60-year-olds recall their plaited-hair school days

60-year-olds recall their plaited-hair school days

Mahila Seva Samaja’s Class of 1969 meets after 50 years, and the memories come rushing back

(In front) Shanthala, Chaya, Sheela and S Rajalakshmi; (Second row) Tara, Sandhya, Chithra, Vijaya, Ashalatha, Latha and Vyjayanthi; (third row) Gajalakshmi, Lakshmi, Seethalakshmi, Narmada, Sudha and Nandini; (last row) H Rajalakshmi, Kalpana, Padmini an

A bunch of us, all 60-plus women, met at our school after a gap of 50 years.

Thanks to technology and the relentless efforts of our batchmate Kalpana, 20 of us from the Class of 1969 met at Mahila Seva Samaja, Basavanagudi, on July 15.

The day was marked by excitement and also some apprehension. We only had faint memories of classmates dressed in uniforms, and sporting plaited hair secured with ribbons. Our grandchildren are at that age now.

We greeted each other not very sure of identities. But a little hint here and a clue there and instantly we were transported back half a century.

What followed were peals of laughter and warm hugs and non-stop chatter with more recollections of past events, teachers, friends who could not join us, rewards and punishments. It was a touching moment when some of us sang the school prayer.

Then it was time to take a tour of our school, peeping into our old classrooms and excitedly introducing ourselves to teachers who, perhaps, were not even born when we were students there.

And then the playgrounds, auditorium, the tuck shop which, sadly, is now shut, and the quadrangle.

Despite the excitement, there were sombre moments. When we entered the administrative block, our eyes fell on the portrait of our beloved headmistress Seethamma, who was feared and respected.

She helmed the team that contributed to shaping us into what we are today. We remembered teachers and classmates who are no more.

The meeting was not all about reliving the past. It was time to catch up with the present. Again, thanks to the meticulous planning of Kalpana and Chaya, we gathered at a local club for lunch. Each of us shared our life stories-families, personal achievements and events, some happy and some not so happy.

What struck me was how the years melted away and we were able to share our stories without any hesitation. One topic that should make our TV serial producers rethink is the role of mother-in-law. Almost all of us had great stories of mothers-in-law as role models.

Lunch and more laughter and then it was time to bid good-bye with promises and hopes to meet again.

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