You had to wear something called ‘uniform’. You had to carry something called a ‘school bag’. You had to go buy books & notebooks every year. You had to wrap your notebooks with brown paper and a ‘label’ with space to write your name !

Of course the wrapper and the book were a Hollywood couple of sorts. Parting as soon as they came together !

You had to carry a lunch box. Sometimes, bringing back the lunch you were supposed to have had, if the food didn’t catch your fancy. For you had the raw mangoes for 50 paisa sold outside school.

You travelled in the school bus where your best friends reserved seats for you.

You had homework to do and exams to write. You could never understand Trigonometry or why that man shouted ‘Eureka’ although you kind of had a vague image of him running naked through the streets !

You revelled in English while your best friend was alive only in the Maths class. He thought Shakespeare was the devil in disguise and you thought ‘Differential Calculus’ was the devil without any !

Yet. He managed to beat you in English. And you beat him in math ! You thought it a big mystery and began to respect the devil a lot more.

You had holidays. Of a full two months. Where you had nothing else in your mind but cricket in the hot sun. You played and any ‘whining’ about the heat didn’t register !

You fought over who would bat first. Fights that would disappear between the stumps the minute it started. Fights. You moved on. You just knew how to.

You had favourite teachers. You had your favourite partners.Your friends were the world to you. You would do anything for them. Of course, your parents were God. Most of the time !

You didn’t understand money or loans as much as you understood good food and a great time.
Neither did you understand when some elders said, ‘enjoy your time now. You’ll treasure it for a lifetime’.

You ran with gusto. You played with frenzy. You read with passion. Your tears were rare and you rolled with laughter.

And then you grew up.

Looking back every now and then, wishing it was then, instead of now.

21 thoughts on “School

  1. Neha says:

    such a nostalgic post..I am sure each one of your reader will be able to associate with this..

    those school days, our “liking” for the uniform, homework, history and science (in my case)..baap re..I still get those nightmares of flunking in economics in my last year where I managed 35 – minimum passing..

    and you speak about playing cricket..I have mentioned this in one of my posts about how much I loved cricket and how I had to be made a part of my area ka cricket team..

    you know, I loved trigonometry and logarithms.. I enjoyed solving math..the more difficult it was the more I enjoyed..

    oh I can go on and on about this…loved the post and the subtle humour..:)))

  2. bodaat says:

    oh how i wish to be a little kid sometimes!

  3. Thanks for putting up the black and white photo . I can relate to that as i really rode a cycle , like the one you show, in high school. No fancy models and colors. Circa 1956-57.

    A lot of things were different, like no choices in school stationary (no lables) , only one company made compass boxes,my school disallowed flowers in the hair, and lunch dabbas were to eaten clean regardless of the bhaji.

    But some things remain unchanged.

    I still (try and ) run with gusto. I often worry with frenzy. I still read with passion. My tears will hopefully be rare and I’m trying to control the rolling with laughter, out of consideration for those living downstairs….

    Took me back 50 years. Wonderful post !

  4. manuscrypts says:

    🙂 maybe you will come back later, and write a post about your life now.. i always wonder how selective we are, in our memories…

  5. sujata says:

    clap clap clap!!! identified with everything, thankfully things are pretty much the same for the kids till they reach middle school even today. calculus was a horrid guy with terrible horns! And I never beat any friend of mine in maths..

  6. Aparna says:

    Wish I had a best friend who came alive in maths class. Then that hated Calculus would have been somewhat easier to digest.
    And the raw mangoes sold outside the school building? Yummy!

  7. Reading And tears within eyes.
    You rewind past. Thanks for sharing.
    And yes, the very first photograph
    – excellent.

  8. Insignia says:

    You brought back so many memories, over whelming. Oh my God!! those were the days. I have a post on it and then part 2 of it when people wanted more. Please read it at your convenience, I am sure you will enjoy. 🙂


  9. Amazing post , Could find those school days in front of eyes again 🙂

  10. nsiyer says:

    Just had goe last month for the past pupils get together of our school. Amazing with meeting old friends and looking at the courts and grounds where we played and the school buildings where our classes were held. Thanks.

