En Route Paradise : The Journey Begins

Many may have read about my college life. It will be little absurd when I write about my school life after college life, but I prefer it as there’s a lot to recollect. I studied at Chinmaya Vidyalaya until 5th standard. There’s nothing much to say about the life there as it wasn’t an exciting one. The school was famous for pooja’s, ‘Hari Om’ (instead of good morning) and the relay competition (the only thing practiced during PT hours)! The only fond memories were gifted by my good friends there like Sreejith, Vivek, Ravi Shankar, etc. Even though I didn’t like the school much, it was hard for me to shift to a new school. In fact, I was scared about the new school, teachers and of course, the students there. However, I had to agree to that. The new school happened to be near to my house, so my mom found it easier to track me! With all the fear and anxiety, I joined Christ Nagar Thiruvallom (now Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School) on May 15, 1999 

The beginning

My new school had just one block, which happened to be a three storey building. I was then lead to a noisy class which consisted of more than 60 students. Actually, I had a one-year break due to surgery. So it was really difficult for me to get into a classroom, that too with unfamiliar faces. The students in the front benches were the new ones like me who had almost a similar kind of expression like on my face. I happened to see too many villains in the back benches and a row of gals. Arun (Arun Nair) was the first guy with whom I talked, who was also a newcomer. Later we were taken to the library hall for the reopening function. Fr Thomas Vempala, who was in command of Christ Nagar group of Schools that time, was present along with our principal Mythily Miss and our bursar Fr Mathew Thengumpally. I was introduced to new prayers and songs there (escape from ‘Hari Om’), saw many of the teachers and our seniors. After getting back in class the new students were introduced. And I got to pick up some names like Tarun, Jithu, John, Mohit, Shamin, Rebecca, etc. (sorry I don’t remember a few). The only familiar face in the class happened to be that of Niteesh, who was with me in Chinmaya, I was so much relieved. Later I met Shimju and Sumanth, who happened to be my family friends. So slowly I started adapting with my new class and friends. The only one I was scared of was Girish, who had a gangster image in class. Our math's teacher Maya Miss was our class teacher; she pretended to be strict but was really a nice one. In Chinmaya, the interval time was really a waste as everyone had the option to chat only. But here the ground was used by all the classes for playing cricket, football, etc. It really caused severe confusion at times. Due to the surgery, I backed out from playing, but used to be the umpire of our class. It was really a tough job as I used to hear all the ‘nice’ words from my friends. Our class had more than 60 students, and it was damn noisy such that the teachers weren’t able to teach well. So, our class got divided into 6A (second language Malayalam students) and 6B (second language Hindi). Then all the cricket, football matches were conducted as 6A vs 6B. We used to top in cricket, but football was always their cup of tea.

Even though my classmates were good, we didn’t have much unity. There weren’t much interaction between the guys and gals; it was almost like the gals saw us as aliens or something. The prominent gals of our class were Nisha, Shalom, Jeeshma, etc. We also had two pairs of twins in our class. One was Rahul and Rekha, and the other one came from the jungles of Africa. Arka and Arav were really lunatic at times, but Arka was always better. Rivalry in academics was just seen during that year. My heartiest apologies to all my dear friends for this; I was also a competitor for the first rank. Throughout the year, my name was among the top five ranks of our class. When I think of it now, I feel too embarrassed. Talking about my gang of friends, as expected I made company with the gangster of our class. Girish, Nithin Thomas, Shimju, etc were my best friends. It was Girish, who introduced me into the world of some ‘exceptional’ Malayalam words. It was Shimju, who provoked me to love someone (I have written about it in a previous blog). At first, I wasn’t interested at all, but the entry of Arav into the competition made it exciting. As usual, she said a clear cut ‘no’ to both of us. I was relieved that he too got rejected else I couldn’t have faced my friends anymore. Then only I came to know about the love pool of our class. Majorities of the newcomers were behind someone. There was a guy called Kurian, who was behind three gals at the same time and they all happened to be best friends. I think he was trying his luck with all of them by giving the same cards and all. The result was that we saw Kurian being made run around the school by all three during Christmas exams. However, my love finally got succeeded and was so proud that I was the only successful lover among the boys! But it didn’t last much as our Malayalam sir caught all the Casanova’s of sixth standard. I and my friend were treated well in the staff room. Soon, my mother was called to the school by our principal, vice principal and class teacher. It was really a special experience to be in the principal’s room for loving a gal and misleading other students. A brilliant student shouldn’t love, that was the verdict! I regret for giving such a false impression.

The school gave ample encouragement for sports and extracurricular activities. We were divided into four houses namely Apollo (Red), Expo (Green), Everest (Yellow) and Olympic (Blue). I was a proud member of the Expo house. Well, I was blessed with some of the best seniors. Super seniors were in 9th when I joined. Our heroes were always our super seniors like Alexis, Susmit, Manu Shankar, Lal Shankar, Antony, Raees and many more. We had a cricket tournament between the four houses which was played in the spirit of an international tournament. Expo house won it in the lights of Lal, Manu, and Francis, etc. by defeating the Apollo house. However, the real hero was Antony, the captain of Olympic house who terrified everyone with his furious bowling; maybe the best cricketer our school has ever seen. Our class also had some good players, especially in football like Tarun, Jithu, Arka, etc. Tarun was also the sports champion! That year Olympic house won the overall in the arts festival. Arts festival days were like a celebration as the students used to cut the classes one month before the competition by the name of practice. I was also a member of the school band troupe. The majority members of the troupe were from my class like Girish, Visakh, Leon, Adarsh, Shimju, etc. The troupe was one way to escape from the assembly. I hated the Mass PT classes where we were made to do exercises in white and white, but band troupe saved us there too. The school day, sports day were really different experiences for me as I never saw such interesting things in Chinmaya. We also did a drama for school day, my first experience on stage. My house won the overall championship that year. We were blessed with some great teachers like Jayasree Miss (Chemistry), Preetha Miss (Geography) etc.

