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Coming of Age Happy High School









 Growing up in a middle class family my life was full of ups and downs, but more ups than downs. Though we were financially comfortable anything else apart from basic requirements was considered as luxury.



I remember except for people living on streets ,all the people I knew were middle class people. Maybe those days people were not so class conscious as they are today. All were very friendly and supportive of each other.

Fortunate to to be educated in a Convent school thanks to my maternal grandmother an intrepid ,visionary lady who was far ahead of her times.


Life in a Convent school was akin to a jail to me. The nuns behaved like jailers and the teachers like wardens..who never thought once before using the rod or hurling a duster at a student, punishments like standing on the bench, kneeling on the floor, writing 100 times in the diary "I will not trouble my teacher" etc were 'daily affairs ,"and dare any parent came and 'questioned the teacher or complained against them on the contrary the parents would reprimand us stating that because we were at fault the teacher had to take such action


The memory of a teacher flinging a duster at a girl, and the girl bleeding profusely from the head is still vivid in my mind .The parent when informed came quickly and took the child away, and even apologised to the teacher for her child's behaviour.If a similar incident took place now, the teacher would have definitely been behind bars.


We had a school dairy for daily lesson and timetable , which also had one page for 'teacher's remarks ' where the teachers entered any remarks regarding homework conduct etc .If we got any remark we had to get it signed by our parents or face further punishments .


Most of the parents never signed those remarks saying that "you have committed a mistake,you deserved to be punished"

The following day half of the students would be outside the class for not getting the remarks signed. As the academic year came to an end many of us would have to buy an extra calendar just for' teachers remarks '.


My parents never indulged us and everything was rationed. I remember my pencil box had only 2 pencils ,an eraser and a sharpener which we were warned not to use aimlessly. Our rough book was made by binding the unused pages of our old notebooks. We had one pair of uniform shoes and socks each which we had to manage till the end of the year unless a mishap occurs and sometimes carried forward too.


Cakes' and chocolates' were reserved only for birthdays .Eating from road side stall was' blasphemous' and we never even dreamt to break those rules. New clothes would be purchased for festivals and birthdays and not according to our whims and fancies .


The distance from my school and home was 4Km which was covered by bus, the fare to and fro was 10 paise. ( an amount many may not even be aware of as coins of that denominator are not available now). Always an extra 10 paise coin was kept in the pencil box in case the bus fare is lost and strict warnings were given to us not to use that money for anything else. I remember guarding that spare 10 paise coin more than my life.. always fearing how would I get home if I misplaced my bus fare.?


Our outing consisted of either to a relative's house, or parks or an occasional movie always accompanied by my parents. Once in a blue moon, we would go to a restaurant for snacks or dinner and that would be like a small celebration. '


Dinner time would be a' family affair' where we all sat on the floor to eat dinner, in a circle, it was like a round table conference only the table was missing here. My father would ask us about our school and studies and general topics, whether we were hungry or no we had to sit down for dinner and take part in the conversation.


Going on annual vacations were mandatory and I still have memories of those wonderful years where we visited some amazing places.


There were no malls or fancy stores around, most of the shopping would be down from local Stores which would be a grocery cum stationery all rolled into one. There was a 'Bata ' store from where all are our shoes were purchased and a sprinkling of garments stores for clothes. Ready-made clothes were unheard of and clothes would always be 'stitched'.All the tailors were in big demand and did good business those days, sadly the situation is just the opposite now.


After 10 pm the lights would be switched off and we would be on our beds ready to retire for the day as there was no television mobile phones or internet we would be off to sleep in no time, so that we wake up early with a refreshed mind to face the challenges of a new day.


I grew up without WhatsApp, Facebook, Google, Snapchat etc. I don't think that has made me less smart or unsocial. I have learnt to value things, time and people and I am as balanced and confident as the current generation, ready to take on the world.


'Life was not perfect but I wouldn't have it any other way'




Growing up in a middle class family my life was full of ups and downs, but more ups than downs. Though we were financially comfortable anything else apart from basic requirements was considered as luxury .



I remember except for people living on streets ,all the people I knew were middle class people .Maybe those days people were not so class conscious as they are today. All were very friendly and supportive of each other.

Fortunate to to be educated in a Convent school thanks to my maternal grandmother an intrepid ,visionary lady who was far ahead of her times.


