my words, my thoughts, the way i see the world...in short, my ramblings
Monday, November 10, 2008
Miracles do happen after all :)
would you believe it, i got the sanskriti post back! after resigning myself to the rotten luck i am often faced with, i was pleasantly shocked to get a mail from my now-official-life-saviour, saying "Is this the post that got deleted? Why can I still see it?" and sure enough, copied in that mail was the whole post. So apparently, if you see my blog from google reader, the post is very much intact (how, is completely beyond me) along with three versions of the "obama it is" post. Not that Im complaining...Im just thrilled at such an unexpected miracle :)
now althought this post is about school, and was earlier written with all the memories of school and my school friends in mind, this time around I dedicate it to my evil step twin, my life saviour and truly, my guardian angel, Ankita Sinha. She wanted me to write a post about her and how wonderfully important she is to my life (yeah she's not one of those modest kinds)...but all Ill say is that she's one of the best things that has happened to me, and she's one of the best friends anyone can ever wish for. She saved my life once before during 3rd year project time, has truly truly been there for me, and with me. Its only befitting that she got me my post back. So anki, this one's for you, with lots of love forever and ever.
One of my dear friends asked me this question "What does sanskriti mean to you?" Its a question i must have asked myself millions of times, since i left my alma mater, the place where i completed my school education. It's been four years since i left that place; at times it feels like another world, and at others, i can almost relive certain moments with the same intensity.
I told my friend that sanskriti was like my orientation session to delhi, to india, to how people my age are like. It made me see that indian schools are NOT like denobli school from hip hip hurray (i was utterly disappointed at that). The two years at sanskriti were like a crash course in the indian education system, rather the beloved CBSE. I learnt to memorize irrelevant information, write looooooonnnngggggg answers, really 'write' (which coming from an education system where we typed EVERYTHING was a BIG deal). I learnt how to make trial balances, balance sheets...and deal with failing unit tests and seeing marks like 65% and *sigh* 40% on my report card. i learnt the true meaning of sheer hard work, which was the reason that a failure in economics went to being a 96%er.
sanskriti is a beautiful school; for me it was love at first sight. i was coming from ISKL, malaysia which is perhaps one of the most beautiful schools in the world, so sanskriti seemed like a smaller, yet just as pretty, version of it. there are plenty of open spaces, and greenery, and mind you, it is VERY confusing; being geographically challenged till date, i couldnt find my way around the lesser frequented areas of the school till the end. my favourite places in the school? the ramp (the world's best place to gossip), the amphitheater (more on that later), the what-used-to-be 12 D classroom with the side pond, the balcony attached to the-then-11 D, the home science lab, the library (and the attached gossip room)...these are some of the places where my soul probably still lingers.
The two trips that i went on from sanskriti, were perhaps some of the best times of my life. Anjanisain, our compulsory trip to rural india, was a time of bonding. it was where some of my closest relationships and some of my BEST memories of life were formed; getting woken up on my first night (after travelling for close to 12 hours in a bus on rugged mountain roads) by samia, who wanted to the know the time (for god's sake!), the coughing which would begin in the girls' dorm the minute the lights were switched out, chatting with somya till well into midnight (we started talking just because we couldnt hear the others, but later developed our own before sleeping ritual of chit chatting), the boys singing aa bhi jaa (till date i cannot listen to that song objectively), teaching abhay "phatela jeb", shweta singing phatela jeb, the gossip sessions...for days, months and now years, the hangover remains.
Nahan was another party; it was a smaller trip, i personally LOVED the three tata sumos and i loved our big room, the biggest in fact. We got the suite, and were the subject of everyone's envy! Nahan to me is about FTV uncle, singing enrique's and boom's songs, the waterfall place (and the weird fights that happened!), pranima and neha teaching bedi and nakul how to dance under the night sky, saksham going from girl to girl flirting and bulbul screaming at nakul "he's flirting with your sister", and nakul screaming back "I cant hear...kya bol rahi hai???", the crazy ghost summoning games with the pencil, the card games, the skits we put up on the last night (my most vivid memory of that is of somya being the ever doting mother to neha), the morning trek on the last day, debjani mam correcting her eco papers with me and pranima staring at every paper and every mark, trying to convince her to be more lenient, the 20 of us fitting into two tata sumos on the way back, debjani mam telling nakul to shut up (and he did shut up till we reached school), our constant speculation on who was dating whom on the trip and finally deciding that it doesnt matter, as long as we have the gossip.