Getting Promoted

Majority of the students got promoted to 7th standard, while many left the school, including my love! So, our class was again made into one. Our biology teacher Reji Sir was our class teacher for that year. The old students will be eagerly waiting for the newcomers. Then joined guys like Nikhil, Arun Prasad, Aravinthan, Pramod, etc.; but the gals were disappointing as usual. Looking our senior gal was a usual stuff. Since we were made into a class again, it helped us to form a unity. There were some serious issues between many of the guys and gals, but that were sorted out. School activities continued to be thrilling as usual. What thrilled us was the arrival of new history teacher. She was the most beautiful one I ever saw in our school. So the guys used to be so attentive in her class. A new student called Divya was made the class vice prefect that time. By that time ‘Girish-Gautham’ duo was considered as a deadly combination by many. Responsibility of many illicit activities directly came to our head, but we used to enjoy it. And this Divya was the only one who got us punished. Luckily, Reji Sir  wasn't that strict. Later, she came and told sorry to us and there marked the beginning our friendship.

Even we got a new Malayalam Sir, who was very fond of saying stories. Sudheer Sir was one such person who introduced me to the world of Malayalam literature. Shimju was always his victim! My ranks started coming down; I was in top 10 at first, later disappeared from the rank list. Sports and Arts continued to excel. That year our PT Sir Antony was replaced by Venu Sir. Every year house member were shuffled, but I remained in Expo house itself (the house names got changed that year; Ganga, Yamuna, Krishna and Kaveri). For the first-time football, tournament was conducted in our school. The houses led by Susmit and Manu were the strong ones, but Susmit’s one-man show really stole the show. And I can’t ever forget my senior Justin Thomas, who scored a goal from the opposite half, one of the best I have ever seen. My house was led by the charming Alexis, who gifted us the sports trophy with five gold medals to his credit. The gals used to have hand ball competition where seniors like Riya, Sheeja, Seethal was the best.  The rivalry between Malayalam students and Hindi students continued. But we started dominating them in football too.

I don’t remember about the arts festival that year, because we used to concentrate the gals only and not the programmes. Onam celebrations were always an exciting one for us, especially the last part where we used to throw flowers on each other. During the first years, x'mas fete was never celebrated in a big way. The only exciting thing was the distribution of food packets. Even students used to fight for that! Another best thing was the students’ day where the responsibility of school will be handed over to the students. In 7th, I got a chance as a teacher too. I was made the class teacher of UKG! Huh, then I understood how difficult teaching profession is. However, that didn’t make me a good student! The shocking thing happened in the form of our history teacher’s marriage. That was a real shock for all of us. I got a chance to appear as Bhagat Singh in a tableau. That year I attended the cbse youth festival conducted at VSSC central school. Even though our school didn’t win much, we enjoyed the days there. Everything went fine that year for all of us. The main advantage was that we made good friendship with all. Even though 7th standard wasn’t that exciting, the year remains as a special one for me. Shamin became by close friend during that year. The first 10th standard batch of our school got passed out in 2001. And finally, the first batch of 11th got ready to join our school, thus it became a senior secondary school. We all got promoted to 8th. So I became a high school student. From there, the journey was incredible!


Divya Sudarsanan said...

ahhh..dis has indeed brought bak so many memories..christ nagar was always a place fr gud n sincere relationships.i m sorry to say dat its a totally difrnt scenario der nw..dat skol has changed a lot..
most of d frnds i hv mad their r ma closest ones evn nw..
it was also a place fr evn d most notorious activities ;-) it was fun spending ma 6 fruitful years der..

P.S.i was made d "prefect" dat tym n i still rmbr d luk on boys face when i was made one :-P

Francis Thejus said...

it feels 2 b bck @ cnsss.... all dose glories days of life.... hoping 2 read d rest soon :)

Jaishankar said...

Really had tears in my eyes reading ur wonderful article . You seem to remember every bits and pieces .although i was not part of any of the above mentioned activities i was a silent spectator to everything happening around Father was right when he is said nothing would replace christ nagar in our life Jaishankar

Varkey said...

Great job, was indeed a flash back to those good'ol days. Christ Nagar was very welcoming place. Never had a principal who was so close to us like Mythli mam.
So you should keep writing and chase your dreams in film industry. Trust me, u chase them and do good things in life it will happen. It was really nice of you to rem all those old football and cricket matches.. was totally worth it!!! keep posting ur links to us. take care for now...

Nithin Sudarsanan said...

a few years frm nw, it myt be me writing smthng lyk ths.. Once the boards gets ovr 4 me and my frnz this march, we say adieu to our home, rightly said by gautham bhai, A PARADISE!!!
With our batch passing out, school's first kg batch passes out.. The only batch which has seen frm scratch to wat the school has bcome 2day.. I am gonna miss my school.. I am gonna miss my "home"..
It marks the end of an era..