Our class was made up of all kinds. From the studious nerds to the totally crazy b****s. Yes, it was indeed a girls only class. We didn’t have the luxury of making friends with boys even though there were plenty in our school. Ours was not a co-ed, the school worked on shifts. Morning, the school was occupied by the girls and in the afternoon by the boys.
There was a very brief period of time daily, during which these two shifts crossed each other’s path. Or for the lack of a better word, coincided. In the premises there were clear imaginary markings as to the areas were the boys were allowed to gather before the long bell rang and the girls walked out of their classes. Come to think of it, you can compare it to the theatres. Where people await for the previous show to end and their show to begin. The only difference being, in the latter case, the movie hall gets cleaned and prepped up for the next show. But in school, the boys didn’t have that luxury. They had to make do with the mess that we girls left in the classrooms. But then again, imagine if it was the other way around!
Many a love story has bloomed from those classrooms. Even the strict prefects and teachers who become human guards between the two species every single day, couldn’t prevent love from blossoming in young hearts. I am using the term love here, cause in those days we were naive enough to believe that it was love.
Our classrooms had separate metal with wooden top desks with matching chairs for each child. The desks had an area under it which was a temporary storage space for us to use when in class. These had to be emptied before leaving class, lest you forget your precious pencil box or lunch box or God forbid books. Boys almost never handed them over to lost and found. This was also the best way to exchange love notes. And yes, the boys and the girls somehow managed to get the right note to the right class and hence to the right person. It was somewhat like the dabba walas in Mumbai. Precision and on time delivery guaranteed.
Then there were parties outside of school where the two species met. Dandhia nights, common family friend homes and I have heard there were teens only party nights too. Not all were lucky enough to get permissions to attend these. The communication channels were not entirely closed. Even though mobiles hadn’t come in then, telephones were useful in this scenario too, especially if both parents were working. In those days caller id was an unknown thing. Those were the days of crank calls and obscene remarks from total strangers. And no one bothered to register complains for such seemingly harmless flirtations. Of course, misuse happens and then brilliant people come up with caller id to identify the perverts. So yeah, telephones were pretty useful too.
Like everyday, school buses stop every 5 minutes in front of our building. Today, I was taken back to those days of my life. School days, however stressful they may seem, always end up being memorable. Friends, foes, lovers, fights, makeups and breakups. School does teach us so much. But sadly, we really understand and respect these long after we have left the school premises.
So, what are your school memories.