Life in a Convent school was akin to a jail to me. The nuns behaved like jailers and the teachers like wardens..who never thought once before using the rod or hurling a duster at a student, punishments like standing on the bench, kneeling on the floor, writing 100 times in the diary "I will not trouble my teacher" etc were 'daily affairs ,"and dare any parent came and 'questioned the teacher or complained against them on the contrary the parents would reprimand us stating that because we were at fault the teacher had to take such action


The memory of a teacher flinging a duster at a girl and the girl bleeding profusely from the head is still vivid in my mind .The parent when informed came quickly and took the child away, and even apologised to the teacher for her child's behaviour.If a similar incident took place now the teacher would have been definitely behind bars.


We had a school dairy for daily lessons and timetables, which also had one page for 'teacher's remarks ' where the teachers entered any remarks regarding homework, conduct etc. If we got any remark we had to get it signed by our parents or face further punishments.


Most of the parents never signed those remarks saying that "you have committed a mistake, you deserved to be punished."

The following day half of the students would be outside the class for not getting the remarks signed. As the academic year came to an end many of us would have to buy an extra calendar just for' teachers remarks '.


My parents never indulged us and everything was rationed. I remember my pencil box had only 2 pencils, an eraser and a sharpener which we were warned not to use aimlessly. Our rough book was made by binding the unused pages of our old notebooks. We had one pair of uniform shoes and socks each which we had to manage till the end of the year unless a mishap occurs and sometimes carried forward too.


Cakes' and chocolates' were reserved only for birthdays. Eating from roadside stalls was' blasphemous' and we never even dreamt to break those rules. New clothes would be purchased for festivals and birthdays and not according to our whims and fancies.


The distance from my school and home were 4Km which was covered by a bus, the fare to and fro was 10 paise. ( an amount many may not even be aware of, as coins of that denominator are not available now). Always an extra 10 paise coin was kept in the pencil box in case the bus fare is lost and strict warnings were given to us not to use that money for anything else. I remember guarding that spare 10 paise coin more than my life.. always fearing how would I get home if I misplaced my bus fare.?


Our outing consisted of either to a relative's house or parks or an occasional movie always accompanied by my parents. Once in a blue moon, we would go to a restaurant for snacks or dinner and that would be like a small celebration. '


Dinner time would be a' family affair' where we all sat on the floor to eat dinner, in a circle, it was like a round table conference only the table was missing here. My father would ask us about our school and studies and general topics, whether we were hungry or no we had to sit down for dinner and take part in the conversation.


Going on annual vacations were mandatory and I still have memories of those wonderful years where we visited some amazing places.


There were no malls or fancy stores around most of the shopping would be down from local Stores which would be a grocery cum stationery all rolled into one. There was a 'Bata ' store from where all are our shoes were purchased, and a sprinkling of garments stores for clothes. Ready-made clothes were unheard of, and clothes would always be 'stitched'.All the tailors were in big demand and did good business those days, sadly the situation is just the opposite now.


After 10 pm the lights would be switched off and we would be on our beds ready to retire for the day as there was no television mobile phones or internet we would be off to sleep in no time, o that we wake up early with a refreshed mind to face the challenges of a new day.


I grew up without WhatsApp, Facebook, Google, Snapchat etc. I don't think that has made me less smart or unsocial. I have learnt to value things, time and people and I am as balanced and confident as the current generation, ready to take on the world.


'Life was not perfect but I wouldn't have it any other way'

July 14, 2021 16:28

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5 comments

Sanjeev Vyas
06:27 Oct 04, 2021

Nice. Very Nostalgic. I could relate to my childhood.

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Ola Hotchpotch
17:06 Aug 28, 2021

Nice write up about growing up in the era before internet. I do struggle to understand how to make online purchases and have still not done one single purchase that way. I go to the bank and withdraw money the old fashioned way. I get angry if the bank remains closed for some reason as it happened recently. I couldn't buy any dress during the pandemic. On the other hand my daughter is as comfortable with a book as with a computer.

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Palak Shah
09:36 Aug 09, 2021

Nice story Asha, I love the way that you have used the prompt and it was great. Well done Could you please read my latest story if possible? :))

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Asha Pillay
10:50 Aug 10, 2021

I definitely would.

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Palak Shah
18:17 Aug 10, 2021

Thanks Asha :))

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