That's the school I went to..... Mount Carmel Girls' High School, Nagpur! I had planned on a different post today, but someone sent me this picture of the school that she recently clicked. And my heart was suddenly so alive with excitement!
The big hall that you see under the school name board (just above the two V shaped pillars) is the library. I have spent hours and hours pouring over books in this very space! Any free period and I would be off to the library. We had a compulsory library period once a week, but how could just one book suffice for the whole week? Before the next library period, I would have exchanged at least 4 books with my friends and read it all!
That big ground (only a part of it is visible here) was where our assembly would be held in the morning. A round of prayers followed by the national anthem, and reading out the headlines from the newspaper, the thought for the day and then queue up in a single line, hands at the back and walk to the class in silence. Wow! Those were the times!
Just looking at this picture took to my mind racing to the principal's room, the staff room, the teachers', the various classrooms over the years, the garden behind the left wing, the playground beyond the visible part of the ground, the primary section just opposite to this building, the auditorium near the right wing, and so much more!
|morals and values|
|stages of growing up|
It was a girls' school and so after the 7th standard, Sisters' (nuns, being a catholic school) were assigned to every group of 10 students. We used to have a session every 15 days, when she would discuss our growing up stages with us and where we could talk to her about our problems, our confusions, ask questions, just about anything. After the one to one session was over, Sister would place a ceramic urn in the middle of our group and give us chits of paper. We had to write our problems on it and put it in the urn. We would pray and then she would strike a match and throw it in the urn. Our problems would supposedly burn away! It was as simple as that! But it would be infinitely therapeutic. I still have the diary in which I have taken notes on puberty and growing up. (did you notice the date on the diary?!!)
This page here talks about Adolescence, age 13 -21, the challenges and how to handle them. I might now need to consult this as my own kids pass through the various stages!!
Hitting the children was strictly forbidden, but I don't remember having come across badly behaved children in our school ever. Following the rules and being disciplined was like an unwritten rule. I still have the slam book that is filled with best wishes from my teachers. Reading this today felt so good, it carried me back to those innocent days when the word of the teacher was final and binding!
This reminds me of not just these words of hope and encouragement but also the heart to heart chat that I had with the teachers as they filled the book for me.
Teachers are like the potter, who molds wet clay into whatever shapes they desire. They shape the way we think, the way we behave, and what kind of persons we grow into. It is said, that "In teaching, you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years!" How true!
I look back with appreciation for those brilliant teachers who touched our hearts. The curriculum is necessary but more than that is warmth which is much more vital to the growth of the child.
My closest friend today, is the still the same one I had at school ! She is my first and best friend and we have been friends for almost 30 years now! We met when we were in class 1 and we continue to be best friends forever!!
I have a Pandora's box full of such memories and as I opened it to search for the slam book and diary, I stumbled across a host of other things too! The school badge, the souvenir book, old pictures....all memories, holding a testimonial of the times gone by, a reminder of what I was as a child, of the hopes and dreams I had...... I have spent the better part of the day rummaging through my collectibles, and reminiscing about the old times and smiling through moist eyes! Ah! What a day this has been!