Sunday, September 13, 2009

Convent Educated

These past few weeks, I've been thinking about my schooldays a lot. This particular wave of nostalgia was triggered by a classmate who recently got married and did the requisite commemoration of the event on various social networking sites. We had been rather close at a point of time, and in remembrance of that particular chapter of our lives, she had sent me an invitation two months ago. Of course, I didn't go, but what struck me a little was how I didn't even consider going.

This friend of mine, S, was my partner on the quiz team in school. Well, we were the quiz team in school. Between the seventh and the tenth standards, we spent a lot of time together trying to win glory for our school with our astonishing knowledge of random trivia. We had our moments. We were the first all girls team to qualify for the final round of a particularly prestigious city competition (which we eventually lost). We had four exciting and exhausting years, competition after competition, and a friendship burgeoning in between. My mother was taken by S's other worldly commitment to her studies. Her parents also seemed fond of me. We lost touch after school, and over the years, I only heard of her, not from her.

So when I saw her wedding pictures, I was looking at her, really looking at her, after a gap of nine years. And it freaked me out a little. I know it's unrealistic to expect everyone else to stay the same while your own life moves on, but I just keep picturing everyone else still in their school uniforms. How can they be getting married? Are some of them seriously posting pictures of their children?

Driving down the lane of your own intensely important life, you tend to keep others' lives constant just to give you perspective. When it finally filters down to you that the rest of the world is moving too, it can be oddly unsettling. I miss the existence of the two too serious girls in their navy blue blazers and skirts, discussing the latest weird factoid in the corridors of a beautiful, still colonial school. I miss the fact that school is one part of my life that I have absolutely no contact with, keeping it fossilized in my memory. Most of all, after all these years, I still miss school as sharply as I did after I left. But that actually makes me happy.

Congratulations, S. You were beautiful.


Anonymous said...

err Don't you want to say "are beautiful" :P

Sim said...

Wow! I mean really wow! you're right sometimes to keep our memories and to feel comfortable we keep them intact in a way that we refuse to accept any change in the people part of that memory so change shocks us, but then again sometimes what shocks you is how some people around you are not changing at all which makes you wonder that maybe change is an over rated issue and that maybe just maybe people actually don't really change, the circumstances change.

heh? ok said...

@ anonymous She was beautiful at her wedding.

@ Sim
It is a bit of a shock, isn't it? We are a bit naive.

another brick in the wall said...

"Driving down the lane of your own intensely important life, you tend to keep others' lives constant just to give you perspective."

dude.. that's a sexy line

loved this one :)

heh? ok said...

@ abw
dude, you love saying 'sexy'. but thanks :)

Poo said...

I am still amazed how I am constantly shocked and shook up by classmates getting married by the truckloads. What is wrong with them? I often shake my head and wonder, how can they do such grown up things and get married, set up home and have in-laws!!! Thankfully no one I went to school with has had kids. That will be too much to deal with, I can still picture most of these girls in two plaits and talking about boys/pimples/boys/clothes/boys!

probe said...

again, how wonderful it feels, to be in love with your favourite writer. pure magic this.

probe said...

again, how wonderful it feels, to be in love with your favourite writer. pure magic this.

Saltwater Blues said...

You and Tips were classmates! Cool! Hang on - you saying she's just 24? Looks much older though. Definitely sounds a lot older!

Whats the name of the school btw? Looks like they turned out quite a few brilliant individuals (you included S!)And I'm not just saying that.

So - whats the capital of Burkina Faso?

heh? ok said...

@ poo
in the last year alone, the baby phenomenon has happened four times. FOUR! the world is spinning a shade too fast.

@ probe
bribes won't work.

@ swb
First, ouagadougou to you too. and yes, we were in the same class at St. Mary's in Shillong. She's a year older to me, i'm guessing 26.

Saltwater Blues said...

LOL ... to be honest I still though it was called Upper Volta.

I used to be soemthing of a GK nerd too you know, but never bothered with the competitions. Being in the school band got me all the female attention I could handle.

Do try and catch Soulmate at the Blue Frog S. She really is quite wonderful! And I'm sure she's matured a lot since the time she sang at your passing-out.

heh? ok said...

@ swb
if i make it, i'll be sure to tell her i was sent by a fan :)

Eveline said...

Okay, the mention of the lead vocalist's name got me onto your site and i see SwB raced me to it.
Tips is an absolute sweetheart and if all goes as planned i'll be meeting her at Shillong next month.

There's something so lovely about your friendships in school. And I didn't realize how wonderful it was for the longest time... well, until reading this post. Thanks for reminding me.
Good read, keep up the interesting posts.

Tanushree Pillai said...


This post made me very nostalgic. Even I had a friend with whom I partnered to be the runner-up for a Quiz Competetion in School. But, now I have no clue about her.

Loved your writing style. Great Going!!!!