Sanskriti to me is also about the amazing teachers; Sanjukta mam, undoubtedly the best teacher i have ever come across, who was perhaps the best confluence of a teacher, friend and mother/elder sister figure, someone who has wisdom for every situation and every problem. She was the reason many of us did so well in our boards. She believed in our individuality, something which is so rare in a teacher. She's someone who i still have the utmost love and regard for. Ambika Mam, the strictest teacher. Im perhaps still scared of her, and would probably still shudder in her presence. but ill always respect her immensely for the way she transformed an eco failure into a 96%er. She never let me believe that i couldnt do it. Once after failing my unit test, i gathered up courage to go and talk to her about how i had studied and i dont know where i was going wrong. The way she spoke to me and the confidence she instilled in me, was heartwarming, and i remember going to school the day the results came out...and ambika mam was standing at the entrance and she hugged me ever so tightly when she saw me. To me, THAT is success. That's what sanskriti gave me.
sanskriti gave me some of my closest friends; i was lucky to have a great gang of friends in school and im still in touch with most of them, which i consider a huge achievement for all of us. we still know whats happening in everyone else's life, where everyone is, how everyone is doing. some of us are in constant touch, while with others, we talk once in a blue moon. my school friends are part of my security blanket; they are the people who have seen me grow up from a 15 year old 'phoren returned' to a 21 year old delhiite. there is immense comfort with each one of them, regardless of the nature of my relationship with them and whenever we meet, we're 16 again.
the carnivals are the highlight of the year in sanskriti; particularly the jam session where we dance and dance and dance till they throw us out! the jam session traditionally ends with a song dedicated to the outgoing batch and the batch standing in the middle of the floor dancing one last time together. its the rituals like this which made sanskriti special.
songs maketh a sanskritian; at least they did in 'my' time. i associate many songs with school; 'flying on a jet plane', 'yaaron dosti', 'summer of 69', 'aa bhi jaa', enrique's 'hero', boom's 'mundiya toh bachke' the prominent ones. there's a story which perhaps explains this point best; many months after we passed out from school, i was at neha 1's place getting dressed to go to our awards ceremony at school where we were going to get awards for excellence in cbse. suddenly the radio blared 'yaaron dosti' and i shouted 'nehaaaaaaaaa'...and at that moment neha came running to the room and we looked at each other and grinned like idiots. neha's mom looked at us and later told my mom 'i thought only neha was like this...turns out, all of them are like this.'
I wasnt the most active person in terms of extra curriculars, but i was a proud member of the student council, as a member of the editorial board. That badge, with my name on it, is perhaps one of my most valuable possessions even after 4 years. I remember applying for student council, giving the interviews in ishwaran's room, getting selected in front of the whole school and standing on the amphitheater's stage, getting my badge on that very stage (one of my most favourite life moments). the 'leadership' camp which the council members attended where we stayed over in school for a night remains one of my best memories from student council; i remember himmat and saksham scaring everyone by randomly jumping from the dark; rishabh making fancy plans of coming to girls' room in the middle of the night to scare us, which eventually never happened, because he fell asleep (!); the constant infighting within my sub group and yet everyone saying that it was the best sub group EVER; the boys trying to climb up the walls of the amphi in the night and someone eventually succeeding...
that amphitheateris a very important place for a sanskritian; i got my certificate for excellence in psychology and elective english in 11th class on that stage. my citation ceremony, one of the most important moments of a sanskritian, was on that stage; where you stand with a diya on your hand, in front of your batchmates, your teachers and parents and listen to your principal speak the words which your class teacher has written JUST for you. i was one of the privileged few, who not only heard the words of her class teacher, but also the words of the principal, who spoke about me spontaneously. i went on that stage one last time in 2004 november, as a proud alumni, to collect a certificate and a prize for excellence in cbse.
i havent gone back since; i have heard that things have changed, and i saw the change happening when i was leaving school and on the few occasions i went back after i passed out. i dont feel the need to go back; i dont want to see new faces, new things in my school...and i most definitely do not want to be treated like an outsider. i go to sanskriti often in my thoughts, and in my mind, sanskriti will always be the place i left behind in 2004.