Thursday, June 26

Ishkool Matters

Lots of fun filled memories would come to everybody’s mind at the mention of the word “School”. But to me…I wouldn’t say it was bad...i would rather say it as the worst part of my life. Not that I detest the learning part considering it was the only reason I actually went to the school. I just hate the rest of it. Now, let me begin with a light introduction of what my school is…d intro mainly due to the fact that it was no normal school.

Yr 1998: A group of weirdly dressed girls with long ponytails and huge books were boarding the train during one of my monthly trips to T.Nagar for shopping. I asked my sister, “Akka, yaarukka ivalellam?? En red colorla ellarum half-sari potruka?? Naan poi izhuthutu varatta?”(Sis! Who are these red color clad half-sari girls?? Shall I go pull them??). “You better not!” my sister advised, “These girls are a part of train bandits! Haven’t you heard about them??” I got scared with this reply and continued ogling at them from a distance. I promised my sister that I would never leave her side and be a good girl. My sister smiled smugly.

Yr.2000: I was in my 10th class when this topic came up. Dad and sister were debating on which group I should be taking up for my higher secondary. Not that they didn’t listen to my pleas of studying something related to fashion, my dad wanted me to attend the best school there is and get better marks than anyone in my family. Well…what a long lost hope! Here was I, struggling to get past my phobia for subjects and my dad has started to look in for the best! When I tried to point out this to my dad, all he said was to listen to him and work hard. Well, I did work hard, more in terms of watching movies and enjoying my school life. By the end of the year, my dad told me that he had had me shifted to another school in the locality. I didn’t bother much about and continued to e-ottify my life. Little did I know that life had a different plan!

Yr 2001: Results were out and I surprised myself by passing all the subjects excluding a slight dent in my Hindi numbers. Since, the main subjects were cleared with decent scores, my family celebrated with much gusto. After all the merriment got over, my sister called me over separately to our room. I presumed it had to be something about me spilling ink over her books and hence, went grudgingly. I automatically started jabbering an apology when she plainly held her hand and asked me 2 shut my mouth. I was a little taken aback as she would never miss such a golden opportunity to get bashings from my mum. Though a bit relieved, I never expected that she would start on to tell me that I would be shifting schools to complete my higher studies.

I know its not a big deal..shifting to SAMOHSS. But it would be a big deal when you go to a school with a cropped hair and wearing a half sari(don’t forget the specs).. Sniff Sniff!! I was the center of all the stupid jokes. The younger kids in the school used to come and gape at me as if I was some animal in a zoo.. Boo Hoo.. Sigh! This school is situated in T.Nagar and is famous for its students getting the top ranks in the final exams. I used to travel in the suburban train as C.Pettai was quite far away from it. All the students in the school were big time paDipps and I hated it from the start. All these guys could chat was only about Chemistry formulae and Physics theories. Guys (had to wear VeshTis) were not allowed to interact with girls which itself was very annoying, considering half my friends in the earlier school were only guys! Teachers used to teach in Tamil, even though it was English Medium School. Half my knowledge of swear words in Tamil were learnt from the teachers themselves. It became usual for the teachers to say “Pannada! Paradesi! Ecchakala Naaye!! Anga enatha pudingitruka!!!”(Swear words on Tamil that I do not wish to translate). Classrooms were typically a dungeon. No fan (doesn’t work even if it is there!), no light, the only ventilation used to come from the so called windows (no windows either, just paraphet walls with grills). It wouldn’t have been that difficult if not for the fact that almost 150 students were dumped in one single classroom which can hold only 75 in the first place!! Girls who didn’t wear Bindis were given punishments. All Fridays, we were supposed to sit and listen to Upanyasams. When a Jeeyer (Did I not mention it was an Iyengar School??) ever comes to Chennai, they would undoubtedly make a visit to the school without fail. Everyday evening after 4PM, all the girls would be sent off to learn Divya Prabhandams, and the guys would be sent off to learn Vedas. This doesn’t matter if you are interested or not. It was school rule. The teachers themselves came in VeshTis and Panjakajams. Sanskrit was a compulsory subject to be taken up. Even the Shlokas had to be deciphered and explained in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit teacher used to come to the class with her kids. The Blackboards actually were the wall on it was painted black. And wait, the most bizarre part is that the school fee was 700 rs!!!!

All said and done, this school had something that I couldn’t understand. No matter what, it could make even the dumbest of the kids (read me) to score really good marks. This certainly was surprising to me, just because of the fact that I had never put efforts to study; nor did the other kids who were like me. I also am grateful to the school for having taught me Prabhandams and Shlokas. But the reason why I hate the school was for the reason that it made me lose my confidence to socialize with people. I could not bring up the courage to speak to guys after I left the school. And I had started swearing a lot. When I started thinking about, I realized that the whole environment had been so narrow-minded about life, and things around it. I don’t even have to explain how it would have been when I told them about Instituto Scenology! Well…Life has its own way to explain itself. I guess I should be happy of the way it has shaped me in the process. SAMOHSS and IS…whattaa combination…!!!

8 comments:

Bikerdude said...

Checked in after quite a few weeks and saw there were 6 juicy posts waiting for me :) Great going!

Your school sounds like some sort of medieval prison camp. And yeah I know those those over-the-top iyengar types - speak from experience :P

Pettai Maami said...

@ BD- Medival prison is such an understatement...u hav no idea how bad it was.. i have ignored many other points so that ppl dnt get scared...

Anonymous said...

ahha..another ex.student of ahobali madam

Vathsan

kavitha said...

:O ve..ve..veshtis...? i din know this part of madras! :|

hope you compensated for the fun factor in IS! :)

Pettai Maami said...

@vathsan- :D ...

@Kavita- yes yes ma dear...vesTis and half sarees... i really keep thanking god for IS... :D

felinedev said...

no wonder we all love de song " we don need no education" v:)......teachers!...leave dos kids alone !

Idling in Top Gear said...

Oh my - I studied in a Chinmaya Vidyalaya in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu one year and I thought it was bad because girls wore half-saries in class XI and XII! Clearly, yours is much worse!

Pettai Maami said...

@felinedev- aah!! am so honored...saar got time to visit my blog??!!!.. :P .. wondering how you wud react after seeing my school...

@Idling- you visiting india no?? come come..i shall show you around SAMOHSS.. :P