint on my mind and I can recall some of them including smell of those triangular paranthas and the taste of the homemade mango-pickles. It is difficult to explain the smell and taste of these. I remember the paranthas used to be crispy on the surface and smooth inside. The layers I used to separate enjoy their textures and taste separately. I have always loved eating the paranthas without anything with them.
I always feared my teachers which was mostly due my mother who was (and is till date) stern with my learning progress and everything else around her. I have received significant amount of punishment for my lacking in any areas.
You may read more about my interesting experiences during early Schooling here.
There were numerous incidents those are worth recording however there are few I may mention here.
In the year 2006 I was in XIth standard. This was a new school, new people for me. I don’t remember how I did end up in this school for there is a vague memory about my admission quest. Nevertheless, the school was fine except for I didn’t like the building, playground had no grass and toilets stunk. I remember having gone there only twice in 2 years. Thankfully our class was near second entrance gate and across the ally was the office of electricity company BSES, whose toilet I utilized fully.
The entrance gate was guarded not to let pupil bunk their classes and the school itself. I however was allowed for the movement, thanks to my Monitor’s batch.
I remember having being asked by an employee in BSES, once he saw my batch pinned above my left pocket, that if I was the head boy of school. I enlightened him with correct info and also that our school had no such thing.
We had houses though. There were four and I was in house Azad, the Azad for Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad not Chandrashekhar Azad as I thought initially and felt excited about. So I let them say whatever they wanted; it was Azad anyway so I stuck to my own perception of Chandrasekhar Azad and no body did mind it.
The morning prayer in school used to be followed by a thought for the day and eventually I was chosen to deliver the same from stage. Followed after this were the PT sessions those I hated most and I am sure other people too disliked it equally for students went missing from their queues or didn’t attend the prayer at all. It was the job for Perfects and some teachers to ensure that everyone was present on the ground during prayer.
We were happy to attend an extra class rather than prayer. But we weren’t lucky everyday and were forced out of the class to go to the ground, sometimes honourably and as ducks on few other occasions. So we found a solution for the same. People were deployed to find which teacher was late for the day and we took our books of the same subject and pretended we were waiting for the same teacher to take class. There was no way to find the truth as cell phones were not so popular and not everyone carried them everywhere.
Our maths teacher was a no-nonsense man and was extremely stern. There were stories about his notorious actions and it was a fact that he knew no mercy. Perhaps his childhood was full of tortures so he felt raged when we did even a simple mistake. Thankfully I never fell prey to him but there were students who were literally thrown on the blackboard by collars for not completing homework and were rose in the air by holding their hairs, sometimes of head and some others of sideburns.
We felt terrorized ourselves and pity for those who used to be punished.
While Maths teacher was this stern, one for the Physics was funny. I remember one incident when someone offered him a Laddu (a sweet); he was so hesitant to eat it in front of the class that he put it in his pocket. Class brusted into a suppressed laughter upon seeing this. Some were trying hard not to smile and others either cupped their mouths with hands or put down their heads on desks in front and laughed silently. An embarrassed subject, he left the room with excuse of washroom.
From that day onwards we people must have been appeared smiling at him for he stopped standing on the blackboard’s podium and remained sitting while teaching through the entire year.
We did have other matters to attend to so we had been busy in breaking test-tubes, fiddling with apparatuses of physics labs and burning sodium for crackers.
The chemistry lab served as our gateway to the freedom in two ways from boring lessons. One was that we were doing handful of mindless experiments and the second and important one was to bunk the class the labs windows served as gates. These windows were large and were just 3 or 4 feet above the ground. So instead of going from the corridor which also had principal’s and superintendent’s office we found this way easy to sneak out. During these expeditions, as a monitor, it was my duty to ensure that either entire class was persuaded and stopped from bunking or make sure not a single motivated enthusiastic was left behind to spit out the secret. So their first task was to persuade me to bunk and I was no less adventurous and exceptionally cooperative. Now one may think what responsibilities I actually had then?
(To be continued..)