Down the winding road

From the albums

Down the winding road

From being a kid carrying a school bag and lunchbox to a grandmother packing tiffin for my grandchildren, I have surely come a long way. A lot has changed, but the feeling of nostalgia that I experience whenever I think of school days, remains the same.

This old photograph was taken in 1975, when I was in the ninth standard in ITI Vidya Mandir. It is a class photo that we took just before the year ended and we all were together the next year as well.

      We had our share of quarrels, competitions and good times. Of all the classmates, I was very close to Manjula, Prabha and Anuradha. Though we weren’t that competitive when it came to academics, we would often help each other out.

      I was not good in Maths, and another good friend Suman Bapat acted as my teacher. Thanks to her, I cleared the exams.

Our school had a big playground and we were given enough time to play as well as indulge in some art and craft. This was when we all learnt the art of stitching. What was special about our batch was that though we actively took part in all the extra-curricular activities, we managed to break records in academics too. We had a pass percentage of 100 per cent and 32 students secured first class in 10th standard, which is a record till date.

Once, I came home crying as I had not won any competition. So the next day, my father bought a gift for me without my knowledge and handed it over to our teacher. He requested her to give it to me saying she had forgotten to announce my name!

Be it imitating the teachers or giving them nicknames, those were the days of innocence.
I managed to meet many of my friends and batchmates from school after a gap of
39 years, thanks to the efforts of our teachers and families. Due credit must be given
to WhatsApp and social media too!

The day of the reunion was Friendship Day — August 2, 2015. Though most of us were unaware of this fact at the time the date was finalised, we were ecstatic when we figured out that we couldn’t have had a better day for our reunion.

We sang the same prayer in the same hall like we were all back in school! Paying a tribute to teachers and friends who are no longer with us was an emotional moment.

     The most fun part of the day was trying to recognise each other with our grey hair and spectacles! We even played a few outdoor games just like in the good old days. Earlier, we would receive the prizes from teachers and on this day, we received them from each other. We have come a long way and it has truly been a wonderful journey. 

The reunion taught me an important lesson — friends will always remains friends irrespective of one’s status or the years gone by.

Before we left, we decided that we should meet every quarter. I just can’t wait for our next meet!

Radha Prasad
(The author can be reached at radhalnprasad@ gmail.com)

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