Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going up.

I love going up the stairs.

I hate coming down the stairs.

I'd rather not go up if I have to come down later.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scindia Stories #1 - SM973

I arrived at Gwalior station with a huge black trunk and a 16-inch suitcase. I was in a daze; I do not remember at all the trip from the station to Gwalior fort, where the school was. It was afternoon.

I was in Dattaji house. Apparently, our housemaster, a Mr. Sanjeevan Bose was out of town with a school contingent, and one Mr. Dhirendra Sharma was helping out the incoming 'new boys'. We were also introduced to the house matron Mrs. Handoo, a tall, heavy built woman, who looked extremely sweet to the parents, what with that over enthusiastic smile of hers. All 'new boys' were queued up in a veranda and weirdly, some teachers and some 'old boys' were trying to clap hands to gain attention. They would go 'Clap clap' and shout 'Quiet please'.

Now, the parents were asked to leave the premises. I could see tears rolling down my mother's eyes. I was holding mine up somehow. After the simultaneous emotional exchange between 65 new boys and their parents, we were assembled again for a talk.

During the talk, we were given ID numbers, that would last us for our Scindian life. I was allotted 973. We had to tag everything that was ours with our initials and this no. So, for my Scindian life, I became SM973. My underwear was tagged, my shampoo was tagged, my shoes were tagged, and basically everything was tagged with a permanent marker.

Later through the years, whenever my clothes or shoes were dirty even after a wash, the matron ready with a stick in hand would summon me and give me a nice beating on the palm.

Although it was supposed to last me only for my Scindian life, SM973 has stuck to me even ten years after Scindia. My previous phone lock code consisted 973.

Scindia Stories - Prologue

I had a little history regarding boarding schools. In the 1st or 2nd grade, I had appeared for an entrance examination for Welham Boys, and when the result came out and I realized I was admitted; I tore off the result. I simply did not want to go.

So it still confuses me as to why I enthusiastically suggested that I be admitted to the Scindia School, Gwalior in the 4th grade. It may have been because of the stories of Mussoorie International School that I had heard from my sisters.

Whatever the reason, the three years in Scindia were the fondest of my schooling life. In the following series, I will write incidents and tales that I remember from Scindia.