Mapping My School: One Last Time
Mapping My School: One Last Time6 mins 186 6 mins 186
Today while cleaning the closet a photograph fell on the floor. Picking it up I realized that it was a class photograph of my grade 9th session. Seeing it, nostalgia started rolling over me and I started to remember my old school. That's when I realized that I was never able to attend the farewell for my final year due to this pandemic. So, I decided to give a farewell to my school by mapping it one last time.
When I shifted to the Senior Wing of my school back in 2014, the building seemed humongous and loomed over me. While we were being given a tour around the campus I was amazed to see so many classrooms that by the end of the tour I felt more puzzled than earlier. Over the years I was able to map the building completely.
The fascinating feature of our school was the open courtyard concept in the middle. It felt as if all the learning was being shared by the sky above.
In fourth and fifth grade my classroom was on the ground floor and I had limited view of my school. From grade six did the explorer in me awaken. After finishing lunch I used to go out and explore.
I took my first excursion to the library. When I asked permission to enter the library for the first time during lunch break a million fears and thoughts filled my mind but excitement overruled all of them. How happy was I to know that the library was accessible during breaks!
It became a holy place for me. A shrine which was filled with shelves and shelves of these little portals to other worlds and dimensions.
I read them vigorously but never able to read them all. I wonder if anyone else had ever gone through them all or anyone else would ever be able to achieve this feat ?
After exploring the library I visited the computer lab, Located right above the library. I loved going there with my pen drive. Ma’am used to teach me how to copy those exciting softwares. I even had a chance to do extra practicals.
The school grounds have their own set of nostalgia. The main playground was a bustle of activity during physical classes. It was a place where we used to take rounds. To run around the corners of such a big ground with the sun beating down our neck or the cold winter winds freezing our nose, was agony. But now those jogs have just become memories.
That ground was also the place for lunch during winters. How lovely and warm it was to take in the sun while eating food.
I remember the A.V. room and the movies we watched there. Watching movies with friends is so much fun. Even the slowest documentary seems pleasant with the company of our co-peers.
I remember the music room where notes used to vibrate forever. The power of a singing choir was felt there.
Right in front of it was the dance room where the big mirror was a unique feature. The mirror had witnessed so many performances and had even been there to correct them.
Then there is the art room with its unique smells of paints, oils and glue. They say that a painting evokes emotions, they mean a good artist's painting. In that room seeing the creative displays around you the sleeping artist is sure to wake up.
There is a theatre room where talent is unleashed to all its corners. Sitting there sometimes during free periods I used to love watching the acting skills of many.
In the classical dance room too I was a silent observer. Classical dance had never been my cup of tea but watching the foot moves and hands gracefully arching to represent a pose has always left me mystified.
The judo room with its soft mats was a great place to perform front rolls and gymnast stunts.
Watching people in the tennis ground especially when some of them used to hit the ball with such vigor as if they were making a home run.
The skating rink was so smooth that even with normal shoes you would have been able to skate.
The cricket pitch was filled with shouts of excitement and the sound of the ball hitting the bat.
There was a smaller ground where we performed maths and science outdoor experiments, which usually involved measurements of things.
The science lab was full of polished shelves and sterile smell of chemicals. It was a place of test tube shattering, Magnesium ribbon burning with a dazzling flame and looking at various organisms under the microscope. The poor skeleton was never allowed to rest in peace due to the chatter of the class and would have surely heaved a sigh of relief after the end of class.
There was even a science room which was shielded from all light sources to perform experiments in the dark with lasers and torches.
There was a sick room filled with the air of sickness. A visit there was required to take in any medication. It was near the admin office so you can call home in case pain becomes unbearable.
Teacher departments were spread throughout the building.
The English and Hindi departments were visited by me to submit my articles or just to grab some friendly advice from the teacher.
The maths room was a place of doubt clearance where ma’am used to solve all the sums I had my head muddled over in a matter of minutes.
The science room was also visited for doubt clearance or file submission.
The social science department was a place which was very rarely visited by students as it was considered the haunt of strictest teachers. Even crossing it was hazardous as you could easily receive some scolding.
The staff room was out of bounds for the students as the teachers required their own privacy.
The principal's room offers a dual experience. It can only mean two things when you are there- either it is your luckiest day or you are in deep trouble. I have been there many times (all the first case, thankfully) still that corridor chills my breath and makes me super conscious of my behavior.
Then during the adventure camp our school is decked with a wide assortment of activities to go through with the warm winter sun giving us encouragement. The star gazing camp allowed us to look at the building at nighttime. It is always quiet at night. The mostly empty classrooms give us the sense that the school is sleeping under the blanket of stars.
Lastly, I will always remember the school stage. It became my very first platform to stand up and express my views. Standing on it one can feel its power. The power of the courage which every student showed by performing over it. This power enabled me to speak those long speeches, perform some dances and give commands as the Vice Head Girl. It was really good to stand up there and look at the people who made up my school.
Finally that dominating building turned into a cozy place. It turned into my second home. And to that building I say goodbye.
A goodbye to all the teachers, staff and friends who were there on my journey.
We may meet somewhere or the other in life but we would never be able to come back to this building to study.
Thank you once again for being an integral part of my life.