Sunday, January 22, 2012

Growing Up in a Boarding School - The Journey Continues…

Having the house to myself, access to unlimited wine and streaming old Bollywood hits definitely requires a blog post. Especially since I've been on a hiatus. While the whole world (yes, US of A definitely considers themselves to encompass the whole world with their world series on everything) watches football ( I don't even know why they call it that...sigh!), I can actually hear myself think after what seems like a trillion years.

The songs currently playing are from my school days and recent Facebook pictures of some of my hostel friends have stirred in such nostalgia that I need to go back to the day when I heard I would be moving to another boarding school - a school that had swings, slides and a jungle gym. A place where I couldn’t speak my language freely or have to pray to Jesus every night was not my cup of tea. But most importantly, the fact that Pratt's playground was barren of any play structure, did not sit well with me. So, I was excited to leave Pratt memorial and head for Gokhale Memorial Girls School

It didn’t take long for me to make friends at GMGS. In fact, I found one while taking the entrance exam for that school – a fair and pretty girl from Guwahati who sucked at written Bengali as much as I did – Moumita Saha. Our journey at Gokhale began together – and what a journey that was.

I will always remember this school with fondness as most of who I am today was due to my time spent in those dormitories, corridors, dining hall and playground. Not to mention the ‘ghupchi’ and ‘gauri kund’ where some of us went to escape and share a few laughs. But I will remember this place mostly due to the “Guru Chela” fan system we had going. My first day at GMGS hostel, I was indoctrinated into this age-old custom of becoming a “fan” of a senior by Maitreyee. Too bad we didn’t end up inventing Facebook with its fan pages. Whichever senior I picked would become my “Guru” and I would be her “Chela” (disciple). My first "Guru" I remember was Tora Sinha who was sadly subjugated to my horribly ugly handmade cards and letters expressing my love for her.

Talking about letters - for some reason we wrote a lot of those in Gokhale amongst friends whom we'd meet on a daily basis. We'd exchange letters secretly, hide them in the folds of our socks (folding of the socks was considered fashionable) and hand them over while passing each other in assembly lines. I really don't remember what we could have possibly written and even though it seems extremely silly right now - it is something we devoted a lot of time to. It was probably the only way I knew to express myself. Till date I feel the same way. I am able to express myself better in writing than have a conversation about things that make me uncomfortable.

My love for the arts developed in class VB when our art teacher “Practish” gave me an 8 out of 100 and mocked my “view of a room” in front of the entire class. Apparently I had made no distinction between the walls and the floor and they were all painted in one solid color. My love for Hindi movies – specifically “Aamir Khan” developed right at the same time. It was the year of “Qyamat se Qyamat Tak” and a first in the history of our hostel when the girls united and forced our Matrons to take us to the movie theater to watch the movie. What followed were two dorms full of love-struck girls, listening to QSQT songs, hugging the little black radio on occasions and collecting Aamir Khan postcards. Yes, he was my first love who got me into trouble and I somehow found myself facing severe punishment in class for “dealing” with these postcards of images on Aamir hugging Juhi. I am still convinced though that our teachers wanted those postcards for themselves and Aamir’s cuteness was much discussed in the Staff Rooms.

I most certainly cannot complete my GMGS experience in this one post and I have this feeling creeping up on me that my "alone time" is about to end. So I do need to go back to drinking my wine, closing my eyes and remembering the good old days. More to come soon with pictures...I promise!


Joy @CGBC Youth said...

In another trillion year?!

Having finished my first 2 Aamir Khan movies, I have to say that he is very cute indeed. What was more inspiring was the fact that the ones I watched stood for my kind of students, those who don't quite fit into the normal school systems.

I demand more young Mala pictures, and soon. Or else!

sukalpa said...

awwwww....thank you for the warm feelings that come drifting through the years...