  11. Swatantra says:

    Beautiful post!! Brought back the memories of the days spend at my school..

    Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Strange how those of us who like English don’t like Math – must be some genetic wiring code. And my lunch box was called dabba and we always ate from other people’s dabbas with absolutely no clue about what was packed for us.

    You are quite a writer – delighted to read this piece. Hope your muse inspires you forever…


  13. aativas says:

    Yes, and the constant wish to grow.. because elders told you ‘not to do so many things because you were only a child..’ good to have childhood and good to grow into an adult..:)

  14. radha says:

    lovely post. Remember a song by Mary Hopkins ( people of my generation would) – those school girl days of carrying books and carrying tales are gone….. yes, those days were to be treasured. We carried fewer books too. Exams were just bigger tests , no tension really! And where do kids get 2 months of fun filled holidays anymore?

  15. radha says:

    just realised I got the lyrics of the song all wrong… schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails….

  16. Such a beautiful post. Had a ready flashback playing with each word. Universal appeal.

  17. Boo hoo….I want to go back to school! Now!

    Give me some sunshine,
    give me some rain,
    give me another chance
    I wanna grow up once again……la…

    Oh…I feel totally nostalgic 🙂

  18. Darril says:

    Good one.. i went to my school days for a moment.. first pic is also good one..

  19. Kavi says:

    Neha : I have far greater respect for you. Phew. You loved trigonometry and logarithms ! 🙂

    Glad you loved the post !

    Bodaat : Oh how we all wish ! 🙂

    Ugich Konitari : That was a photo from rural TN clicked in early Jan of this year. I guess the timeline remains standard ! I went to school in a cycle too. For some years !

    You are one passionate human ! I am sure you have been so from the time that you went to school ! 🙂 or perhaps even earlier !

    Manuscrypts : That was a thought provoking comment ! Selective. Arent we ?!! 🙂

    Dipping into the memory can mean some part of us coming back. Usually some part that put a smile on our face ! 🙂

    Sujata : I guess the school years have a certain level of charm and magic to them thats part of every generation ! Its part of that age. I think ! 🙂

    Aparna : Raw mangoes outside the school building seems to have been a standard feature across India ! 🙂 Yummy werent they !?!?

    Hobo : Happy that this post helped you rewind ! Lovely ! 🙂

    Insignia : Thanks for sharing your posts ! I guess all ofus have truck loads of memories from that time. Like i said earlier, i guess it was part of that age ! 🙂

    Smriti : Welcome here ! Glad that the wonder years came alive ! 🙂

    NS Iyer : Reunions kick off a strong memory chain in all our minds ! This post had its origins in my school reunion too ! 🙂

    Swatantra : Thanks ! 🙂

    Meenakshi Shivram : I guess English and Math are opposite ends fo the spectrum ! Atleast i would like to think so ! It was nice meeting you too ! The lunch box was called dabba too ! The others dabba was always interesting !

    Aativas : The wish to grow up was omnipresent ! You are so right ! After all the growing up, the wish to be a child is omnipresent ! 🙂 Life !

    Radha : Where do kids get two months off ? Yes ! With ‘coaching classes’ to attend and marks to compete for, childhood stands removed. Except perhaps for video games and cartoon TV ! Sigh !

    The Holy Lama : Glad it brought about memories ! Thanks for the comment ! 🙂

    Destiny’s Child : Oh yes..if you get that other chance…please pass on the trick to me too. I would like it too !


    Darril : Thank you ! Welcome here ! the first pic was clicked in a small hillstation in the South ! 🙂

  20. RGB says:

    hmmmm….those were the days indeed! My daughter’s got 2 months off, and I have to come to work every single day…not fair! Loved your post. Very nostalgic. Wish I could be a kid again (sans the studying part of it!)

  21. Arundhati says:

    Knew I would like your blog the moment I saw ur profile – someone who likes To kill a mockingbird and anbe sivam is definitely my type 🙂

    And I absolutely loved this post !!! Clicking on follow to come back for more..

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