Posted by SMM on 11:37
When I was at the grand old double-figure age of ten and considered myself a big big girl, and being highly inspired by the tales of midnight feasts and tuck boxes and lacrosse and half term in all the schoolgirl tales which were my favourite at that time, I decided to present my case to my parents that the following year (after my 11th birthday) they ought to send me to Malory Towers or St. Claire or best of all, the Chalet School. I was very excited at the thought of studying with girls of different nationalities and religions and learning French and German and Latin and actually having talking French on Monday and German on Tuesday...and of course the exciting sounding food like jam tarts and ginger ale and custard pie and stuffed chicken etc etc (any day waaaaaaay more intersting than dal, chawal/ roti and bhindi ki sabzi cuz that was the only sabzi I ate as a ten year old). So to cut a long story short my father very sweetly informed me that this is all fiction, the imagination of the authors and that I being their beloved little girl was not going to be sent to any hostel so I would just have to be happy with the school I was currently going to. I tried convincing him that there wasn't much fun in having midnight feasts in the classroom at 10:30 in the morning , but I tell you parents have no imagination whatsoever.

Anyway by the time I was old enough to get to college my parents told me that they would rather that I go to a hostel and learn some valuable lessons in life like they both did at that age. However circumstances had changed very much by then and this time it was me who reluctant to go. So as I said parents just don't understand and I was packed off to Pune to stay in the Lalitadevi Deviprasad Kejriwal Girl's Hostel (LDK in short).

Yes we did have our matron being Damle Mam who had the loudest burps ever and could be heard all over the two floors of our hostel. I learnt to share a room and not listen to music at high volumes and stuff newspaper under the door so that the light cannot be seen at the corridoor and smuggle chicken into our rooms and after eating spray perfume (it was a vegetarian hostel) and mix the rice and sabzi and have it all with huge thali sized rotis and actually eat for the very first time in my life. I learned that if my money got over on the 20th of the month I still had to wait for the first Sunday of the next month for my money to come and no amount of wheedling would help. I learnt to survive on bread and maggi on the last Sunday of the month for dinner cuz the mess was closed. I learnt how to live with other people and adjust and become a more tolerable human and learnt that we would not always see the movie which I wanted to see and learnt how to whack that pink tee from my roommate's cupboard. I learnt about getting up at 8:55am sharp on a Sunday to receive the 9 am call from the parents. I learnt how happy my mom would get when I took back alphonso mangoes for her after my exams. I learnt about fighting my battles and also finding a PG for when our hostel was to be closed down and then telling my mom after I had found the PG to send the money to pay my deposit. I learnt about making friends and keeping them and letting go of those who don't deserve to be a friend. I learnt about waking up a freind at 1 am before I crashed. I learnt about sending a 100 smses a day when the whole world and his uncle had free messaging (this was when incoming calls were made free and we all had just got cell phones). I learnt about the value of keeping my word. I learnt about the follies of keeping things and papers off till the last minute. I learnt about the cheapest eating spots and walking home from college to save ten bucks. I learnt about buying that green top and then staying home to miss the next party cuz I didn't have money. I learnt about going up for dinner at 7:30 to pick out the aalus (potatoes) from the bhaji(vegetables) and then laughing a year later when the freshers did the same thing thinking that noone would catch them doing it. I learnt to enjoy midnight conversations on the swing in our backyard with big mugs of steaming coffee in hand and blankets wrapped around us. I learnt to enjoy the fun of midnight bike rides and throwing notes over the wall. I learnt that how to keep the watchman happy by slipping him a tenner once in a while so that I can return late and not be reported. I learnt how to use my 6 late passes a month wisely for the saturday nights and two in between. I learnt about losing my atm card and calling home in tears. I learnt about waking up at 5 am and walking up the hill to watch the sunrise and then enjoying poha n coffee at the tapri. I learnt to value home and ghar ka khana. I learnt about companiable silences and joyous reunions after the vacations. I learnt that it was not the end of the world when I almost flunked a paper but just had to pull up my socks n study harder the next sem. I learnt how to get rid of the unwanted guys. I learnt how to sit in the library a week before the exams so that I wouldn't sleep off at home. I learnt about friends who became family and who held your hair back as you puked and heated up water for you to gargle when you had bad cough. I learnt about friends who lent me their last 100 bucks cuz I just had to make an emergency trip to the parlour before my hot date. I learnt about how much I was going to miss my friends when I cried buckets while packing.I learnt how much I was going to miss this life when five years later as the train pulled out of the station I had tears in my eyes.

Two years later I still miss that life. And I know that when my kids (whenever I have them) I will certainly send them to hostel (though not when they'r ten) and depiste my vows not to do so I shall also not send them money when they'v finished it before the end of the month.



** I will certainly send them to hostel (though not when they'r ten) and depiste my vows not to do so I shall also not send them money when they'v finished it before the end of the month

good on ya!


My parents refused to send me to hostel, but since I'm an only child, I can actually understand that. And besides, these are the last 2-3 years I'll be with them, so I'm not too concerned.
But reading your post made me appreciate what it could be like to live with strangers who turn into family.
Lovely post, and yes, I always wondered if I'd get to go to Malory Towers or St. Clare's, though the former was my first choice, I'm afraid I had to stick on in reality and give up all the lacrosse-playing and the midnight feasts!

Excellent post, I thoroughly enjoyed it- poignant in places and made me chuckle too ( borrowing the 100 for your hot date! hehe)

Thanks Keshi & Quaint Murmur...earlier I would only blog on the rare occasions I felt like, but after reading your blogs (and a few others as well) I'm trying to be more regular :)

Copyright © 2009 Title Intentionally Left Bank All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek. | Bloggerized by FalconHive.