That was my standing in 10th standard Telugu exam, IInd Language subject and my mother tongue. This is just one of the nice memories from exactly 15 years ago in VPS Public school, Vijayawada.
After 15 years, I walked into this place a few weeks back. Memories started flooding back, I could see the familiar staircase where we ran up and down for 1000 times. I was in shock. I was in awe. I was walking around in a daze.
Has it really been so long? Was it really that wonderful?
Old thoughts, buried, lost among all the memories of an adult life, kept jumping into focus. I thought these memories were forever lost, they were just collecting dust among the cob webs of the present world.
It was not just the mind, my other senses were also going hay-wire. The smells, the sounds, the air, everything felt different.
My heart was brimming up with joy, it remembered the good old days – carefree, living in the moment, racing to keep up with my constant running, the simple joys of playing with friends.
Our future was simple – when was the next games period.
Our concern for time was non-existent – when does the 3:45pm bell ring.
Our people were unique – my spirited young friends and the patient (which we throughly tested) teachers.
Our lives were immortal – we fell down, we got up. we were sick, but just for a while.
Nothing was permanent. Everything was temporary. Life was good in that moment, and that was it!
So we walked in, the three of us, caught in the moment, remembering, cherishing. We envied the kids, trying to get a glimpse of us, the new comers in their simple world.
Some were running around, with no purpose, they have feet and they can run. We are too “mature” to run, adults can’t even run without justifying it – an emergency, to catch a train or bus. Sad!
I met a few of my old teachers, every one of them instantly recognized me and most even remembered my name. How could they forget the class clown – me!
My appearance was perfectly “me” – Old sneakers with a huge hole (my favorite loafers), T-Shirt which promotes Jack Daniels Whisky and Jeans.
In my defense, the school trip was not part of the itinerary, balu (classmate) dragged me in.
This was the first time I came to the school after finishing 10th, 15 years ago. I was always too embarrassed to visit the place, I wasn’t the teacher’s pet 😉
A teacher even requested us to talk to his entire class about the good days in VPS and how it shaped our lives and career. So there I was, bringing disrepute to the entire software industry with my attire, trying to explain the good things about the school.
Who am I kidding! I loved being the craziest kid in the class, those were the best days of my life and the worst days of my teacher’s. So I told them to have fun, as much as possible. You will never get back those days!
Good old days
Those were times where school computers were just Black & White. My home computer had a 33 Mhz processor, switching on turbo button made it into 66 Mhz, perfect for games like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom2. The city did not have internet access. Cable TV just came in a few years ago (STAR Movies had 18+ movies ;-))
We were creative and improvised on our fun activities. School helped a lot, introduced me to life long friends.
Library – My temple, my sanctuary and god’s gift to a young reader like. 5th standard, that was the age I started off on Enid Blyton, later moving on to Willard Price, Hardy Boys. There were more than hundred books from the library and I read all of them. I got my reading skills from here.
Sports – Our school had the biggest play ground and the best facilities for sports – foodball, basketball, tennis, badminton, gymnasium . Chetan Anand, a national badminton champion was from our batch.
Arts – I sucked at all of them. But I did try acting, and to everybody’s (and mine) surprise I won the best supporting actor in a school play.
– Caught for peeing in the ground. A classmate told on me to the principal.
– Steeling spiderman, superman and other stickers from classmate bags.
– Caught with no shorts. Bad bathroom incident (I think I was only 5 years old)
– Frequently! – sent out of class, asked to stand up on the bench, kneel down in front of the class.
– My report card. Of course!
– Winning the silver medal for frog jump.
– 4th in 400 meter relay.
– Best supporting actor.
– Donating clothes to charity.
– Fired a gun! (NCC camp)
People ask , What did VPS give me? I don’t even hesitate for the answer- Attitude!