I happened to catch up with a few of my school-friends over dinner. More often than not, when I am probably given a notice of say, a week or 10 days, for such a rendezvous, I usually don't make it. But this was fixed in a 2 hour notice and thankfully I wasn't expected to be at some studio yesterday and finally made it to probably one of the nicest evenings I have had.
Talking of school, my best times were at Hindu Senior, Indira Nagar. Our Principal then, Mr V Venkatachalam, IMO was super dynamic, let us be what we wanted to be. He would allow one of my classmates to come 3 hours late to school because he was training to be a tennis player. I can't think of any other school that would allow that. He let me go to an All India level competition with barely a couple of weeks left to go for the board exam. I came first in that thankfully but I appreciate his vision even more now.
Somehow, the best memories are of school for me. Maybe it is true for a lot of people. I remember one of our classmates was really good at imitating teachers and hence when my Physics teacher, Swarna ma'am came to know of it she asked him to come forward and perform, for the benefit of the entire class and herself. We were initially scared but it was even more fun when our teacher joined in and laughed when she saw her student imitate her.
Last night we spoke of a whole lot of things, school, classes, the super performers, sports day and PE teachers, throwball teams A and B, who was brilliant, who broke fingers and throw ball was the one sport I was actively involved in school. And the HSSS hosted the SDK Throwball cup and somehow Hindu won each year coz we were the best. Quite proud of this. :D I have romanced the idea of some sort of a throw ball match reunion but God knows if that will ever happen. The throw ball matches were fun for the boys in school basically because they got to see entertaining games between girls of various schools who would land up in our playground. And we perhaps had one of the biggest playgrounds then. I hear the ground isn't there anymore and I can't bear to go back and see it.
We had a basketball court and a superb gallery. And, every Friday it would be the responsibility of some class/section to decorate the Ganesh temple in our premises. Kolam and Sundal, Bhajan and the entire post noon session off :)
Probably at that age, we would split hair about who got more marks or who performed better in some sport. But looking back, for me, it was a beautiful phase in my life. And as my classmate told me, we were all friends with each other in the purest form. No ulterior motives. She said by the time we are in college the friendships that forge there are very different from the ones forged at school.
Over the dinner table, watching my friends talk of career, family, parenthood, school, college, home, cleaning, gardening I wondered how and when time flew. It seemed like yesterday that we were in eighth standard. Staircases and corridors, blackboards and chalk pieces, question papers and answer sheets and the red numerators and denominators within a circle.
Looking out of the window before I type this line, I don't wish to go back to that time. It has served its purpose.
There will always be a part of me that is frozen in that 8th standard. An age of innocence, simple joys and simple sadnesses, simple challenges and simple solutions. No matter how grown-up and adult the society expects me to be. The child in me is forever alive and kicking.
Perhaps at the end of the journey of living as Chinmayi I hope to figure out the reason behind it all. And I hope it would end with a relaxed smile.