This phrase appears to be repeated too many times by too many people. But I think it is a very personal phrase to each individual. Each of us has a twinkle in our eyes and a skip in our heartbeat when we revisit our school days. For me, my life at Poornaprajna Education Centre represents “those days.” They are very special and tender to me.
We attended many classes in school that helped us groom well, but I believe some of the most important lessons we learned and precious moments we still cherish were those we experienced outside the classroom. There are precious memories that we treasure for life. Here I will try to share some of them.
Once, we had a class trip to Trivandrum and other places around it. This was my first trip outside my home without my parents but with my friends and teachers. It felt so exciting and yet so fearful. When I left my parents, I felt all alone, but not for long. I still remember how much effort my teachers made to ensure that we were all together, and had food and other necessities taken care of. At that time, I didn’t realize how difficult it is for teachers to take care of a whole class on a trip and make them feel cared for – and for that, I am indebted to them.
The academic year’s School Day/Annual Day was my favorite time. It was immensely joyful to prepare for the skit allotted to us to perform on the school day (missing the regular classes!). I am still in awe of how patient our teachers were in watching our innumerable rehearsals and correcting us compassionately until we got it right. At one of the school functions, I had to play a robot and put on a costume made out of cardboard boxes. There were two scenes where I had to enter. One went well, but before the next one came, I had a severe headache. My teacher noticed it and took care of me. She was in charge of arranging the whole function, with many things to manage, yet she not only noticed my discomfort but also canceled my entry in the next scene, improvised with an alternative, and ensured that my parents took me back home. Today, I am also a teacher in a medical college, and I still do not know how my teachers could manage to be efficient and compassionate at the same time. I feel very grateful to them and still need to learn a lot from them.
Although I was one of the top students throughout my school, it was the “backbenchers” who taught me many lessons. I was a bookworm type of student, and my knowledge was limited to books. I never forget the kind of care and warmth my friends used to give me. I enjoyed the pride of being a topper and being adored by friends. But being a topper, sometimes we get carried away and miss the point that you are a topper only in one dimension of life. Life has many dimensions – in fact, many, many dimensions! Today, if you see us all, we have settled well. In fact, one of the so-called ‘backbenchers’ who never understood mathematics and had failed in many subjects is the CEO of a start-up company dealing with accountancy. Not that he suddenly acquired intelligence, but he did show many qualities of a leader back in school. He was the one who used to take us around shopping on school trips, make us laugh, and also counsel us when we were down.
My sincere advice to the toppers: please don’t get carried away. Life is waiting! Life is the real exam! The real things which we have to learn in school are discipline, humility, and cooperation, which were taught to all of us. These are the things we should inculcate when we are sincere with our teachers. However, it does not mean that we have to neglect our academics. The desire and sincerity of effort are what is important, rather than the outcome itself.
To conclude, I shall say that those days are really not gone. They are deep in my heart. Time, they say, is a dimension of the mind, not of the heart. When I meet my school teachers or my school friends, it is like we had just met yesterday and we are meeting again today. That depth of relationship which is formed in school, I think cannot be compared to any other in our later life. Hoping to re-live those days!!
Dr. Kiran G.T. MBBS,
MD Assistant Professor,
Aarupadai Veedu Medical College