Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Walking Backwards

Entering the final year in college is quite a funny thing. On the one hand, I'm feeling sort of relieved to finally be at the fag end of my engineering life cycle. Not that I did not enjoy it while I was here, its just that there is such a thing known as TOO much studying (or engineering - whichever you prefer) and I'm glad to be moving on to bigger (and hopefully better) things. And so, while I sat back reminiscing on how time just flew by during my three years here, I realised how different this was from entering the 12th standard while in school. Okay, obviously it is quite different considering that one is associated with one's school for way longer than with one's college. But, it just made me ponder over how different we were then and how unrecognisable I would be to my former school self.
Its a very commong thing for students in school to fantasise about going to college and you know, having THE time of their lives. But I never really felt that way. I was quite happy in school and was in no hurry to get to college (yeah...I can hear you screaming NERD! but that's just how I was). Now, I went to an all girls' convent (one of the other reasons why people fail to comprehend why I wanted to stay in school :P). But, I think I can safely say that I did have a great time while in school, and I think I wouldn't be wrong if I said that sometimes, college doesn't even begin to compare to school. First up, kids in school have a way better idea about having fun than their counterparts in college. While in college, you'll need to shell out a great deal of dough to have a "fun" time - for eg. going for a movie, followed by food (or booze if that's your thing) and then finally crashing at a disc - whereas an average school kid has a great deal more fun than that by engaging in a highly adventurous and exhilarating bout of the - NEWSPAPER FIGHT! Kids know how to enjoy the simple things in life - something we lose to the Levi's and the Lee Coopers when we get to college. Oh,and the yearly ritual of the school picnic - ours was a toss-up between either Nehru Park or the Lodhi Garden (I still remember grimacing whenever I heard that we were going to either of those two AGAIN)- was totally something else. I still remember the way we used to gape and joke (quite rudely) at the "uncles and aunties" trying to well, have an excursion of their own in the bushes while in the park. Oh, and the ultimate weapon of destruction, the FRISBEE could be seen flying all over the place with adrenaline-charged kids running after it for all their life's worth.
As far as studies went, well I might sound vain when I say this but me and Mallika(co-conspirator and partner in crime) were pretty much the "teacher's pets" in the most biblical sense of the word. Though I might add that I wasn't as neurotic and nerve-wrecked as she was ( she was more like the teachers' lap dog :P), still I did have my "nerdy" moments (and its really not as bad and geeky as it sounds - instant gratification never hurt anyone :D). This obviously singled us out as the class enemies and we had our classmates plotting and scheming to turn us against each other(divide and rule personified) in ways that would put Ekta Kapoor and her entire brigade of vamps to shame. So, I had people coming up to me saying how egoistic and nerdy Mallika was, and people would go up to her and chime about how I had told them a "non-veg" joke (biggest crime that one could get penalised for in the SIXTH grade) which was obviously an apt reflection of my "poor" character :P. But, in the end, I guess Harry Potter sealed our friendship forever (nobody could get through something as sanctimonious as THAT). And finally, in the ninth grade, we committed the ultimate act of treason - we BUNKED class ( although unintentionally, though I usually leave out this minor detail - doesn't sound as cool :P). The teachers were in shock as if their worst nightmares had somehow come to life. But, still we got through unscathed (though I'm not too sure about Mallika - she seemed to be having a nervous breakdown and a panic attack at the same time - I looked quite callous next to her :D) and managed to retain our dignity too, till of course the time when we recounted this incident during our 12th standard assembly to the principal's horror (I was quite smug though :P).
There are too many memories attached with school - the chemistry lab for instance - our lab attendant tearing his hair out at the amount of salt we took for our experiments ("salt khaana hai kya?"), and that one fateful day when I managed to break a beaker, a pipette and a test-tube within a span of 20 minutes (the attendant said he had never seen somebody wreak so much havoc during the 25 years that he had spent in the lab). Then, there was that one time in the tenth grade, when I yawned right in the face of the maths teacher ( I was in the front seat and I didn't even bother to cover my mouth). She obviously got the hint, but she went on (I've never felt so ignored in my life :D). Oh, and then during Chemistry class in the 11th grade with Mr. Khilnani (the only male teacher in our school - poor guy- not that he deserved any pity, the tyrant that he was). I really needed to go the loo and it seemed like the class just wouldn't end. Of course, it didn't help that he was teaching about "fluid pressure" during the class.
So, I guess that's enough about my rant about school. I could not have asked for a better school experience than the one I had at Mater Dei. But, more importantly, I don't think that it would have been as memorable without Potter (yep, that's what Mallika was in school...though I'm not too sure now :D). All the fun we had, the experiences we shared, all the fights and then the making up...everything just forms a very colourful mosaic which will always be a part of my life.

School really is cool.